When local business Rechenberg was established 50 years ago, it was a man in a van travelling throughout Queensland offering security and locksmithing services.
Now, the third-generation business has grown to a team of over 30 people and monitors tens of thousands of alarm signals across every state and territory of Australia and New Zealand on a daily basis.
The local company is celebrating 50 years of their safety and security services this month, with managing director Michael Rechenberg looking back on the changes that had impacted the business over time.
“It is great to be able to keep our national headquarters here in Bundaberg and while we have established an office in Brisbane, most of the operations are run locally,” Michael said.
“A lot of people just see Rechenberg as locksmiths from what they see from the shopfront or when we are cutting keys and doing different things in store.
“In the back end though, we are actually monitoring alarm clients all over Australia and New Zealand, so every state and territory we cover with the alarm monitoring side of things and there is a lot of different technology involved as well.”
Rechenberg was originally established in Bundaberg in 1971 by Mr Gordon Rechenberg and his wife Marion as a family business named Lock Sales and Service.
The company specialised in locksmithing, with the focus of the business on security in the form of locks, safes and related services.
Gordon first delved into the world of electronic security in the mid 1970s, being one of the first to do so at the time.
“Dad started the electronic security side of the business around 1975 and then started a control room in the late 1970s with technology that was pretty much ahead of its time, especially for a regional centre like Bundaberg,” he said.
With changes in business, the electronic security side slowed and closed, taking Lock Sales and Service back to basics.
In 1992, Lock Sales and Service was renamed to Rechenberg Locksmiths Pty Ltd, which was changed to Rechenberg Pty Ltd in 1993.
This marked the business' second foray into electronic security with the supply, installation and monitoring of alarm systems via their 24/7 control room.
This control room opened a world of opportunity for the team, enabling them to expand their reach further than ever before and monitor electronic security systems, medical alarms, and other electronic devices.
“The boom was probably right time. right place,”Michael said.
“In the early 1900s the electronic side of the industry really took off and I guess we were already equipped to run with this so perhaps there is a little bit of luck that we got into it when we did.
“It all started again because I was out and about on the tools at that time after completing my apprenticeship.
“From the business we had at the time, I had customers saying to me you need to get back into the electronic side so I started to ask the questions and pushed to restart it, with it opening and growing very quickly from there.”
Ten years later in 2003, the business had outgrown its location, moving to 7a Maryborough Street, which was Bundaberg's former ambulance station.
“To ensure it was suitable for all of Rechenberg’s requirements, the building underwent a major renovation with the control room being purpose-built to Australian standards,” Michael said.
“This allowed Rechenberg to be one of the few Grade A control rooms in Australia and allowed us to monitor Australia-wide from Bundaberg.
“Our only real restriction for who and where we can monitor now is that they speak English – so we can monitor anywhere in the world as long as they speak English – from right there in Bundaberg.”
Michael and the team look forward to continuing to provide their high quality services to both the local community and those around Australia for many more years to come.
“Looking into the future we will continue to work on the electronic security side of the business,” he said.
“We do a lot of different things such as alarm monitoring and we continue to look to move away from being a security alarm monitoring company to an alarm monitoring company.
“While that sounds pretty much the same it is different being a security device to being a medical device or it could be anything that sends an alarm out to monitor, that type of thing.”