What Factors to Consider When Choosing a Security Company | Security Risk Specialists

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What Factors to Consider When Choosing a Security Company

Protection of an asset, be that a private or commercial building, offices or a block of flats is a responsibility that one should not take lightly.  The fact that consideration towards private security is a factor highlights the probability that something is concerning enough that it should be addressed.  Throughout our lives we continually evaluate the most appropriate responses that meet our needs; this can be in the type of house or car we buy, the holiday we go on, which hotel we stay in or what kind of entertainment establishment we visit.  Though completely diverse at first glance they all offer similar ranges of satisfaction and experience.  Within each one a level of expectation is dependent on previous knowledge or experience, advice from others, our own perceptions based on visual appearances and, of course, what we can afford.

When we choose things to use or buy we must consider what we’re using it for.  A cheap hotel or car is great if funds are of a premium or it is simply a place to lay your head at night or get you from A to B.  You know the basics are there but are the locks on the door sufficient, do the alarms work, do you have to consciously do everything yourself and how safe or reliable is the building or will the vehicle get us to where we want to be?  What support do you have if things go wrong?  In comparison between the basics and more established locations or vehicles the levels of experience and reliability should increase with those expectations.  Employees are easily recognisable and share the same uniforms, training and standards are consistent throughout the organisation, support mechanisms are in place, professional advice can be sought and the thing runs smoothly and automatically with little or no input from the user.  Choosing the security company that will protect you, your employees, visitors and buildings is no different.

So what factors should be of primary consideration to you when identifying the most suitable security company in London?  No organisations have exactly the same security requirements and that is why your security plan should be tailored to individual requirements in conjunction with the security company you wish to employ.  From the outset this enables you to specify what it is you wish to achieve and they can advise you on the most practical, efficient and productive manner in how they will deliver that service.  An important aim is to build an enduring customer/client relationship established from trust, integrity, openness and performance.

Customer Service Focus

One of the most important qualities of an effective security company is the ability to inspire confidence. Their priority is the protection of the people and property upon which they are trusted and to instill peace of mind. The security guards should be inconspicuously alert and attentive but ready to provide assertiveness or empathy as the need arises.  As a client your expectation should be that the security company in London and their security guards are knowledgeable, experienced and professional in their appearance.

Reviews & Recommendations

The most effective way of ascertaining the suitability of the right security company for you is by its reviews and credibility.  These can be obtained via a number of means and should be reasonably up to date.  You should make good use of Google, the company’s own webpage and social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook in trying to know more about a company’s reputation.  Long gaps in customer or employee reviews may highlight a number of issues including the lack of motivation by staff to be bothered to stipulate how they view their employer or in terms of a customer angle that the services just haven’t been used for a while or were non-descript.  Those security companies that publish, or allow to remain on view, negative or neutral feedback show a level of integrity that portrays openness and conversely, confidence.  An acknowledgement by the company on the review is a positive sign that they in fact read the reviews and that they have taken the time to respond.

Of course, in addition to written reviews the perfect way to ascertain the credibility of a security company against its portrayal on a website is recommendation by word of mouth.  People are great communicators and are often keen to verbalise their experiences; good, bad or indifferent.

Corporate and social responsibilities to staff, customers, suppliers and the community as a whole are integral to trusting partnerships.  Committing to conducting business in a manner that achieves sustainable growth whilst meeting legal, moral and ethical values are necessary in a multi-cultural society such as London.   You can also check out the company’s Better Business Bureau rating to clear up any doubts.

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/12133096

What else should I look for?     

Relevant licensing from the Security Industry Authority (SIA) is legally required by all private security companies based in the United Kingdom.  Employees of those companies must also hold the correct licence for the type of security work they undertake.  In addition to these mandatory provisions there are other accreditations that set the top security providers apart from the rest and go some way to showing their attitude and approach towards the security environment.

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/security-industry-authority

Accreditations

  • The Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) provides a hallmark of the standard within the security industry through rigorous assessments.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/choosing-an-sia-approved-contractor

  • “ISO 9001 Certified” means an organisation has met the requirements which defines a Quality Management System (QMS) and evaluates whether that QMS is appropriate and effective.  Furthermore, it forces the holder of the accreditation to identify and implement improvements.

https://the9000store.com/what-are-iso-9000-standards/what-is-iso-9001/

  • CHAS and SAFE Contractor are examples of a number of accreditations recognised by Safety Schemes In Procurement (SSIP) which is an initiative introduced by the HSE aimed at avoiding the bureaucratic burden of repetitive competency assessment procedures adopted in the construction industry.

Accreditation to CHAS, SAFE Contractor or other schemes recognised by SSIP is often a pre-requisite to being awarded contracts for many clients. While some clients will still adopt lengthy pre-qualification procedures, the purpose of schemes recognised under SSIP is to demonstrate that the accredited company has been externally verified for basic safety compliance to avoid repeating the process on every tender.

https://www.msafe.co.uk/health-and-safety/chas/

A London security company is both likely and expected to provide the necessary security protection to diverse cultures and communities without prejudice.  Some communities are often more vulnerable than others when considering security threat assessments.  A small number of security providers have particular accreditations that reassure potential clients as to their commitment to those communities.  That said a lack of such accreditations does not mean that all other clients are any less protected by those companies.  An example of such can be accessed by the following link:

https://cst.org.uk/security/contractor-guidelines

If you are in doubt about accreditations or professional standing then contact those accredited organisations directly.

Security Expertise

The security company must be capable of assisting and guiding your organisation in identifying and implementing specific, specialized and bespoke security measures.  The ability, however, to offer a full range of security measures including static, mobile patrol or dog patrols, CCTV and concierge duties or close protection demonstrates the commitment of the security provider’s knowledge and expertise.  Can the company cater for your needs and do they have the range of skills that are required for specific locations such as office security, residential flats security or retail security.

Check, Check, Check!

Do your research and don’t settle for second best.  Challenge the security company on what it is they are advertising they can do as words and writing are easy.  E-mail them or even better, pick up the phone and speak to them.  A reputable company will be easily able to evidence their abilities and accreditations and it serves as a useful tool in getting the feeling of the professionalism of the company by the way they answer your call or deal with your enquiry.   Security guards can gain experience from various sources ranging from the military, law enforcement backgrounds or previous security jobs so ask the company what experience they require from their guards and how they train and mentor their staff.

Question the background of the management and what experiences they bring to the table.  Check to see if they display management profiles on their website and meet with representatives from the company to have a feel of their attitude.  A successful company should have strong leadership throughout its organisation.  This not only provides differing levels of management for tactical and strategic purposes but provides for good oversight.  Open lines of communication enables the efficient and effective response to changing circumstances.  A professional security provider must be capable of being contacted 24/7 and have the flexibility to adapt accordingly and fluidly to risk assessment changes.

In conclusion it is you who are paying for a service that is expected to be professional, reliant, possesses the utmost integrity and is capable of working with you to achieve your objectives.  They are not doing you a favour, you are doing them one by employing the security company that best meets the needs of your requirements and offers value for money.

If you would like to know more about available services then contact us for more information.

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