Money Makes Security ‘Go Round’
In the 1972 musical Cabaret, directed by Bob Fosse, actors Liza Minnelli and Joel Gray perform the song Money Money. In this classic song, Minnelli and Gray sing:
Money makes the world go around
…the world go around
…the world go around.
Money makes the world go around
Of that we both are sure…
Any security director who has ever received money to fund an unbudgeted security project – whether it’s a company event such as a shareholder meeting or other large gathering that draws significant numbers of non-employee attendance – probably can relate to what Minnelli and Gray sang about. Few events rival the thrill of learning that your security proposal, whether it’s planned or unplanned, has been funded. Suddenly, money will be supporting your project, and it will have proper staffing and good equipment…at least for a few years.
How are security directors finding funding for special projects? Who’s doing it well, and how are they doing it?
Seize the Opportunity
“Pay attention to your quotes and project changes,” recommends Dan Arenovski, CPP, associate director of security for Purdue Pharma Technologies, Inc. “Control scope-creep, and change orders. Compare your parts lists at completion and ensure you receive the proper credits. When these things happen, report it to your C-suite. Let them know you and your vendor(s) met the deadlines, or better yet, completed the project a few days early. Let them know you controlled the project well and received a credit if applicable. Even if it’s just a few dollars, it demonstrates that you managed their money well. That will go a long way the next time you have a project request.”
No one likes to have “old” technology or to be well behind the curve of similar companies, but more importantly no one wants to be exposed to risk. In order to successfully secure funds, security must excel in explaining the risks and showing how a particular project mitigates that risk, says Dan Arenovski, CPP, associate director of security for Purdue Pharma Technologies, Inc.
Arenovski also suggests that part of a well run corporate security program is about placing what is done into perspective for those in the C-Suite. “By changing our customer’s perspective throughout the year and helping them see what we are trying to accomplish – which is an efficient, effective and quality security program – we have a better opportunity to have our projects and budget requests approved,” he says. “So, I seize each opportunity with the C-suite and others in my facilities to explain what my portion of the security program is, where other companies’ security program’s are, where I want ours to be and why. We are simply educating others about our trade.”
Attending to details is critical, adds Michael Rinicella, corporate security manager for Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores Inc. “Leadership wants to know the ROI. But with the cost, they want to see a solid proposal. Can they drill holes through your proposal? Can anything come back and hurt us? Drill the holes yourself to see what could be wrong so that you prepared for any pushback,” he says.
The Hand and the Face
Rinicella also tries to turn needs into opportunities with other departments at his company who also might benefit. “My Dad used to say ‘one hand washes the other and both hands wash your face.’ While it’s a general idiom, implementing it can accomplish big things. It’s hard to find funding on your own without a partner,” Rinicella says.
“I try to find ways that processes can be streamlined,” Rinicella says. “Then I try to partner with various business owners like our risk, IT or facilities departments. For example, an overall upgrade to my access control system can help my distribution center meet CFATS mandates for our supply chain.”
|Harold Grimsley, CPP, director, corporate safety, security, and building services for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida recently turned an opportunity into a $238,000 savings for his company. “We saved more money because it was a good business decision,” he says.|
Harold Grimsley, CPP, director, corporate safety, security and building services for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida recently turned an opportunity into a $238,000 savings for his company, which has 6,000 employees in the state of Florida and a corporate campus with seven buildings in Jacksonville.
“Over the past three years we have seen a lot of change in an attempt to reduce our administration expenses,” he says. “Our budgets are shrinking. I have a smaller budget this year than I did three years ago, and it’s forcing me to find newer and better ways to achieve the same results.”
Grimsley had an off-site parking lot that was experiencing some minor crime. It was controlled by two security officers. Not having any extra funding in place, Grimsley resurfaced the lot, improved the fencing, installed IP surveillance cameras and added an access control system with intercoms. The total project cost was $150,000, but the security officers were no longer needed and the project was amortized over a five period. The savings was $238,000.
“We saved more money because it was a good business decision,” he says. “I improved my security and I saved the company money as well. It also gave us the ability to try out a new wireless technology. It was a win-win solution all around.”
Another benefit of the project, he says, was security showed its new value to the organization. “We showed how we were able to be even more creative, make some tough decisions and gain even more credibility within the C-suite,” Grimsley says.
Funding Success Tips
Darrell Clifton, director of safety for Circus Circus Reno, echoes other security director comments and shares his top five tips for funding success.
1. Amortization. Those who cannot get capital can sometimes work with vendors to spread expenses over several months. For example, a video system worth $50,000 can possibly be purchased one component at a time, depending on your equipment expense limit.
