Bob Forsyth Video Blog – Combatting the commoditisation curse

Bob Forsyth, the Managing Director of MITIE Total Security Management (TSM) introduces his first video blog on (his seventeenth feature overall) in which he discusses commoditisation in the security industry.

Recent reports show that margins in the security industry continue to be a challenge. Bob Forsyth discusses why commoditisation has occurred, what can be done about it, and how it will shape the future of companies in the industry.

“A number of factors are at the root of commoditisation including changes in how security is bought, and how the issue has grown progressively worse over the last ten years. Industry legislation has also contributed by not encouraging enough differentiation which has resulted in a pattern of buying on input specification with decision made on price. As an industry we haven’t communicated the need to differentiate well enough.”

“The issues can be addressed through change; by educating the market on the benefits of security and how it can contribute to overall business objectives. Everyone should be embedding innovation and technology and look to delivering output specification based on risk.”

“Making these changes will assist us in shaping our industry and I also believe suppliers won’t be reliant on single service specialisms and will become integrated. Done correctly, this will provide the customer with greater flexibility and security will not be viewed as a commoditised purchase and will move up the value chain.”

Mitie Total Security Management Website

With over 17 years’ experience in the security industry, Bob is a proven achiever at a high level. He is a strong relationship builder who is financially astute with excellent negotiation and communication skills, with the ability to work with people at every level. A team player, Bob is able to lead by example.

Bob was promoted to the position of Managing Director of MITIE’s security business in April 2010 after several notable achievements since joining the company in 2004, including his win of the prestigious MITIE new business award.

Having successfully implemented the merger with Initial Security in the Southern region and developing a profitable part of the business, Bob has continuously worked towards expansion including the implementation of the response service, and has significantly contributed towards year on year growth. In June 2009, Bob initiated the launch of the business’ total security management ethos; to take an integrated risk-based approach to security, incorporating people, technology and consultancy services.

Bob continues to move the business forward and has delivered record EBITA profit. He has increased business retention and launched new services lines including lone worker, void secure, employee screening, and security risk and business resilience. Under his leadership, MITIE’s total security management business has grown into an organisation with a turnover in excess of £280m. He takes every opportunity to promote MITIE’s presence within the industry through his involvement with industry bodies such as City Security and Resilience Networks (CSARN) and the British Security Industry Authority (BSIA).

A member of the Institute of Directors (IOD), the Security Institute and Resilience Industry Suppliers Community (RISC), Bob is championing the development of the security industry from a guarding-focused, low-end purchase, to a risk-based, technology-driven industry, and plans to work closely with the BSIA and his peers to accomplish this. Bob is passionate about the security industry and enjoys speaking at events such as TINYg in New York, CSARN conferences, and various other security and risk events.

Bob writes a regular blog for the internet news provider to share his vision of the industry’s future. He is also an avid tweeter; taking to the social media site to both promote his ideas and listen to others from around the industry.

In his spare time Bob enjoys sports and is a devoted West Ham fan. He also appreciates current affairs, military history and travel.

Opinions expressed by contributors and commentators do not necessarily reflect the views of or Interconnective Limited.