Stuart Lodge, the CEO of Lodge Service has agreed to write a monthly blog for Infologue.com. In Stuart’s first blog he looks at return on investment. Stuart writes: “For the commercial security sector, minimising business risk is more than about cutting the incidence of crime. Increasingly the priority is to reduce all associated losses and costs, including expenditure on security, and to show a clear return on investment.
“Margins in all sectors continue to be squeezed, and the cost of crime and protection represents an additional pressure that all organisations want to cut.
“The most recent figures from the BRC, British Retail Consortium, suggest losses to crime rose significantly again last year, according to the Crime Survey, by 15.6 per cent, to an overall figure of £1.6 billion.
“Expenditure on crime and loss prevention climbed by 7.1 per cent, to a median expenditure of £750,000 for each of the major retail organisations surveyed.
“With retailers’ margins under strain, major chains are not only having to provide a safe environment for staff and customers; the priority now is increasingly to focus on loss protection, to maximise the return from security expenditure.
“Systematic targeting of higher value retail goods by organised criminals has pushed up the cost of crime. This has required an increasingly targeted approach for security professionals to protect the most vulnerable products – such as electronic products, alcohol, meat, cheese and coffee in the case of the multiple retailers.
“In the corporate sector too, property directors and facility managers of financial and other services companies are starting to look for new levels of performance and accountability to justify their investment in security.
“The technical and commercial complexity of businesses today make them ever more vulnerable to crime: through their multiple supply chains, extended opening hours, and use of contractors on site. This demands a new level of integration of a range of security systems within the overall business process.
“The blend of security services is both high and low-tech. In retail it comprises CCTV monitoring, access control and item protection with guarding, investigations and civil recovery proceedings.
“A high order of management information is required to measure performance in a programme of this complexity. This includes incident reporting, CCTV recordings, data mining, and civil recovery records and has to be collected often from branch locations through the network and analysed at a central hub.
“In the case of the corporate sector the amalgamation of technology and manpower is challenging the reliance on traditional concierge and security services.
“The new level of centralised monitoring and control, with regular reporting and business risk analysis, enables precise identification of opportunities for further loss prevention savings. But it places new demands on security service companies to have the full range of relevant security competencies and technical capabilities.”
Stuart Lodge is CEO of Lodge Service, a third-generation family business that today delivers data-enabled security solutions and security personnel for the protection of people, property and business operational assets.
Lodge evaluates risk within the business cycle and develops strategies to reduce both loses through crime and provide a clear return on the investment from security. Measurable KPI’s are imperative in the demonstration of the strategy lifecycle.
With £20 million turnover and nearly 800 staff, Lodge has offices in eight countries in addition to the UK – Belgium, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, as well as South Africa..
Services include alarm monitoring and access control; manned guarding, loss prevention, mystery shopping and integrity testing, as well as an alarm installation and maintenance division. Lodge Service has a Cat2 monitoring centre in Accrington and a new ARC in Redditch specialising in video monitoring and providing business risk solutions through the use of a central intelligence platform.
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