Solutions Versus Bill Rates

I am somewhat surprised by how most of the security industry operates, specifically in regards to asset protection. In many instances the stage is set, the security program has been established and periodically an RFP is being issued to see if there is a supplier that can beat the bill rates. There is room to emphasize some added value services but that only seems to contribute to a small extent of the final decision. Good security suppliers are able to perform as partners and can add more value if permitted. I am not disputing the knowledge and experience of the security directors. They often have a good handle on specific security requirements and know how to ensure these requirements are met. I am merely suggesting that a different approach could be beneficial. Perhaps a different set of eyes or a diverse angle that could help see security concerns and solutions in a different light. Is there a new process or technology that could enhance the existing security? Video monitoring, analytics, warning messages given through camera systems, drones or robotics are just a few alternative options. Is there a way to change the operational processes in order to simplify security requirements? In one instance, a provider of logistic services was able to limit the time slots for pick-up and delivery to a warehouse leading to a reduction in guard hours. This will only happen if the client takes a step back and has an open mind to discuss their operations and related security with a partner. Lately several customers have been more open-minded and discussed security without the strict confines of a standardized Request For Proposal. This leads to a different more holistic approach. Starting with the main security concerns and a security audit, different options are being proposed and evaluated. The goal is to find the best solution for the customer and not to maximize revenue. In many instances the cost is reduced by combining guard presence with system optimization. For one customer the coverage went from 6 guards around the clock to only 2 by adding a smart Remote Video Monitoring solution. The yearly costs dropped by 40%. This allowed the supplier to maintain a healthy margin in order to compensate the remaining guards properly and ensure high quality. This is the way to counter the race to the bottom in a largely commoditized market. I just hope we will be given the opportunity to provide solutions to customers, instead of only price in a predetermined setting.

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