When considering switching security firms, committing to a new provider can be stressful. Do you stick with the firm you already know, despite any shortcomings, or do you take a leap of faith and trust a new firm that better fits your needs?
Before You Commit: Consider the Sales Process
A prepared sales representative will take a thoughtful approach from the very first conversations. They should ask insightful questions to better understand your needs and how their company can add value.
Whether a private conversation or a full-blown bid process, discussions with a prospective new security partner can offer an excellent opportunity to evaluate your current security strategy. Ideally, the sales contact will invest time in understanding your priorities and can make knowledgeable recommendations to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your program.
If you decide to make the switch, ill-prepared transitions can go wrong quickly, causing a loss in valued tenured officers and creating major headaches and additional costs. That’s why you and your new partner should expect extensive conversations to avoid delays and complicated troubleshooting once the transition begins.
During the Transition: Communication Is Key
The security contract will include a start date and time frame to complete the transition—typically, somewhere between 30-60 days. What happens during this critical period will determine the success of the official handoff. Before selecting a security partner, ask questions to learn how the organization addresses the following:
- Communication. Who are the members of the transition team for both organizations? How frequently does the partner provide updates about the transition progress? Ideally, weekly due diligence check-in meetings with all company and client stakeholders should occur, providing ample opportunity to identify and address potential questions before the official transition date.
- Staffing. How will the provider handle staffing requirements? If there are existing gaps in coverage, how does the security firm plan to recruit personnel? Are there incumbent personnel that they would like to retain? An experienced firm will have processes and contingencies in place to ensure proper staffing from the start and cross-train officers as a backup.
- Training. What kind of training does the security provider offer? Do they focus on state-mandated training, or do they offer a wide range of specialized training for site-specific requirements and ongoing professional development? Find out the timeline for initial and ongoing training. Also, ask about turnover rates and career path opportunities. A partner that offers long-term career advancement will have lower turnover and more experienced personnel, which translates into superior service.
- Oversight. Finally, ask about transition management. Does the individual or team track the many details involved in a security startup? Has their formal system or checklist been developed over years of transitions, or do they create a new road map for each engagement? Peeking under the hood at the company practices can provide valuable insight into how the organization will overcome the many potential obstacles that can arise during the transition.
Start Date & Beyond: The Role of Quality Assurance
If the company has taken the appropriate steps the weeks before the transition, the start date should be seamless. Even so, the client organization should have a point of contact to address any last-minute hitches.
One thing to look for in a security firm is a company-wide quality assurance program. The QA team, for instance, should review each transition independently to confirm that all tasks have been completed as required and requested. In addition, the security provider should also seek customer feedback to ensure the startup went as smoothly as planned.
Moving forward, communication should continue as part of the ongoing management process to provide excellent customer service.
Sunstates received this note from a client:
I wanted to say Thank You for a positive transition experience. The work put in to prepare for this transition paid off. Being a part of a couple of transitions, I can tell you this has been by far the best to date! -LP Manager
At Sunstates, we diligently adhere to these industry best practices, so our new clients are just as comfortable with our service as long-time partners—from the start. To discuss the benefits of our approach or to review your current security needs, please call Sunstates Security at 866-710-2019 or contact us.