Security is a “boys club” for the most part.

Pedigree, alumni, friendship, patronage, connections, you name it; are rife throughout the industry.

Senior managers and executives may only be there because of a rank or title they had in a previous government sector role.

Some may have worked hard and deserve the role but it can be difficult to know if they are there merely as a place marker too.

Find out how the company is really managed and speak with others as to how effective it is or whether it really meets your needs or is more a self serving, self congratulatory internal system.

Be very careful of companies that have a thin middle management level.

Many security companies that provide manpower solutions such as guards invest little in the supervision and management of these frontline services. 

Ensure you understand and are comfortable with the various layers of management from the point of delivery to the stage of management and follow up as too little middle management will result in delays, frustrations, poor service and gradual decline of services due to lack of compliance and oversight.

Check on the various licensing, regulatory compliance and so on to ensure your not exposed directly or indirectly.

While many companies have “industry recognized” accreditation and credentials, again it is vastly different to quality and consistency experienced by the end user or buyer.

You canʼt improve what you canʼt measure.

Have clearly defined metrics in place for service, delivery, outcomes and standards.

Make them realistic and achievable, as any “gaming” of the process on the buyerʼs behalf will only accelerate poor performance.

Build in performance incentives and reward good service and results outside of the agreed standard.

If structured correctly, such achievements should have contributed to your cost savings, loss prevention or increased market share anyway so the cost will come from more sales not back office cost.

Punish poor performance or repeated failure quickly and fairly.

If you think all security products and services are the same, then your tender or request for proposal (RFP) will fail.

Security companies who employ foreigners or expatriates and donʼt include cost of living allowances (COLA-accommodation, schooling, health benefits, return flights, etc.), as per international business standards, have only just brought in better sounding security people who are on cheaper wagers than real managers and directors.

Their time in that location and with that company is limited.

Companies, who turn over such management talent every few months or yearly, are using this sub-standard practice.

No two situations and services are the same; if you create a document or need based on this prepense then you will fall short or fail.

Provide opportunity and scope for a security company or consultant to in-fact manage or direct a project rather than follow your checklist of tasks and date.

Consider the possibility that your internal security advice, experience and services are actually inferior to that of a good security company or consultant.

Many security companies are often mediocrely/poorly managed businesses operating on just 3-4% profit, especially those in the guarding industry, therefore they need to volume in order just to survive. Unless the management is specifically experienced or trained to be management, not just a senior subject matter expert, then taking anyone from police, military or government service and thrusting them into a management role within a security company is likely to result in at least a lag in performance or at worst outright incompetence. Even those that have undertaken management education such as and MBA or similar can still ruin a business’ management and commercial performance….this happens a lot in security management companies.


Travel Safety Experts
Travel Safety Experts

Travel health, safety, security and risk management experts