2. Share the expense. Some high-priced systems, such as an access control system, or security video system may be shared by another department. In a resort, for example, if the retail department wants to upgrade all of their cameras and recorders to reduce internal and external theft. This expense is easier to justify against the revenue department than security. Risk management can also be a useful ally if they want certain level of protections to protect against liability. They may even get assistance from the elevator company that also wants to reduce its exposure.
3. Use ROI. Any CFO can understand spending money to make or save money. For example, automating a process (like access control) that is currently using live humans is a great way to save money. If your payroll for a certain post is $100,000 a year and the equipment to replace the humans is $50,000, your ROI is six months. Any CFO will jump all over that. You can use this with internal theft, access control, guard shacks and many other applications.
4. Federal and private grants. Most government agencies, especially those dealing with emergency management or homeland security are eager to engage and ally with the private sector, and it may benefit you in training, preparedness and even special equipment for your facility. I have used grants and partnerships in one form or another and have been the beneficiary of a public sector grant every year for the past five years.
5. Revenue-generating. There are many ways security can pay their own way. The largest is restitution. Embezzlers, outside thieves and even accident scam artists can be charged restitution and in some cases forced by the court to pay it. This is money you and your boss thought you would never see. Using boots instead of towing cars in your lots puts that revenue into your department rather than the tow yard. Selling lost and found merchandise to employees or even on the Internet can be very lucrative. If it is donated, that is a write-off for the company. Those security departments that do their own training can consider providing training to outsiders. CPR, defensive tactics and other generic courses can be offered to employees and other properties. I even offer these classes to our sales department to sell to meeting and seminar organizers.
Funding Lessons from a Non-Profit
Funding for special projects isn’t easy, and often it’s more difficult for a non-profit organization. How do they do it?
The Saint Louis Science Center is a nonprofit museum deriving approximately 44 percent of its revenue from personal property tax collected, with the remainder of the operating revenue comes from grants, contributions and earned revenue. So it is extremely important that all available avenues are researched and reviewed for funding sources.
Jeff Barnes, security manager for the Center, tells Security magazine the first thing to do is to change the mindset. “Remember that we are emergency management, loss prevention and liability risk managers to assist with funding, instead of security officers. This helps open up a broader range of possibilities when seeking revenue. By applying this terminology when speaking or writing, we are more responsible for a considerable amount of concerns and issues instead of filling a security post.”
Every year new fundraising techniques come into existence, he says, but those funds usually come from the same sources annually. “We must always consider the usual fund sources,” he says. “Sometimes assistance is just as valuable as funds, because if police, fire, medical services, etc. are willing to help, this prevents you from using your budget to obtain the goals you are trying achieve.”
His additional recommendations:
1. Individuals are the largest source of funding for nonprofit organizations, so research the legalities of utilizing this possibility for collecting resources. Individuals annually consider charitable contributions to help off-set the income taxes they have to pay, and if they have a membership to your institution, this is worth pursuing.
2. Corporations give in order to get– exposure, publicity, community respect, market share. Many institutions have board members who agree to assist in decision making, so these executives can be a good source of support for new initiatives, special programs, and special events for your department. Always look for opportunities to form partnerships with their security department. “I recently received some gently used computers as a donation from hospital security department who received new computers,” he says.
3. Federal, State, and Local Governmentsagencies are willing to assist with requests if possible. “I am currently working on a First Responder Forum and several agencies have already started to provide their knowledge and expertise for this event,” Barnes says. “The City Emergency Management Agency has donated some emergency rescue bags, and others have donated certificates for tours and products. Agencies are willing to be subject matter experts and provide presentations to guests in areas that will benefit them on a daily basis as citizens and customers.”
4. Federated Fundsfrom other nonprofit agencies are always willing to assist with special projects, because they receive grants, and a certain percentage must be utilized for teaching and providing assistance for reporting purposes.
5. Foundationscome in a wide variety and should be researched. Research corporate and family foundations.
6. The Multi-Year Grantmay provide restricted funding for a particular project or program and must be managed to ensure the necessary documentation is completed. “If it is a government grant, there are grant writers who are willing to assist in completing all the necessary documentation and making sure the strict deadlines are met,” says Barnes.
7. The Capital Campaignis a multi-year fundraising campaign with a particular goal for new buildings or a particular project. “This is an excellent opportunity to submit your request built upon emergency management, loss prevention and liability risk needs to build your case,” says Barnes.
8. If your institution has collections, they may consider the National Endowment for the Humanities – Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections.“SCHC helps institutions meet the complex challenges of preserving large and diverse holdings of humanities materials for future generations by supporting preventive conservation measures that mitigate deterioration and prolong the useful life of collections,” he says.