Infrastructure Security

Procuring security products and services

James Kelly, of the British Security Industry Association, discusses the importance of procuring a security supplier from a trusted source and shares some of the Association’s success stories.

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA), the trade body which represents the private security sector has a responsibility to advice end‑users and security buyers.

It’s important for them to remember to choose suppliers based on the quality of product. Business owners will always highly evaluate their company and be proud of what it achieves; this is why security to protect their company is a main priority.

Choosing security products or services from a member of the BSIA is your assurance of professionalism and quality.

The BSIA’s rigorous membership criteria means that when you choose a BSIA member, you can have confidence that you are entrusting the security of your organisation or assets into good hands.

The innovation within the UK’s private security industry is rapidly charging forward. With a wide variety of solutions available for adapting with changing security standards it can sometimes be difficult for businesses to narrow down solution options suited to their company.

Businesses can be tempted to buy security products and services based on the short term one off price, instead of thinking longer term with a solution that brings quality and is more likely to bring a higher return on investment.

Support for sourcing suppliers
The BSIA recently conducted some market research into company decisions when sourcing a new supplier. Results showed us that there is a lack of technical knowledge amongst the decision makers. Two thirds of respondents do not seek external professional advice when sourcing a new product or supplier potentially exposing their business to unwanted risk.

Professional advisors with in‑depth security knowledge can help to make the task of finding a new supplier easier. This type of external guidance helps businesses to identify the areas they initially thought may not need support. Security consultants are there to find a cost effective solution which will have longevity and lower the percentage of risks.

They factor in all aspects of the operation and design strategic security plans which take into consideration the building, on site personnel and assets. They can also be responsible for the project itself, managing suppliers and evaluating the system when complete. It is important that businesses work closely with their consultants all year round and not just to implement a new product or service. Regular meetings should be held to discuss any threats the business’ security system may face since being introduced and any new legal standards that may have been issued which will need to be met by the business.

Security consultants are available to give unbiased views towards particular suppliers and are adamant that products and services recommended are to only benefit the business in finding the perfect solution for their company.

One of the key factors that can have an effect on securing the right supplier is budget and how much money the company is willing to invest into a new security solution. With security being a priority for many companies, budgets can be quite substantial when it comes to re‑investing. Procurement processes can be a very long exercise as it can take time ensuring that the brief is well written and easily understandable for the suppliers wanting to submit tenders. Submitted tenders are usually reviewed by multiple senior members of staff before any decision is made; they are usually scored on the basis of cost, timings, practicality, quality and reputation.

Wise procurement
BSIA member – KABA have been successful in partnering with Hetras to implement a fully‑integrated ‘Mobile Key Access’ solution for health and leisure hotel chain Village Hotels, which have over 28 locations in the UK. In 2015 ‘Village Hotels’ were searching for an innovative supplier to reinvest money into the security of their nationwide chain of hotels; looking for the latest ideas and designs to suit their business needs and standards.

KABA were the chosen supplier for the hotel chain due to the high quality and intense research of the product and longevity it will bring to the business. British society is becoming more digitally lead due to the increase of smartphones users. Over two thirds of the population own a smartphone and use it for nearly two hours each day. Some may use it for online shopping, banking or simply to access social media. Now, Village Hotel guests can also check‑in to their hotel room using their smartphone.

Mobile key access is an innovation that is changing the way hotels provide excellent service for their customers. Village Hotels were aware that ‘Mobile Key Access’ is not the lowest priced option which would have worked for them in the short term, as other options are recorded as more affordable in terms of one off costs. But they were looking for a supplier with an excellent reputation, innovation and able to provide a product with a high return on investment for the future.

Rob Paterson, commercial director for Village Hotels, said: “The Kaba mobile key solution is integrated with the fully cloudbased hetras PMS. This provides Village Hotels’ guests the freedom to move at their own pace. Security is a priority for us. We selected Kaba because of its global reputation for security and its relationship with hetras.”

The cost of quality
When considering procuring a new security product or service, the key factor is quality and this should always be an important part when making a final decision. It’s essential that all suppliers which tender to work with a company meet with the relevant British Standards for each product or service that they are supplying. In addition the company should also provide quality within their service to the client; this is why it’s important to research detailed reviews relating to each supplier’s reputation and to make sure they have a satisfactory trading history. Choosing a reputable supplier will not only ensure that a superior service is delivered, but may also significantly reduce the spending on security in the long term.

Why choose a BSIA member?
BSIA members adhere to stringent membership criteria and membership is known as assurance to potential and existing customers that the BSIA can confirm that all suppliers are: financially sound – trading for more than two years generating growth and profit, offer strong internal stakeholder relationships and are holders of the ISO 9001 certification accredited by UKAS. The BSIA currently supports seventeen different sections within security and each section will also have specific criteria subject to their field.

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