CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES IN THE CONTRACT SECURITY INDUSTRY
Technology, social trends and budgetary constraints are driving opportunities and challenges in the contract security industry. Increasing consolidation is also changing the industry landscape, especially among the larger companies.
Sunstates Security has been preparing for many of these challenges and opportunities by taking a different path when it comes to growth and consolidation.
Challenges and Opportunities
A recent white paper by Robert H. Perry & Associates, Inc., outlined several trends that will affect the industry in the near future:
- Many municipalities are upgrading their security by outsourcing to security firms.
- Recent crime increases in public places are also leading to increased needs for security firms and services.
- There is growing pressure on the industry to provide higher wages, especially as minimum wages rise.
- There is growing pressure to provide more benefits, such as sick pay and other paid time off (PTO).
- Several alarm and technology companies are racing to develop electronic security systems to replace or supplant security officers.
Growth and Consolidation
To meet those challenges, the biggest companies are getting bigger, often by merging with or swallowing up competitors.
A recent report by Security ProAdvisors shows that the top 10 firms account for half of all industry revenues. Six of them acquired, merged with, or formed partnership agreements with other firms in 2018. Others did the same in previous years.
Sunstates Security, which was listed as the 11th largest in the industry, has followed a different strategy.
Unlike other firms, our growth has been entirely organic: no mergers, no acquisitions, no takeovers of other companies to bulk up our employee count and revenues. Starting with $0 in 1998, Sunstates Security has grown by going above and beyond for clients. Period.
We’ve also proactively met many of today’s industry challenges by the way we take care of our security officers and other employees:
- A culture that provides opportunities and promotes from within
- Many industry-leading employee benefits, including medical, PTO, 401(k) plan with employer match, and others
- Education and other resources to help employees improve skills and earn raises and promotions
- An employee recognition program that rewards employees at every level
- A level of service that helps Sunstates achieve client retention rates well above the industry average
Benefits of Organic Growth
Growing a company organically may be slower, but it has a lot of benefits:
- Controlled growth. Companies can manage their growth, ensuring that infrastructure and operations keeps up with the increase in the number of employees.
- No culture clash. Employees aren’t coming from different corporate cultures; everyone understands and follows the same policies, procedures and value.
- More opportunities. Employees have more opportunities to grow and learn, as well as earn promotions. Smart organic growth promotes from within whenever possible, ensuring that managers understand the needs of the rank and file.
- Orderly succession. As employees move up into more responsible positions, other employees are trained and ready to take their places.
- Higher morale. As employees see the opportunities available, morale stays high.
The Sunstates Difference
As the industry giants get bigger, many are looking to cut costs by trimming or eliminating benefits.
At Sunstates Security, we look at our security officers and managers as more than just employees. They are partners in our growth and success, and they deserve paid time off to recharge their batteries. Sunstates provides benefits that are above average because we want people who are above average. That’s also why we have a robust employee referral and recognition program—because we want to attract and retain the best.
The Future of Security
The security industry faces a changing landscape over the next few years, from an increase in electronic surveillance and other technology to new opportunities in outsourced security from government agencies. Municipalities are increasing security in schools and other public places, adding to the growth of the industry.
How will security firms meet those demands? We think organic growth is better for employees and clients, and that’s the way Sunstates Security plans to continue to grow.
To discuss the impact of these trends on your organization, please call Sunstates Security at 866-710-2019 or email us.
HOW TO GET THE MOST FROM YOUR SECURITY PARTNERSHIP
In many organizations, managers aspire to certain perks. Such as the corner office, the big desk, the fancy furnishings, or power lunches and high-level meetings where important decisions are made. Sunstates Security managers are a different breed. They practice project-based management, a simple idea that yields better service for clients. With project-based management, Sunstates operates more efficiently, provides competitive pricing, and delivers more hands-on service to clients.
Simply put, Sunstates security officers and managers go above and beyond every day. The results: Our client retention rate is 95%, significantly above the industry average.
With project-based management, managers spend more time out in the field, visiting client sites and talking to security officers and clients, than they do in their own offices. This has a number of advantages for clients and Sunstates:
- Develops closer relationships between managers and security officers, as well as between managers and clients. Managers can listen to concerns, solicit suggestions for improvement, and make decisions on the spot.
- Gives security officers and clients the opportunity to discuss concerns, issues, and suggestions that might not make it into a formal report, but are important enough to address.
- Ensures our employees follow the security plan that is custom-tailored to each client and site.
- It provides opportunities to improve those plans, as well as other security policies and procedures, immediately on-site.
Those site visits and conversations can be fruitful. When a client mentioned that no one routinely checked fire extinguishers to make sure they were operational and up to date, we added that to our operations manual. Now, every fire extinguisher has a bar code and is checked regularly. When a client casually mentions to a visiting manager that a door was defective (and the replacement was delayed), we added an hourly check of that door to the duties of every patrolling security officer.
A formal report might have no mention of these minor items. However, they help make a facility and employees more safe and secure.
Best Practices in Working with Sunstates:
When a Sunstates manager visits a client site, here’s how to take advantage of that visit:
- Offer or brainstorm ideas for improvement to processes or services, no matter how small. We are always willing to learn new or refined processes.
- Share ideas or ask questions. Ongoing communication is critical.
- Point out items or situations, even temporary ones, that can increase safety and security.
- Don’t feel reluctant to bring up any concern or issue; that’s why our managers are on-site.
Sunstates managers receive thorough training to ask for suggestions and to recognize good ideas. Please take advantage of this opportunity to upgrade your security program continually.
For more information on how Sunstates Security manages on-site security, or for an evaluation of your existing security, please call 866-710-2019 or email us.
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