Do Tight Budgets = Loose Security?
Feature articles and columns not in this month’s issue include:
- Criminals Face Downsizing Due to Slow Economy
- Organized Crime Cuts Capital Spending
- Gas Prices Affect Hacker Activity, Reducing Attempts 25 Percent
- Copper Theft Declines Due to Sympathy for Construction Companies
Recession "speak" puts all budgets under scrutiny, including yours. But criminals will not have a recession and we will not be publishing the above named articles.
How can your organization best mitigate risk when resources are being frozen or reduced? We asked members of our advisory board and industry experts to share their strategies for coping in tougher economic times.
Recession-proof, Or Not?
Some businesses that we perceive as recession-proof, such as gaming, are not. Gaming receipts are down across the , including casinos. Maria Chadwick, director of surveillance at the Wynn Las Vegas has been asked to reduce spending in the middle of a two major projects; the new construction of the sister hotel and casino, the Encore, and the renovation of the Wynn surveillance center. Chadwick believes that being proactive, reevaluating options and presenting the business case for security project spending is the key to success in managing enterprise security.
When asked of Chadwick if she had renegotiated existing service or monitoring agreements with suppliers, she shared, “We planned in advance for upcoming changes to our service agreements in order to minimize any operational impacts when the contracts expired. We knew our camera warranty was ending, so we looked at the pros and cons of renegotiating the contract; in the end we chose to not renew the contract, as it was cost prohibitive. We determined it was cheaper to repair the cameras in-house with a shorter repair window,” said Chadwick.
Chadwick, however, does not have the opportunity to cancel any Gaming Control mandates. “However, rather than extending timelines for projects, we have had to reevaluate lower priority projects to determine the necessity of additional coverage against cost. In some cases, the benefit of enhanced coverage did not outweigh the associated cost. Alternative measures were then explored, such as realigning the existing coverage to obtain similar results.”
Chadwick has advice to offer to her peers regarding budget management and/or interfacing with the financial leadership at their organizations. “Have a clear and concise presentation and ensure that when you approach Management that there is a true reason for the expenditure. Give Management all possible alternatives to accomplish the project with multiple options. Always keep in mind that your department is just a small piece of the overall picture. Maintain a levelheaded approach and listen to Management’s concerns. You may not be aware of other business demands or concerns and there will be times when you need to take a more flexible approach with departmental projects,” she said.
LP Management in a Recession
David Gorman, retired VP of loss prevention at Wal-Mart, had corporate-wide responsibility for risk control, quality assurance and loss prevention. Now the CEO of David Gorman and Associates, a consultancy, he shares his experience of managing loss prevention in a recession in an article titled Securing Management Support for Your LP Initiatives in Difficult Economic Times.
Gorman encourages security leaders to ask themselves the right questions regarding their loss prevention programs and spending including:
- Are there aspects to the current store LP program where expense can and should be reduced? Are these reductions temporary or permanent?
- Are there new initiatives or equipment/technology rollouts, which can reasonably be postponed until the company’s economic situation improves?
- Regarding those new initiatives, which really should be implemented now, how can LP show an ROI that will demonstrate the importance of an immediate investment?
It is critical for your success, notes Gorman, that security executives be seen as taking the appropriate measures prior to arbitrary cuts being dictated by others.
If you don’t go through this exercise, you create the risk that someone else will and in doing so not only hijack your security operations but worse, they may undermine your leadership.
For the full text of the article contact David at DGormanInc@aol.com.
Fortunately, a recession does not guarantee increased criminal activity. In the recent ABC News article by Geraldine Sealey: Will Recession Make Cities Dangerous Again? Experts Debate Whether Recession Will Return Crime to Cities. In the article, UCLA criminal justice professor Eric Monkkonen says, “There’s no iron law linking (the economy and crime). This recession could see a crime wave or could not see a crime wave. It could promote crime, but it could be 15 years from now.” We’ll see.
What are your experiences during the
recession and how are you managing security? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.