“I recently had the pleasure of speaking on the Security Guarding: blueprint for the future discussion forum at IFSEC International 2014, the largest event for the security industry in the UK, alongside five other influential industry leaders. Brian Sims, media solutions manager at UBM Live Security and Fire Portfolio, chaired the event.
“We discussed a number of interesting and important points in the hour-long session, beginning with the perception of where the security guarding sector is now following several years of significant change. With business licensing imminent, the ongoing march of technology and talk of sectorisation, we reviewed what the guarding sector does and should look like, whether present margins are really sustainable, and how the sector will develop in the next five to 10 years. We then went on to discuss what’s being done to recruit and retain the specialist managers of tomorrow and offer them a defined career path, how the sector’s customers view present developments, and what best practice ought to be going forward.
“Of the topics we discussed, I am extremely passionate about the development and retention of up and coming talent within the industry, which we all have a responsibility to promote, and moving our industry to become a trusted partner to our customers.
“I spoke at length about how the industry might better flourish in ongoing tough market conditions, by further professionalising its image and embracing a different approach.
“Traditionally, the industry has been very much a commoditized market, with single figure net returns, and our work being based on input specifications in delivering a selot number of hours per week.
“I am sure you will agree that margins are unlikely to ever go back to the levels they were some 10 or 15 years ago, despite the green shoots of recovery the UK economy has seen.
“In order to survive as an industry and attract talented professionals, we need to move away from the historic input specifications and look to educate our customers about the benefits of using a professional security company to review their security needs. We need to understand each business opportunity, define their expectations, understand their risk and propose a solution to mitigate their exposure with a model based upon price and an output specification. In doing so we will deliver key value and become an intrinsic strategic partner to our customers whilst delivering real tangible benefits.
“Servest Security has been delivering this model over the last 12 months with great success. Much of our growth in the past year, which has been well above industry average, has been through offering a complete security solution. Fully self-delivering, means there are no business delivery barriers. We have become a trusted partner to our customers through really understanding their needs and driving significant value. Over the past 18 months Servest has been heavily investing in this model from developing our fully accredited ARC to investing in R&D and leading edge technology.
“One final but important part to play in this model, and within the services sector in general, is transparency. A key success within the Servest business has been the development of our customer portal delivering real-time, accurate management information about the services we deliver on site. Our customers get data delivered to their fingertips, which builds their confidence in Servest as their trusted security partner.”
Michael began his career in the industry as a security officer some 18 years ago and quickly progressed through the ranks, holding senior management positions for SME and PLC businesses and delivering total security solutions across various sectors.
Michael has achieved numerous successes in his career ranging from significant business growth by understanding Servest’s customers’ needs to the delivery of service excellence. He is passionate about service delivery and exceeding customers’ expectations while focusing on engaging with the team at every level.
His ambition is to develop Servest’s security division to be a top 5 provider while having the most highly motivated team delivering and exceeding Servest’s clients’ expectations.
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