“The jury is still out on whether the popularity of bundling in some places is a sign of new and better ways of working or a cyclical change brought about because in current times cost is often a priority over risk. There were strong supporters of some of the benefits of single service and some of bundling although not always on a strong evidence base. What this study has shown is that many organisations have an incomplete understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of providing security in different ways’. Professor Martin Gill, the leader of research undertaken by Perpetuity Reserch under the umbrella of the Security Research Initiative.
The new report titled Bundled versus Single Service Security: A discussion has been released today is based on interviews with suppliers and procurers of security services looks at the benefits and drawbacks of providing security as a ‘single service’ or as part of a ‘bundle’ alongside other facilities management services.
The report identifies a range of drivers that determines success or failure in outsourcing arrangements. This includes:
- The correct identification of the types of outsourcing that is going to work best
- The quality of the procurement process that is used to help identify the best supplier(s)
- The experience of the buyer in providing the type of sourcing chosen
- The experience of suppliers (and/or in-house sources) to provide the required service to a high level
- The extent to which this can be achieved cost effectively (not least compared to alternatives)
What clients say about approaches to security procurement?
Clients said they outsource their security for reasons that included:
- security companies are experts at security
- it is more cost effective
Clients said they preferred to keep security in-house for reasons that included:
- security contractors are not sufficiently competent
- they do not have expertise in sub-contracting work
Clients liked bundling for reasons that included:
- they felt it offered cost savings and financial flexibility
- it offered an opportunity to standardise practices and improve management practices
Clients chose not to bundle for reasons that included:
- they felt that bundling security with other services could lead to security being undermined
- they felt that bundling security led to a loss of control of the security function
What suppliers say about approaches to security procurement
Suppliers thought bundling was a good option for reasons that included:
- it reduces administration for clients, this can result in cost savings
- it can raise the quality of work of weaker parts of a bundle and allow staff to become more engaged with the wider organisation
Suppliers thought single service security was good option for reasons that included:
- it allows the client to choose the ‘best in class’ option
- managing single services can be more straightforward than complicated bundles
The research is based on in-depth telephone and face-to-face interviews with 44 clients and 28 suppliers of security services from a range of countries. The interviews were carried out in the first quarter of 2013. This was supplemented by an online survey of 145 clients and suppliers.
The research was undertaken by Perpetuity Research (which started life as a spin out from the University of Leicester) under the umbrella of the Security Research Initiative, which conducts a study each year into an aspect of security.
To download a free copy of the full report please click on the link to download
Bundled versus Single Service Security: A discussion