Bob Forsyth – Output spec: the only way to become truly resilient to risk

Bob Forsyth - Managing Director of MITIE Total Security Management
Bob Forsyth - Managing Director of MITIE Total Security Management

Bob Forsyth, the Managing Director of MITIE Total Security Management (TSM) introduces his eighth blog on Bob writes: “As clients become more risk aware, an output specification is becoming more widely accepted for purchasing security. This format has been used in other sectors for a number of years but because security was traditionally based on hours/positions needed an input specification format was traditionally used.

“This input specification format, in my view, has led to a more commoditised approach to security and one that doesn’t prioritise risk in the way it should, and in a way has restricted the effectiveness of security.

“Now risk is the key factor in the way security is purchased and reviewed. It is becoming the preferred way in which to plan and work.

“Risk is now reviewed differently and reflects the client’s willingness to accept risk and use resources more effectively, for that very reason I believe output specification will become more accepted and implemented as the best way to purchase security.

“An output spec model brings advantages to clients due to the risk-focused nature of the review that takes place scoping the entire risk of a location rather than focusing on a task-led approach.

“For an output spec format to work, a client has to have full confidence in its supplier and take a partnership approach in the truest sense of the word. An output spec model will only work if this is the case, as they are making it clear that the risk that the supplier has accessed and interpreted sits with them, and the supplier will have full ownership. That very reason is why it is not currently a common model.

“When considering an output specification, clients must evaluate their risk vs. their spend, and their spend vs. the security effectiveness. The utopia of an output spec is that a client receives more effective security for the same or reduced spend.

“I believe it is important to raise awareness amongst our clients of the benefits of using the output spec format. Forward-thinking clients are not concerned with the level of margin security providers are achieving, but are more focused on the overall cost.

“Modern minds are changing on both client and supplier sides of the fence, but there is still some way to go to reach the utopia to benefit both parties.”

MITIE Total Security Management Website