- Posted By Scott
- Sep 21, 2021
The Low-Cost Security Loop
When we started 3D Security Services, we knew that we would not win every (or even most) of the contracts to which we were invited to bid. No, this is not a defeatist attitude; rather, it is a realism that we were searching for a specific client - one who takes security as seriously as we do! Occasionally, the current business environment may be at odds with our mission statement, which is to “Raise the perception of Uniformed Security in the province of Ontario by consistently providing well trained, motivated, and professional guards”
There are many different ways that we seek to accomplish this goal, but one of them is consistent, never-ending improvement through (regular and free) training for the guards.
By doing this, we are seeking to break the LOW-COST SECURITY LOOP.
The low cost security loop starts off with the basic premise that most clients doubt the value of security guards and often wonder (out loud) why they are paying these people to “ sit on their butts”. A premise like this is just dying for validation and through their actions, and the premise & actions of (most) security providers, they eventually get it!
The aforementioned premise results in most clients paying scant attention to the actual training and performance of the security providers. The sole focus of the tendering and awarding process hinges mostly on the “bottom line”. In some cases that we are aware of, the awarding is preordained, and the process is simply to check the box of “due diligence”. The action of the above premise is that the lowest bidder, regardless of facility requirements or security provider performance/reputation, is almost guaranteed the contract.
So how does this action influence the premise of the security providers? If they know that the price is the driving (and perhaps only) factor, they may then decide that it is better to win a contract and make 0.35 per hour rather than not win - they will look for ways to cut corners and costs.
The action from this premise of the security provider is that, at best, they will most likely be providing an unprofessional & untrained guard that will accept the position for minimum wage. The result of this action is that there will be a high turnover of staff at the property and guards will accept the position only while they look for better employment. At worse, there are reports of other, perhaps less acceptable, methods that companies may use to increase their profitability (such as charging clients for times when staff is on break but deducting the time from the employees pay).
The result of these actions on the part of the security guard and company is that they have now proved the premise of the client. Clients can now showcase high-turnover rates and low-performance as justification to slash the security budget even further. In one case, we were asked by a potential client to eliminate a service from our contract as he did not want the other stakeholders to get used to having proper security in place because “they could not afford it in the long run”.
The very nature of a loop is that it will keep repeating itself until acted on by different factors, such as a highly publicised disaster or crisis. Until that time, they will keep repeating the same actions over and over and expecting a different result.