Retail crime is at an all-time high, costing business £613m, and a new report says that the logistics/supply chain sector is now ‘ripe for exploitation and presents many opportunities for organised crime.’
We’ve asked security expert Cusack Gordon to give us his 10 Timely Tips…
Getting help with your security is obviously important – but it’s not as easy to do as it initially appears.
The first questions people normally ask are: ‘What should I look for in a security company?’ and ’What things do I need to consider?’
As with most things, time spent in preparation is never wasted. Or as President Lincoln put it: “Give me an hour to cut down a tree and I will spend the first 40 minutes sharpening my axe.”
1.Beware the ‘catfish’.
An impressive website is no indication whatsoever of a company’s ability to provide a service, it’s simply evidence of their ability to employ a good designer and copywriter!
2. Check them out! Do they have the resources to deliver what their marketing says?
Certainly study their website, but also try a separate Google search and see what other people are saying about them. And verify how long have they been trading.
3. Is the management topheavy?
Their executives will not be there when you need emergency cover at 3.00am! So while there may be an impressive list of executives with equally impressive CV’s, be wary of the cost of retaining those executives as there is a limited amount of profit available. Top-heavy executive boards will have a negative effect on the wages to the men and women on the ground.
4. Don’t assume that the company charging you more is going to pay the guard more. Ask if their policy is to meet or exceed national minimum pay rates.
5. Don’t judge a company on the military-like images of uniformed guards they display – ask if they would be flexible enough to wear a uniform of your choosing. It’s a test of their customer focus and attitude if you suggest making the security male and female wear pink! I am being tongue in cheek here but I hope you accept the point: it’s about your company needs not the security company’s image so test their attitude on this before committing.
6. How forward-thinking is the company?
What evidence is there that technology is being used to improve your service and or reduce your costs? And ask for evidence of a recruitment strategy or inhouse training programme.
7. Just how much are they promising in order to get your business?
Optimism is often created out of naivety and their lack of experience can hurt your business. It’s important that the company you choose can comfortably meet your needs. Ask for some examples of how they have met client bespoke requests in the past.
8. Big fish, small pool. Small fish, big pool. – Are they a good fit with your business?
Find out how easily you could speak to a decision maker.
Where will your business be regarded in their ‘food chain’?
Look at their existing customers and ask yourself ‘Where would my company sit in order of priority compared to the clients on that list?’
9. Be wary of companies that appear to have suddenly taken on a great deal of new business.
Their sales team might be impressive, but the workforce may not be able to meet demand! Rapid growth problems could adversely affect their ability to deliver your service.
10. ACS accreditation is not a guarantee of great service.
Always ask for references and examples of the company’s remedial procedures for when something inevitably goes wrong. Check how simple is it to arrange extra cover or make a complaint? Is there a customer complaints or comment section prominent on their website, for example?
Cusack Gordon is managing director of national security experts Leisuresec plc.