QED’s 20th Anniversary

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 in Blog

Quality Essential Distribution’s 20th Birthday Celebration!

Every successful business begins with an aspiration to succeed within a specific industry. This small vision of a potentially thriving company motivates and drives the individual to work for what they dream of. Whether this be a large corporation or a small, local business. Behind every single one of them is the determination of the hard-working business men and women who transformed their dream of self-employment into a reality: constantly striving to develop and better themselves.

Quality Essential Distribution (QED) supply and distribute a diverse range of security consumables and equipment to the European Security Market. Over the last 20 years, the success we have achieved is a result of viewing our business through the customer’s eyes. We find customer satisfaction and loyalty is achievable by offering quality products and a superior service, coupled with competitive prices.

QED: The Beginning

QED’s beginning involved two people: Dave Arrowsmith and Ian Smith. Dave was the European Purchasing Manager for Sensormatic and Ian was one of their key suppliers as Branch Manager of City Electrical Factors in Chorley. Through doing business together over the previous 10 years, they became good friends. So, when Ian had to refuse a promotion abroad with the company, Dave suggested going on his own…




Shortly after, QED was formed. Initially, stock was held in Ian’s garage as well as an office in the back room of VideoTec, which was very kindly donated by Bob Lister.

QED began distributing first fix consumable items to security installers, initially on a local basis and then nationally. The immediate growth and rising success of the business resulted in QED expanding quickly. After just nine months, they relocated to a 2,250ft² unit. A further nine months later, Dave joined the business as a partner which had an immediate impact on growth.

Furthermore, additional stock requirements meant an extra 750ft² unit was acquired. This was soon outgrown and the company relocated to the current building which was later extended to 16,000ft² with an additional 5,500ft² overflow warehouse.

The product range increased significantly due to customer demand. QED found a void in the market as customers wanted their cables and accessories from a single source with a next day, nationwide delivery service. By offering this service, the business grew very quickly.

Successes, Changes, and Predictions

After discussing what factors made the company a success, Ian and Dave both agreed that the location of the business and their chosen employees were both key.

“The building we are still in today was a financial risk and a large debt to have when starting a new business. This was helped by some good early contracts due to established relationships.”

When asked if there was anything they would change, if they could, Dave said,

“I wouldn’t really change anything. Mistakes and risks are difficult to avoid when starting up any business; so we saw ours as lessons to learn from. All of our choices and decisions over the past 20 years have contributed towards the process of teaching us how to better ourselves and our business, allowing us to be where we are today.”




Having only eight employees to begin with, QED was a small family operation. Each team member with an equally important role to play. Therefore, if one employee was on annual leave, another would step up and fulfil the role, as well as their own. Everyone provided significant contribution to the company in order to ensure smooth running, with enough staff to cover any situation.

It was and still remains a great place to work.

The Future of QED


With the common use of the Internet beginning in the 90s, QED adapted the business during the transition from analogue to digital. Just like all businesses, advancements in technology and the internet have brought about change. QED has thrived by bringing in new people, new products and new skill sets.

Over the years, the security industry will continue to reinvent itself. It’s inevitable. Technology is quickly advancing and changing rapidly. So, who knows where we will all be in another 20 years. As for the future of QED, we aspire to be a major, national distributor who provide leading edge technology products. Controlled by a driven, dynamic team.

Our 20th Celebration Video is here!

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