In his latest blog for Infologue.com, Alan Chua of Concorde Security Pte discusses the private security industry. Alan writes: “Last month, in my first blog, I noted the similarities between the Security marketplace in Singapore in 2015 when I transformed my traditional Guarding business to a leading provider of technological solutions, to that of the UK. A clear desire and a need to innovate, alongside the gradual acceptance of the reliability of technology are factors that prevail across both of our markets. However, as well as our comparative needs, I also see the same uncertainty and trepidation that holds us back from making that first bold step into this brave new world.
“As I stated previously, Singapore’s drastic shortage of manpower provided us with a clear and compelling case. Yet despite this, I still encountered resistance to change, a fear of the unknown, a reluctance to move away from tradition. I could demonstrate quite clearly that our unique “IFS” solution would reduce manpower requirements, would drastically reduce cost, and would in fact increase levels of protection rather than equate to any increase in risk. Yet despite all the evidence in our favour, I still found it difficult to overcome the inherent fear of change. A change that will, however, inevitably come.
I notice from Bob Forsyth’s excellent blog, as he looks at the speed of adopting new technologies within the UK security marketplace, he asks: “Is it me, however, or does it always feel that our sector is late to the party, and when it gets there it wants to go home early after a coke?”
“By the nature of what we provide, and our desire to protect, we must of course ensure that any change to our existing situation does not have a detrimental effect on that protection. It can not lead to an increase in risk. I understand the need to be cautious. Any change must be based on solid evidence to give the user that assurance. It is this point that can therefore be the stumbling block. Generally innovative leading technology is as defined because, by its very nature it is new and different. It can disrupt the status quo, and not everyone is ready to take that big and potentially risky step
“In Singapore I was in the fortunate position to be able to talk with existing guarding customers who had trusted me with the security of their buildings for many years. I was able to convince them that moving away from traditional security guarding was not a risk and would in fact offer a better solution. I had taken the decision to disrupt my own business. I had taken that step because I knew it was the correct one and with the existing trust of those customers we could then demonstrate this new approach to the wider marketplace. Step by step and through selected trialling of our systems we were able to show the real difference our IFS solution offered. The proof of our IFS solution was then there for all to see. The savings were real, the benefits of the technology and the added value were proven. Since those early days we have made great progress and now our IFS solution provides cover to over 140 addresses across Singapore.
“The data that we gather from our IFS vehicle across the country proves extremely valuable in analysing our response requirements. It also allows us to understand the exact nature of those activations. In fact, across the last 4 months we looked closely at the number of activations our teams received against those that warranted an Officer to attend. The results are quite an eye opener. As you can see on the below graph, a response was only required to 0.15% of the overall number of activations (high Risk).This was the only time that a security Officer was required to intervene or take action. Of course, this response was then provided immediately by our team.
“These figures have led many customers who employ full time officers to question the value of having a person employed on site who, it can be argued will only be required to intervene or take some form of action in a security capacity less than 1% of their actual chargeable hours. Now I know that some will argue that the true value of security is hard to define as good security by its nature will result in little or no activity, however, if technology is accepted as the provider of “good security “then why should we not invest in it and ensure we have the correct response in place to respond on the 0.15% times that we need human intervention? In reality, we do not need to employ someone to be on “standby” Let’s get the Officer trained and alert ready to analyse the information and respond correctly when required. This is our real human strength and the area that we need to focus on.
“As I now introduce Concorde’s solutions to the UK I am sure we will receive a response similar to that of Singapore two years ago. I wouldn’t expect anything less. However, I would reiterate Bob Forsyth’s point that as an industry, we cannot afford to sit back and wait. By all means, proceed with caution, but, I would urge you to welcome new ideas with enthusiasm, trial them, test them and then be sure to embrace them.
“This party is in full swing and you should not want to miss any of it!”