Bob Forsyth, the Managing Director of MITIE Total Security Management (TSM) reveals his top five priorities for the security industry in 2014. Bob Writes:
“With the new financial year upon us I’ve been thinking out my priorities and concerns for Mitie’s security business over the forthcoming year; the developments that will have the biggest impact on us and what decisions I will make to secure another successful year of growth.
• “Talent management. Keeping great people and attracting new talent is something I’m passionate about – it really is essential the industry attracts those with an enhanced skill set. It’s a big issue for everyone, and we are implementing programmes to nurture our talent and build on the successful initiatives Mitie already has.
• “ACS and new licensing legislation. I’m keen to further understand where the new approved contractor scheme (ACS) scheme fits with the new business licensing regime. To prepare for the 2015 legislation I will need to understand the effects the accreditation will have on the sector. Demonstrable benefits are vital if this is to be implemented smoothly and the private security community are to see the value. I don’t know the answer do you?
• “Does economic recovery imply improved margins? We must not assume that now the economy is picking up that our margins will aswell. While we see new revenue investments being signed off cost efficiency will remain a key priority, so I predict little change in base margin. This makes the right mix of security services key, ensuring that technology supports people-based services. Our strategy will ensure value for money and a risk based approach to the sector overall.
• “The technology effect. Technology has already played a major part in re-shaping our industry. I’m always looking for the next technological initiative to make our business run more efficiently and deliver smart thinking. Smart phone technology is going to be critical to incident capture, trend mapping, and how effectively we run our contracts. I believe that quality data is the key ingredient in understanding trends.
• “How do I get my business to stand out from the crowd? What constitutes innovation within the security sector is an ongoing debate. One man’s innovation is another’s added value. We have shown our innovation around technology and software. However, not all innovation involves technology. This year our innovation will also focus on driving a more sustainable buying culture in our industry, which will in itself develop the delivery of security and how it can enhance our clients’ businesses.
“I’m really looking forward to the year ahead and the challenges and business opportunities it will no doubt provide.I see continued growth with sustainable buying and clever thinking, with utilising data and implementing technology at the core.”
With over 17 years’ experience in the security industry, Bob is a proven achiever at a high level. He is a strong relationship builder who is financially astute with excellent negotiation and communication skills, with the ability to work with people at every level. A team player, Bob is able to lead by example.
Bob was promoted to the position of Managing Director of MITIE’s security business in April 2010 after several notable achievements since joining the company in 2004, including his win of the prestigious MITIE new business award.
Having successfully implemented the merger with Initial Security in the Southern region and developing a profitable part of the business, Bob has continuously worked towards expansion including the implementation of the response service, and has significantly contributed towards year on year growth. In June 2009, Bob initiated the launch of the business’ total security management ethos; to take an integrated risk-based approach to security, incorporating people, technology and consultancy services.
Bob continues to move the business forward and has delivered record EBITA profit. He has increased business retention and launched new services lines including lone worker, void secure, employee screening, and security risk and business resilience. Under his leadership, MITIE’s total security management business has grown into an organisation with a turnover in excess of £280m. He takes every opportunity to promote MITIE’s presence within the industry through his involvement with industry bodies such as City Security and Resilience Networks (CSARN) and the British Security Industry Authority (BSIA).