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Security Services-The Ultimate Guide to Buying From Security Companies, Consultants and Contractors

Security Services-The Ultimate Guide to Buying From Security Companies, Consultants and Contractors

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Published by Tony Ridley
The ultimate guide and inside take on buying security services from security companies, consultants and contractors
The ultimate guide and inside take on buying security services from security companies, consultants and contractors

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Tony Ridley on Feb 25, 2011
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Security Services: The Ultimate Guide to Buying From Security Companies, Consultants and Contractors Email for comment

or advice

Security Services

© 2011 All Worldwide Rights Reserved

The Ultimate Guide to Buying From Security Companies, Consultants and Contractors
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The Ultimate Guide to Buying From Security Companies, Consultants and Contractors Email for comment or advice

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted for resale or use by any party other than the individual purchaser who is the sole authorized user of this information. Purchaser is authorized to use any of the information in this publication for his or her own use only. All other reproduction or transmission, or any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any informational storage or retrieval system, is prohibited without express written permission from the publisher.

LEGAL NOTICES: While all attempts have been made to provide effective, verifiable information in this Book, neither the Author nor Publisher assumes any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, or omissions. Any slights of people or organizations are unintentional. If advice concerning business matters is needed, the services of a qualified professional should be sought. This Book is not a source of business information, and it should not be regarded as such. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering a business service. If expert business assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. As with any business advice, the reader is strongly encouraged to seek professional business counsel before taking action. Published by: Tony Ridley PRINTED IN THE AUSTRALIA, DISTRIBUTED WORLDWIDE. © 2011

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Table of Contents
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Introduction
For many years I have had clients and colleagues ask me the best tips and advice for buying security services. For many years I have tried to balance the advice between the practicalities of purchasing and educate the buyer as the same time as to why buying security products and services is much different than many of them expect. Here I have laid out all the most important observations and recommendations after many years of working in both commercial and corporate security roles. Some will not be happy that I have given away secrets and short-comings within the industry but those that complain the loudest are most likely those holding the industry back. Many will nod in agreement and be happy with the time that has been saved in having to educate each customer or client as to why security products and services can be different. They will also be happy that the client now comes to them prepared to cut immediately to discussions on what they want to achieve and the very best way to achieve it and not obsess over the administrative elements of the deal from the very beginning. I have noted all ugly practices likely to be encountered but it may seem I have omitted to comment on the best practices enough. The assumption has been made that the ugly elements are the areas that buyers and users will be most wary of and therefore stall the progress of the deal. By laying out all these aspects it clears the way for honest and clear communications between the security company, consultant or contractor. So the provider can themselves showcase all the best practices and positive aspects of the service and the industry. This book should be read from start to finish and used as refresher each time a buyer is in the market for security products and services. Re-read the specific topics or issues prior to any meetings or discussions with security providers to ensure you have remembered and actioned the advice provided to ensure you get the right service, best deal and the results you want. Write yourself a checklist of things to remember or issues to watch when discussing a requirement or deal for the first time. Use this to evaluate the business and technical capabilities of your potential providers.
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Security products and services, if engaged and purchased correctly, can be a valuable profit center and not merely a cost of business or cost center. Know the difference and reap the rewards for you and your company.

What is “security”? Security means many things to many people. To further complicate the search for the ideal security service, company or consultant; security has many categories, sub categories and niches. A single search for “security” is likely to yield many unrelated results for your actual requirement. Furthermore, many security companies and professionals will offer multiple services or posses numerous skills all within the security sector. Buyers need to be cautious also, as some security providers will try to be everything to everyone and claim to offer everything security related. Buyers may need to do some preliminary research on their need before seeking a provider. Unfortunately you many need to seek key industry terms and technical definitions in order to find your best provider option as this is how many security companies and consultants advertise. In many locations, countries and regions, security is considered the absolute last resort as a job or vocation. Be mindful that the person you have providing your service possibly couldnʼt get a job in any other field, has limited skills and may be on the lowest relative wage. Even worse, are providers that staff the company with exclusively retired military, police and government personnel. Not only is much of their skill set not relevant to commercial security but also they have already given some of their “best” years to someone else and you may find your contract is more a retirement benefits package than a full-service security contract.
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This is not the case in every instance but you need to examine the company, the service the talent and the outcomes required very, very closely before committing. “Security” is not a product or service that people consume in their every day life, therefore the purchasing of security products and services are typically only purchased in the context of a business need. It is for this reason many are not very familiar with what it means or how it is structured until they are in need of a solution. Sometimes this timing is when the company or executives are faced with major threats or concerns that place their company and assets at risk. This is not good time to be learning the highs and lows of the industry and itʼs providers. Advertising Many security companies, consultants and service providers are poor advertisers and marketers. Some believe their service and brand to be too “elite” or exclusive to need or partake in advertising. This means some companies and providers are harder to find. It does not however mean they are the “best”. Local security companies may lack the budget or knowledge to advertise affectively. This makes finding local or smaller security companies very difficult for buyers. Most are still using traditional advertising channels such as newspapers and radio. Less have effective online advertising. Even those that advertise online promote or focus exclusively on their brand name, which may or may not have any relevance to the actual NEED of the buyer who is conducting the search. Try finding a security service/provider through Google, LinkedIn, the Yellow Pages, Bing, Facebook, Yahoo and you will soon see how impossible it is most of the time. Bigger, more impressive advertising does not reflect a better company or service. Many times, bigger advertising means bigger cost that has to be passed back to the buyer with higher fees and costs. Deceptive information or positioning may also result in those claiming to be international, regional or the whole country.
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Trade fairs and security industry gatherings result predominately in all the security companies trying to sell to each other as few real buyers buy at such events or attend in the first place. Like any product and service, glossy brochures and knockout videos are much easier to make than consistent, reliable and quality service levels. Remember this well. Buyers are at fault too. Many procurement or company representatives merely look across the street at the security company brand their neighbor uses, flick through the Yellow Pages or settle for the first security something they come across and attempt to coerce them into doing anything and everything security related. They then wonder why they are dissatisfied or the needs were not met. Beware the security company/ies that hangs around the socialite bars, clubs, embassies, sports clubs, private schools and the like praying on executives during their family or down time in order to make a sale. An office location within a prime real estate district is not reflective of a security companyʼs service, quality or standards. More often than not it is just the result a bad marketing plan. Even worse, an expensive overhead that must be re-charged to clients through higher prices. Expensive office space usually results on increased overheads, added staff commuting costs, additional staffing such as receptionists, onsite security costs and empty offices as services are typical delivered at the clientʼs location not theirs. Question a company that partakes in this practice without valid business reasons. It could reflect other poor capacities for business decision-making.

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