Buying Security Services: Competition

Security competition can be a very secretive process because providers and users rarely comment publicly on the service or outcomes, therefore artificially clouding the true state of what is competition and what is just names in a directory.

Competition for security products and services are determined by another providerʼs ability to deliver a similar or superior outcome or benefit to the buyer/user.

Price is not a competitive consideration for true benefits and outcomes.

Donʼt confuse the two.

If youʼre purely price sensitive then go to the yellow pages or stand in the street and ask for quotes.

You get what you deserve and you certainly get what you pay for.

Trying to drive down the price for the sake of driving down price is a reflection of your own misunderstanding of what is required and the benefits associated to a project.

If a project or task has no value added benefit or positive outcome, why are you spending money on it?

Use a contractor for standard, non-variable or extremely routine tasks and services.

Standardized pricing only applies in this example.

Competition is really the benefits and improvements offered by the various service options, not the limited amount of providers you include or found within the scope of your request for quotations.

Competition can be price based only if the standard or outcome is comparable with a cost reduction that is transferred as a purchase price discount for the consumer.

Competition is not a size and scale calculation.

A big company may well face competition from consultants and contractors, regardless of overheads and office space.

Many security providers face competition from internal security resources within companies.

The competition can be legitimate but it can also be falsely conveyed by internal stakeholders for fear of failure, looking bad, saving money, getting bigger budgets, justification of existence, etc.

There is still a lot of reservation or resistance to using external security services when in- house security is available.

This is a non-logical argument when many other departments and disciplines use external consultants on a regular basis for excellent results such as HR, finance, legal, marketing, sales, operations and so on.

Never assume you donʼt need external security support because you have “security” already.

As earlier mentioned, security is a very large category with multiple sub-sets and niches. Neither one person nor department can do it all.

You wouldnʼt expect your HR director to manage legal, finance, HR, procurement, management, marketing and operations.

Donʼt expect your security department to do it all either. Competition can also be manufactured.

Engagement of services or awarding a major project to a relatively smaller or cheaper provider can create a new competitor.

Be aware of your role in this as you may find yourself paying more for similar services from the same company in the future because of their appearance as a new competitor.

Conversely it can create choice in the market or add to your own choice of service providers.

If you really want to add value to the security market, make comment on standards or services experienced, give testimonials, share opinions (yes, within accordance with your communications and legal requirements) and remove the veil of secrecy associated with security products and services to ensure all are informed and true competition is introduced.

 

Tony Ridley

About The Author

Intelligent Travel

International travel health, safety, security and risk management services company. Created concept for services, raised capital, structured operations team and lead product development and role out, in support of key partnership, service agreements. Executive management of finance, marketing, vendors, compliance and reporting requirements. Safety and security subject matter experts and mentor for new hires and key support resources. Brand and services representative in various international and public speaking engagement, expert panels and other public forums. Created and delivered strategic marketing and communications strategy, in addition to management of all supporting marketing, information and intelligence systems. Proven ability to combine vision and strong business acumen with well-developed project management and leadership qualities to support business operations, risk management consulting, security operations management, business intelligence, vendor management and commercial security services. Former special forces and government/police professionals. Areas of expertise include: Security Operations Management, Executive Protection, Travel Safety & Security, Terrorism, Security Guard Force Management, Online Marketing, Video production and Editing, Marketing Automation, Open Source Intelligence, Counter Terrorism, Protective Security, Security Services Audit, Product Launch, Product Development, Management Systems Development, Website Creation & Management, Business & Marketing Analytics, Social Media Management, Content Creation, General Marketing