Security Guard Company Selection Checklist

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Customers should carefully consider multiple important factors beyond price when choosing a supplier of security guard services. In this article, Anthony Rumore, National Business Development & Marketing Manager at VSS Security Services provides a checklist of points to consider when evaluating security manpower suppliers.

From historical reputation and size of the workforce to the professionalism of the security guards or the company’s ability to use technology to enhance safety, the 10 points listed in this article help to identify the right provider of guard services.

 Ability to offer technology to complement security officers and enhance safety

Customers should seek out security providers that have developed or embraced software technology as a tool to make officers more valuable to the customer organization. Ask security guard companies about how they are using technology to enhance safety, mitigate risk or drive efficiencies.

Examples might be the use of automation and communications tools designed to boost the effectiveness of the guard force or even a custom solution that meets unique needs within a particular vertical market. Technology can also add value to facilities and risk management as well as legal, safety, engineering and building services departments.

 Stability of the company and size of the workforce

How long has the company been in business providing security services? How many operating offices does it have? What is their financial situation? Consider what liability coverage is provided – is it adequate for your needs? Does the company provide a hold-harmless agreement to the client?

 

Reputation in the industry and community

Make some calls to determine the company’s relationship with the local law enforcement. Inquire about state licenses, complaints and violations. Ask for proof of a working relationship with various minority subcontractors to be used when required by bid specs.

 

An effective operations and support team

Look for a company that supports its security personnel with a 24-hour communications center. Consider how the company handles transitions – is there a formal transition plan? Consider the local office management and staff, including their professional backgrounds, job duties and length of employment. Does the company provide an ample supply of uniforms, weapons and other equipment? What resilience plans does the security provider have in place to handle emergencies and national disasters?

 Professionalism exhibited by the supplier’s security officers

Visit the client sites to determine professionalism of a company’s security officers. Do the security personnel present a professional appearance and demeanor? Are duties being performed efficiently? Are work areas neat and orderly? Get the security providers to bring in 3 to 5 working security officers from various job sites to be interviewed and ask the company if they have the same high expectations and standards for its security personnel.

 Emphasis on client feedback and customer service

How does the company receive feedback on how it is performing? For example, are there customer satisfaction surveys? If dissatisfaction is expressed, what actions are taken? Ask to see letters of recommendation from clients and the public. Consider past client cancellations – ask for specific reasons and then judge the authenticity of the answers. Availability of value-added options beyond basic security guard services Consider what additional services you might need. Do the security officers have basic CPR and first aid training? What services does the company offer beyond “basic guard service?”

 

Hiring practices and human resources expertise
What are the recruitment practices – does the company recruit consistently from the military? What is the supplier’s background investigation process? Consider how the supplier ensures accurate payment of wages. Consider vacation and healthcare benefits and other employee programs.

 

Certifications and memberships
Has the company ever been certified regarding safety requirements by a client? How involved is the company in supporting national, state and local industry associations through active membership and sponsorship opportunities? The true measure of any security program’s effectiveness ultimately begins with recruiting the best people and equipping them with the best training. Skills can be utilized by providing a fulfilling professional development path.

 

To carefully evaluate security guard companies, be sure to compare them all using this simple checklist. Score the companies based on the strengths outlined above to truly evaluate the quality of the security guards and integrity of the company that you will be entrusting your security to so as to ensure you get the best value. If all of the information above makes sense to you, then VSS Security Services is the right security company for you.

 

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Property Managers & Security

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Property Managers & Security

Property managers, building security goals, tenant security needs, balancing technology and people, avoiding surprises, security costs and ROI

 

Defining Building Security
Security is a mindset that “encompasses security technology, security people, tenants, and geography.”

Different locations require multiple strategies, “For instance, in a downtown Phoenix office building, I expect to see cameras, a guard desk, or both. If I don’t, I’ll have questions about security. Then again, you might see less security in buildings located in surrounding cities and northern Arizona.”

Balancing Security
Security needs balance; different clients expect different kinds of security. “One client may want you to manage visitors carefully to guard against theft or workplace violence, while other cautions against a system so strict that tenants and employees feel uncomfortable. You have to balance these desires.

