In his latest blog for Infologue.com, Stuart Lodge, Chief Executive of Lodge Service, discusses securing exports. Stuart writes: “The UK has gained a strong reputation internationally for our security expertise. The Government lists a number of reasons for this including: “our agencies and police are amongst the best in the world; our strategies for tackling terrorism and crime are well regarded.”
“In February 2014 the Home Secretary launched the first Government Security Exports Strategy. This latest initiative recognises that “achieving a significant increase in security exports is important to industry as well as to the UK’s National Security Strategy. Security exports facilitate security cooperation and contribute to our prosperity”.
“UK security providers that can offer a full range of services across Europe – guarding, CCTV monitoring, investigations and analysis – are increasingly in demand by UK retailers and corporates to support their overseas expansion. For the user this ensures consistency in operational processes and systems….
“It also maintains common standards across the organisation. Whilst it can be a difficult process for a UK company to establish a business overseas, obtain the necessary licences and understand the local culture, HR and criminal laws especially in a different language. However, once those are done the rest will depend on the culture of the parent company and the quality of the local staff and management.
“Security companies from in the UK are seen as more independent than home-grown service providers, less prone to local influence – such as from criminal gangs. This is particularly the case for businesses pursuing new commercial opportunities in the EU accession states, quickly and securely.
“The Bribery Act 2010 probably reinforces the UK’s standing because of the trans-national application of the act for UK companies. Rightly described as “the toughest anti-corruption legislation in the world”, it allows for the prosecution of an individual or company with links to the United Kingdom, regardless of where the crime occurs.
“It’s tough but can help our reputation in the long term.”
“Opportunities arise from the range of security systems and processes that can now be operated remotely over IP (Internet Protocol) from the UK, particularly with improvements in telecoms networks globally. Obviously this approach is significantly easier and less expensive than establishing a local company to supply manpower locally.
“This is achievable where, as the service provider, you can monitor and manage premises, staff and vehicle fleets remotely through an intelligence network from a UK control centre.
“Almost any system that is web-enabled can be supported remotely – including other building services, such as lighting and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning). This contributes considerably to the total ROI (Return On Investment).
“Logistical chains and movement of goods in particular present a major area of vulnerability, both from the threat of hijacking as well as criminal collusion with drivers. Remote monitoring with GPS and two-way communication enables the intelligence centre to track delivery vehicles from the warehouse to the retail outlet, with the arrival viewed on live CCTV.”
Tips for International Security
“UK security managers can take steps now to protect multiple properties and logistics chains in international territories.
“Firstly, it goes without saying, understand the risks: assess the risk profiles of the key stages of your business processes in each country. They will almost certainly vary from one territory to another
“Next, an overarching international strategy is required, with ‘ownership’ at board level. ‘Tactical’ decision-making at country-level can then take account of local conditions and security needs.
“Consider managing security services over IP from the UK. It offers a high level of control and protection from one central location – such as for CCTV monitoring, access control and alarm monitoring
“Find a security partner: there is usually a steep learning curve for each new country, so seek out a specialist services’ consultancy experienced in overseas markets
“Finally, ensure regular security audits and vulnerability testing – and test purchasing for retail operations. It’s usually the failure of staff to maintain agreed security processes that is the biggest cause of losses to theft and criminal damage. So staff screening should be a priority area too.”
Opinions expressed by contributors and commentators do not necessarily reflect the views of Infologue.com or Interconnective Limited.