David Atkins is Head of Product and Implementation here at First2HelpYou and is the brain behind our fabulous KIT lone worker device.
We managed to grab 10 minutes with him for a coffee and a chat to find out what makes the KIT device the best on the lone worker market and how it all came about.
What was your role in developing the KIT Lone Worker device?
As Head of Product and Implementation I was responsible for scoping the product with the Directors and translating that Wishlist into a working device.
I have worked in the lone worker sector for the vast majority of my career, so I knew there were some features we had to include, some that were nice to have, and some common ones we should get rid of. Ones that other lone worker devices have that users don’t particularly like.
I took all of those elements and worked with some of the leading developers in the sector to create a brand new product in the KIT device, and the supporting Connect portal.
What are the essential features of the lone worker device?
Well, BS8484 has a range of features it insists on for a device to be compliant. For example, it needs to be able to connect to an Alarm Receiving Centre, be discreetly activated and be able to pinpoint your location via GPS.
There are a whole range of these features that every lone worker device has. In that sense, every BS8484 compliant device is pretty similar.
So, what makes the KIT lone worker device different from the others?
The beauty of having worked in other lone worker companies is that I have spoken to a huge range of clients and potential clients for over a decade and know the shortcomings of the other devices out there.
Because we were creating the KIT from scratch and had such a good team of developers with us we could basically strip out all the bits people didn’t like and just keep the good stuff.
For example, some other lone worker devices on the market are really bulky, making it heavy to wear around your neck, or clip onto a belt. The KIT device is a fob, so it is light, easy to hold, and really comfortable. But we knew people like having a discreet device as an ID badge, so we had an ID badge holder custom made, giving users the flexibility, discretion and comfort, they were asking for.
Some fob devices are too small, so we made it so the KIT lone worker device can’t be added to a bunch of keys and be lost in a handbag, or be hard to handle if someone had dexterity problems or even just cold hands.
We also got feedback that some lone worker devices had screens that were too small to see and vibrations that are too soft to feel, so we did away with the screen completely and made it so the information is shown in easy to understand lights. We also made the physical feedback stronger.
Yes, the vibrations that tell you if the lone worker device is connected to the monitoring station.
They are really important because they are a great source of comfort to a lone worker when they are in a stressful or dangerous situation. They know there is someone on the other end taking action.
What makes the KIT lone worker device the best in the market?
Like I said, the device is a great size, the buttons are easy to press, and the features are all fully BS8484 compliant. It can be popped into a special ID badge holder or worn on a belt clip, so it is really discreet.
But what makes the device stand out from the crowd isn’t the device, ironically, it’s the service that wraps around it. The First2HelpYou service is like no other lone worker service out there.
What makes the First2HelpYou service so unique?
First of all, I’m not being arrogant in saying this. The First2HelpYou team has worked for a few lone worker providers between us and there are no secrets in the industry. We offer the most comprehensive service out there.
Our training is face to face, we offer to do all the admin for clients instead of making them do it themselves, and we don’t forget about the clients once they have signed the contract.
We never lose sight of the fact that there is a person at the end of every lone worker device and app, so we do literally everything in our power to protect them.
That often means tailoring the service levels to suit the customer.
What advice would you give someone choosing a lone worker solution now?
Ask plenty of questions about the service. The devices all function in pretty much the same way, but it is the service that makes the difference.
Ask them, what happens when the button is pressed, what training do the users receive, and what happens if you want to add or change users?
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If you want to read more about choosing a lone worker service have a look at this article.