“You also have to balance security people and security technology. While we all rely on technology, it is important to have enough security people to make judgments about and to act on the data produced by VSS-Trax our real-time reporting technology.”

Avoiding Surprises
Security surprises can be maddening! There are many difficulties of integrating base building security & technology.

“Everyone says open buildings makes the integration of access control impossible. But even open systems sometimes don’t share enough key data points to allow effective integration.”  “When you’re buying technology, you must ask very specific questions about integration.”

A security officer’s knowledge level about technology can surprise a property manager as well. “When we first began integrating VSS-Trax, half of our officers didn’t know how to use the software.” “We incorporated specific training to make sure that all officers were trained before we installed new equipment.”

The Cost of Security
Property managers agree that buildings must execute a security strategy adequate to the task of mitigating a building’s security risks.

Depending upon the prevailing market rents for particular classes of buildings in certain locations, a property manager may or may not be able to recover security costs through rents.

The consequence is that you must have an appropriate level of security for the type of building, location, and client or you will not be able to lease the building. If you can’t cover the cost in the rent, you have to pay for it!

 

Return on Investment
The cost of security and the difficulties connected to recovering security costs in rents has led property managers to seek ways of creating a security ROI.

“In the long run, security is part of a building’s amenities.” “It increases the marketability of the property. New technology and top-notch guards give me a competitive advantage. That’s how I look at ROI.”

Technically, though, ROI means investing and earning a profit or return. For instance, today’s access control technology can integrate with environmental controls so that a building system can turn on heat or air conditioning in an office when someone cards in after hours or on weekends. The ROI comes from savings on utility bills.

“Security can sometimes offer opportunities to produce an ROI”. “But you have to be careful to take advantage of those opportunities without compromising security. Security has to come first, and sometimes a necessary security execution won’t produce ROI simply because it can’t.”

Shopping Center Security Best Practices Five Critical Considerations

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Shopping Center Security Best Practices Five Critical Considerations

Engaging the right security partner is critical for ensuring the safety and security of visitors in the shopping center or mall as well as the tenants occupying the stores. The following best practice considerations will help you select the most suitable security services provider for your needs.

 

1. Ability to Respond

Consider if the company has the manpower and knowledge to handle emergencies. There continues to be a rise in critical incidents at shopping centers both across the United States and internationally. Do they have additional resources that can be quickly deployed? Will you have access to a state-of-the-art dispatch center? Can you reach their dispatch center or senior leadership 24/7?

2. Reporting Procedures

What process is in place for communication? Can you receive real-time reporting and GPS tracking, or are there other types of technology available to you to stay on top of risk management issues? Also, be sure to review the vendor’s incident reporting procedures.

3. Industry-Specific Training

Providing security for a retail center is different than handling the security for other types of environments. Do they have shopping center-specific training and does it include topics such as:

• Disaster Response

• Fire Safety Officer (FSO)

• Terrorism Awareness

• Management of Aggressive Behavior (Verbal Judo)

• CPR, AED and First Aid

• CCTV and Command Center Operations

• Workplace Violence Prevention and Response

• Organized Retail Crime (ORC)

• Awareness/Prevention

4. A program that adds Value

Consider all of the ways a security partner can enhance your security program from a long-term perspective. Determining the value you will receive from a security partner requires an assessment of how their strategy will reduce risk, limit liability and lower the cost of the entire retail center’s operations – not just the hourly bill rate. While it may be tempting to have an initial-price perspective, a better way to value a spending decision is to look with an eye towards how the provider can help you achieve all of your goals.

5. A Customizable and Proactive Partnership

Before mapping out your security solution, the provider should become knowledgeable about your property, your neighborhood, typical shopping traffic and a host of other important areas so that they can make appropriate recommendations. Their plan should incorporate staffing levels, indoor and outdoor patrols, access points, security procedures, technology integration and other pertinent areas of concern specific to your property.

#1 Security Company in Arizona

 HOT OFF THE PRESS! Our Clients have spoken, VSS Security Services has been named #1 Security company in Arizona once again this year. We would personally like to thank all of our clients for making this happen, we are truly humbled and honored to receive it. Our dedication to excellent service will always be paramount.

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