- Posted By Scott
- Oct 10, 2021
There is a saying that many are familiar with and that is “GIGO - Garbage in, Garbage out” . Translated loosely, this means that incorrect or faulty inputs will always produce a faulty output. We would like to tell our readers that sometimes the opposite, “Garbage Out, Garbage In”, may apply when it comes to the tendering process in Condominiums.
Basically, if you are tending a security, cleaning, maintenance or any other service contract, because you are not happy with the service being received, then you must look at your tender documents to see what needs to be changed in order to satisfy the gap in service levels. If you are using the same scope of work to solicit new tenders, it is highly likely that the condominium's end result will be equally unsatisfactory.
At its core, the security reboot is conducting a needs analysis for the property to identify any gaps between the service that the contractor is providing and the service that the client is receiving. There are a few things that are important to make sure that this reboot is successful.
The first is clear communication - the tendering team must be clear on the services that they are expecting and detail it succinctly in the RFP. General statements should be clarified with a question and answer period to ensure that the service levels that can be provided are well defined and understood.
For the contractor, it is necessary for them to not only understand the security side of the business, but to also have some basic understanding about how condominiums work. In professional security, there is no such thing as “one size fits all”. The team members for the site should be selected and trained to allow them to succeed in their role.
For both the contractor and the client, it is important to ensure that the governing documents, or POST ORDERS, are professional and complete. This is a set of documents that should be drafted to highlight the duties and expectations of a security guard / concierge when working on site. Unfortunately, our experience has been that if this document even exists, it may be outdated.
Earlier this year, 3D Security was contacted by a brave Condominium Manager (Dave) who may have committed heresy by telling his Board of Directors “you get what you pay for”, followed by him asking us to bid on a Security Reboot.
We are pleased to announce that to-date, it has been very successful. For months before the contract started, our Operations Manager (Brendon) worked very closely with the Condo Manager to clarify and strengthen the post orders. It looks like he put over 50 hours into the development of this document before it was signed off by management/the board. As Abraham Lincon is reported to have said: “ Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax”.
Once the job duties and responsibilities were clear to both parties, one of our most professional concierges (Kat) was interviewed by the manager and found to be an excellent fit for the property. She is still there and I can say, unequivocally, that I fully believe that she has the respect of her team members, the residents in the building, and the management company (Regional). It is a rare week where I do not receive a complement of our services at this site.
Below are 5 quick recommendations when considering a security reboot:
1. Define Job Descriptions according to shift. As a rule of thumb, the day shift has more concierge duties, the evening shift has a mix of concierge and security, and the overnight shift will focus mostly on security.
2. Look for ways to attract and keep the best staff. Training costs hurt both the security and the condominium. Keeping a team together and motivated should be the goal of the security manager.
3. Identify the security manager for the contract. This will be the person that is responsible for giving the team the tools, skills, and motivation to succeed, as well as act as the liaison with the condominium for actioning concerns.
4. Look for a company that understands the nature of your business. We are trying to get away from the “us against them” mentality and move to being the condominium’s security partner - fully invested and a security company that understands how condominiums operate.
5. Look for value-adds from the security contract. Many companies have additional skills that may benefit the condominium and thereby solidify the partnership. In the case of 3D Security, some of the additional services that we offer our clients include: SecuredCondos.com software (custom developed software for condominiums), Security Audits and Risk Assessments, Emergency Management (development and training), WSIB First Aid for site staff, and our new application for Emergency Management: 3D Rapid Response.
So, to avoid becoming an example of the tired cliché defining insanity, use one of the habits of highly effective people and begin with the end in mind when developing the RFP.