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Security


take to securing such services. Finally, there is a lack of understanding about the security landscape amongst those who are often making the procurement decisions.


Value-based choices


The issue of a quality-led procurement approach is one which is of particular interest to Pauline Norstrom, Chairman of the BSIA. During her Chairman’s address at the Association’s Annual Luncheon, Norstrom reinforced her pledge to improve security knowledge and education among procurement professionals, stating: “Security solutions have the ability to make a tangible difference to our customers’ bottom line in terms of delivering improvements in efficiency and return on investment over time. All of this is only achievable as a result of consultation with quality suppliers, who educate decision-makers of the importance of making value-based security and safety procurement choices.” In a bid to understand the procurement attitudes of end-users, the BSIA conducted some research aimed at a wide range of industry sectors, from construction to education and involving Security Managers, Finance Directors and Chief Executives. Early results show that, post-recession, buyers are increasingly aware of the importance of quality, with 20% of respondents citing quality over price as a crucial factor in their decision. Despite these positive early results, there are still some concerns.


Informed decisions One key issue is that there is a lack of security knowledge amongst those making the procurement decisions – two thirds of respondents do not seek external professional advice when sourcing a new product or supplier – potentially exposing their business to unnecessary risk. Many believe that they possess enough knowledge of security within their organisation to avoid consulting the experts. However, in the interests of ensuring that security products and services are appropriate for the risk profile of the business, professional advice should be sought. This external professional advice should come from experienced security consultants who can help businesses to make the right decisions, and implement


and integrate new systems and processes in an efficient, cost-effective manner. Their input in the procurement process can help businesses to ensure that they are asking the right questions and expecting the right standards of service. Security consultants provide independent professional support to ensure that measures required by clients correspond to both existing and emerging threats, whilst complementing a business’s environment and operation. Working closely with the business, consultants help to design a holistic security strategy that complements the particular operation in order to address the protection of people, building, assets and ultimately, reputation. Security consultants can also act as project managers, overseeing the implementation of security controls and ensuring that all the necessary procedures are carried out. External consultants will help businesses to identify the potential threats to their organisation, the likelihood of them occurring and the impact if they do. They will identify systems, processes, training and response mechanisms that will help a business to become more resilient. If part of the brief is designing a new system, they will ensure that the operational requirement (OR) for each camera, reader and sensor is fully understood. In addition, an external consultant – who is independent and free to offer totally unbiased advice and recommendations – will be able to match a product to the need, not the need to a product.





An external consultant – who is independent and free to offer totally unbiased advice and recommendations – will be able to match a product to the need, not the need to a product





FACILITIES 93


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