How TLJ are taking away the pain of access control for Watkin Jones

How TLJ are taking away the pain of access control for Watkin Jones

Watkin Jones are undoubtedly a market leader in the UK student accommodation sector. This is not by accident: they have an enviable reputation for delivering high quality buildings, on time, and to budget. When it came to choosing a new access control provider they wanted a company that reflected their own values. High on their ‘must have’ list was a partner that would also add value to their business. In a best-of-breed comparison it was TLJ Security Systems who best fitted the bill.

TLJ’s proud record of ongoing collaboration with Watkin Jones now includes projects such as the prestigious Bridge Street development in Cardiff (477 bedrooms), St Mungo’s in Glasgow (almost 250 bedrooms), and Hollis Croft in Sheffield (over 1,000 studios, apartments and cluster flats). At Oxford House in Bournemouth, for example, over 500 ‘Identity’ model RFID locks are installed on student bedrooms, with a further 19 access readers for external and shared doors.

“We’ve got your back”

TLJ’s ethos is surprisingly simple: work with every client to provide a bespoke, cradle-to-grave offering. And that’s not a lazy sales and marketing cliché: TLJ evidence this approach on project after project. How they developed the relationship with Watkin Jones is a great example of what TLJ call We’ve Got Your Back. It refers to the way in which a project is managed, from initial enquiry to hand over, commissioning, training and beyond.

Specification and Installation

TLJ reached out to Watkin Jones at a time when the contract with Watkin’s incumbent access control provider was coming to an end. Up against a panel of their peers TLJ’s quote was highly competitive, but the decision to choose TLJ was made on grounds far wider than purely financial ones. Their comprehensive range of accreditations and certifications was particularly reassuring, including Certifire, Secured by Design and full CE Marking on all their locks.

Although the existing access control provision posed no significant problems at any of their sites, Watkin Jones had experienced issues when it came to commissioning and servicing of locks. Their supplier was struggling to handle the sheer volume of work in the time available, outsourcing much of it to third party fitters. TLJ’s clear benefit here was that they pre-routered all doors prior to installation, using their own teams of UK-based engineers. This gave great flexibility and allowed for a quick and seamless fitting process.

Commissioning, handover and after sales

Next, TLJ built and pre-commissioned each property on their dedicated lock management software prior to handover. This was done directly on the operator’s PC, concurrent with programming all physical locks and access control points to match the software layout. Once commissioned, full hands-on training was given to the operator. TLJ engineers remained on site until staff were fully conversant with the system.

In Watkin Jones’ case, their previous access control provider had a dubious track record of providing little in the way of support, either during the installation phase or beyond. Not only did TLJ provide full, ongoing 24/7 technical support as standard, they even appointed a dedicated key account manager to serve all of Watkin Jones’ sites.

In short, TLJ took away the risk and pain involved in specifying access control.

TLJ’s Managing Director, Luke Martin, said:

We delivered several projects for Watkin Jones in 2017 and will hand over many more in 2018 and beyond. We’re currently installing 3,000 locks per year for them, a number which is set to increase. Prior to signing the contract both parties carried out thorough due diligence over an eight month period, ensuring that we dove-tailed perfectly with their way of working. Our wrap-around solution has benefited us both, and we know that our comprehensive safety and security accreditations have helped Watkin Jones win business. At TLJ, we’ve got your back.

For Watkin Jones, Graham Bellis is their Procurement Director:

The thing that stands out for me about TLJ is their flexibility. It’s rare these days to come across a supplier who genuinely wants to make life easier for you. For sure there have been some bumps in the road and there’ll no doubt be more to come, but not once have TLJ failed to resolve an issue and that gives me tremendous confidence.

Find out more about TLJ’s range of electronic locks and access control solutions at, email or call 01482 830 334.

Head Office

01482 830334


0203 053 8626


0131 564 0145


01 45 45 465

All installation and commissioning of our locks in the Republic of Ireland is carried out by PSA licensed contractors