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Advanced Keys: An Auto-Locksmith with a Female Trio Behind the Wheel

We were delighted to catch-up with Kim Stanier, managing director, at Advanced Keys in Birmingham, to find out who is behind-the-wheel at this up-and-coming wholesale trade auto-locksmith business with the mission of “All Grow Together”.

Advanced Keys is a Midlands-based supplier of wholesale replacement car keys, key fobs, remotes and transponders to independent auto locksmiths and garages. Originally set up to supply the UK trade market, Advanced Keys has progressed to selling products to locksmiths and technicians worldwide.

Who is behind the wheel?

Kim Stanier, managing director, has worked there since 2005 and commented: “Our team consists of three women. The industry is notoriously male-dominated, so we’re proud to be one of a few pioneering female-led businesses now in the trade. It wasn’t always a female trio, the company was actually formed by Greg Chambers in year 2003, who designed our original key programming tool The Diagnostic Box TDB1000. I am actually joined by Greg’s sister Sharon Kesterton aka ‘the organiser’ who heads up customer service. The third lady is Amanda Rathbone aka ‘Mrs Calm’ parts specialist. Greg is now a silent director, although we do listen to him sometimes as he supports with The Diagnostic Box products and associated technology.”

What makes an all-female management team work?

“It helps that we all share the same values and standards. We find the female instinct really helps with looking after customers, we know how to support and nurture them. Nurture by nature.”

How was 2023?

When asked to sum up what kind of year 2023 had been for Advanced Keys, Kim said: “2023 was a mixed year and was unpredictable, with every month being different; we had good and bad ones. Overall, it was a good year. One trend we noticed was that locksmiths seemed to be buying stock when they needed it, instead of keeping stock. In the midst of the cost-of-living crisis we appreciate this is a sensible strategy. We are small and flexible so can adapt to changing customer needs.”

What would you say are you USPs?

“We are very proud of our extensive range of keys and parts, as well as our knowledge and the friendly and flexible service we offer. We want our customers’ businesses to grow and we will do everything we can to support them. Customer service is really important to us, and a job done right first time.”

What’s happening in 2024?

“We are always adding to our product range, it’s the nature of the auto-locksmith trade! Every new car that comes out adds another remote control to our range. We have launched a new website that is easier to use and has a ‘find a key’ feature. Customers can enter the car make, model and year, and it narrows down the search results to find exactly what they need. We don’t do a hardcopy catalogue anymore – searching online is just quicker and easier, and we help to save the trees.”

New Key Box Loyalty Scheme initiative

“We will be launching a loyalty scheme this year (KeyBox) which will entitle customers spending over a certain amount with us exclusive access to special offers, extra technical support and free training. We want to get closer to our customers and help them to thrive.”

Tel: 0121 749 5210

Advanced Keys is a UK-based supplier of wholesale car keys, key fobs, remotes and transponders to the trade, worldwide.

Created in 2003, Advanced Keys Limited was set up to provide automotive locksmiths with wholesale car keys, key fobs, remotes and transponders directly rather than from the vehicle manufacturer. Originally set up to supply the UK trade market, Advanced Keys has progressed to selling products to locksmiths and technicians worldwide.

Advanced Keys offers a comprehensive range of original wholesale car keys, remote controls and transponders (chips) along with aftermarket keys, which work with a range of key programming systems including the TDB1000 distributed by ourselves in the UK.

With large stocks of competitively priced wholesale car keys, transponders and remote controls, the locksmith can order the required parts and program them to the customer’s vehicle without delay, providing a fast and cost-effective service.