Let’s face it: Interviewing numerous private security companies and reviewing a multitude of proposals can seem tedious, overwhelming, and even insincere. How can you really tell whether one security company is the “perfect” vendor or not? Getting a high volume of bids is only a small part of the solution, not the solution in and of itself.
When it comes to a management decision as important as security, it’s important to have insider insights and guidelines to help you select the right provider. The following questions provide a simple and effective way for you to discover important qualities and distinctions between private security providers.
“Security executives from Johnson Controls and Cisco Systems warn that managing service is vital to ensuring your organization is protected. Simply deploying security officers gives no guarantee that they are doing a worthwhile job or increasing the level of security on-site. It is therefore important for customers to ensure that their security provider and officers are focusing on key imperatives by establishing and measuring service standards.”
– 2010 Institute of Finance & Management
1. Do you provide an on-site supervisor inspection for each shift?
According to management expert and best-selling author Ken Blanchard, effective and proactive management means that “You can expect more if you inspect more.” This means that inspections should emphasize catching officers doing things correctly. You want to work with a company that praises the positive and uses redirection to improve performance. You want a company that’s able to list the standards they inspect, including uniform appearance, report writing, patrol procedures, and anything else relevant to the job.
2. Do you have an online training program for your officers?
Peak performance and responsiveness requires training, both in a classroom and on-site. However, the logistical challenges associated with the private security industry require that additional training programs are made available and managed online. Ask to see examples of online training courses offered to employees, and learn how officers are held accountable to passing online training modules.
3. Do you have GPS tracking systems?
The physical presence of a professional security officer is your greatest deterrent against crime. The presence of officers and vehicles must be strategically positioned and monitored. You need officers you can count on to be where you need them to be, when you need them to be there. GPS tracking systems encourages officer accountability.
4. Do you have web-based reporting that is accessible to security and clients?
Communication is the key to modern security services. Quality security companies use technology to provide real-time information to clients. Look for companies who are transparent, organized, and detailed. It also helps if you have access to daily reports. Ask to see examples of written reports so you can get a feel for their documentation standards.
5. Are you a certified Green company?
Green certification not only demonstrates a commitment to protect the environment, but conveys a serious desire to do business with like-minded clients. Look for companies who share your values. Common ground is a firm foundation for a partnership.
Ultimately, your satisfaction with your vendor will boil down to their ability to deliver on expectations. The best companies expect more from themselves than their clients expect of them, and those are the winners that you can trust to protect your most precious assets.