Contract Security Selection – Identifying the Right Partner
Selecting the best security officer service provider for your company is a decision that can significantly affect the safety, security and reputation of your organization. A physical security program integrated with technology solutions offers comprehensive support of a company’s employees and financial, intellectual and physical properties. The provider you select needs to be committed to the success of your security program and be seamlessly integrated into your unique organizational culture.
When looking to establish a partnership with a security company, it is important to determine the core elements of a quality-based contracting process that will form a mutually beneficial relationship between you and your security contractor. In a competitive market, it is important to even the playing field and thoroughly understand what you are getting for your dollar. A careful contractor screening process will ensure that specific performance standards appropriate for your organization are established and that you select the best security officer service provider suited to meet those needs. Key steps for contracting success include:
Define the Contracting Process– By defining the internal process and selecting your team, you are ready to address a key question such as ‘which departments will participate and what role will each play?’ Generally the decision-making team includes some or all of the following disciplines: Security, Human Resources, Procurement, Legal and Finance. Determine which individuals from these departments will be involved, who will make the final decision and how much time you will allow for the selection process.
Evaluate Current Environment and Establish Priorities– The potential success of the security officer service provider you hire depends on the evaluation of your company’s current environment and specific needs. To establish your priorities, it is important to first assess your satisfaction level with the current situation. Some questions to consider include assessing the positive and negative aspects of your current security program. Where is there room for improvement? Are you confident that your security officers are properly trained? What are the goals and objectives of your security program and how does your current program impact the achievement of these goals and objectives?
Define Desired Improvements and Define Program Expectations– After a careful evaluation of your current program, the team should itemize desired improvements. Compare your key objectives with those of other companies in the industry with similar needs. Keep in mind that you can specify many elements of a security program to allow a true “apples-to-apples” comparison of providers. Request a full explanation of medical benefits, training, holidays, vacations and uniforms to ensure that your needs are met and that all bidders are factoring in the same requirements into costs.
Wages are the most important cost factor in the overall bill rate, so creating a level playing field on the labor cost allows you to best assess the balance of price, quality and value represented by a contractor’s bid.
Determine the Security Contractors to Include– Utilize a pre-bid questionnaire to narrow your list and invite potential contractors to visit sites where service will be provided. Make sure that your contractor is licensed to provide security services in the states that service is required and that security personnel are licensed and certified. Find out how many years the contractor has been in business and if the company is financially stable. Is the company’s management experienced and stable and does the company deliver services to other companies in your industry of similar size and scope?
Issue Request for Proposal– An RFP should include an introduction that describes your organization and goals and expectations for your security provider. Hours of coverage, duties, equipment, uniforms, insurance coverage, payment terms, etc. should be included. Ask for contractors to submit resumes for management and potential account manager.
Narrowing the Field – Review the proposals to ensure prospective partners have provided comprehensive responses. The best contractors employ tools and techniques to assess their officers’ integrity, reliability, suitability to perform and customer service orientation. Determine employee retention rates and morale as a good contractor will minimize turnover and foster loyalty.
Presentations and Meetings– Your team should evaluate the responses and select two or three contractors to meet with and discuss your potential relationship in depth. You want to be sure your selected contractor has a clear understanding of the unique issues faced in providing services to your organization.
Finalize Partner Selection– After weighing the options, select your preferred contractor. Ensure agreement on all terms of the contract. An effective transition plan should detail the tasks to be accomplished and the parties responsible for completing each task.
By following these recommended steps, you are on your way to securing a quality security services partnership that will provide measurable results, add value and meet or exceed your expectations.