In my capacity as a security consultant, I find myself continually fascinated by the gripes I hear from clients of security contractors who genuinely feel they are paying for nothing... is that you?

It is not the gripes that really fascinate me, but more the fact that these people keep paying and using the same company. Newsflash folks, you have a choice! span>

Before you change service providers allow me to provide you with some helpful guidelines that will go a long way in assisting you with choosing a "value provider" as opposed to another controller that will just cause the same frustration.

Let's start....

Cheap will get you burnt!

Now, I am not at all suggesting that quotes need to be accepted no matter the price, not at all. However, what I am telling you is that a body known as PSIRA (Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority) governs the South African Security Industry.

This body, in conjunction with the various employee Unions, have strict minimum wage criteria for the differing levels and skills of security officers. So, what does this mean to you, the end user?

Well, compliant professional companies will ensure that their staff are paid according to these criteria. Essentially, meaning that their pricing will, within reason, all be within the same ballpark. So, when you suddenly get a quote that is clearly much lower than the others you need to do some questioning. Remember that many rogue security companies use illegal persons to do the work because they will accept a paltry salary. In this industry, you literally do get what you pay for.

Deal with owners and top executives

Many security companies find it fitting to have an area manager or supervisor deal with you. My advice is to demand access to the top men or women. You are not paying for beer here. Security is a critical component of your business. If companies are too big or too busy for you, look elsewhere.

Post orders

Understanding the requirements of the post or position of the security officer is an absolute must for both client and service provider.

A professional security company will work with you in creating a site operational plan. Too often, I see security guards standing around idly doing nothing. This is more often a case of the security guard honestly not knowing what to do.

By providing actual tasks, the security guard will have a more rewarding job and stay active and motivated. Don't let lazy service providers talk you into a generic site operation plan. Insist on seeing a plan that is created for your company specifically – and then add your views and needs into this plan; after all, it's your assets that they are looking after.

Look for security companies that are unique in their approach

The security sector is a flooded ocean of service providers all fighting to get their small piece of business. Truth is they all generally offer and do the same thing. The secret is to find a company that does things in a way that clearly differentiates them from everyone else. Their value to you when comparing them to others should scream out to you. An excellent example of a company that has changed their approach to site protection and security guards is a company called Apache Security Services. This company’s out-of-the-box thinking will amaze you.

Ensure the service provider is registered with PSIRA

Law has now been passed that companies who are making use of unregistered or unqualified security guards will be liable for criminal prosecution. It is not just the security company that is held accountable, but the end user too.

Please demand to see the PSIRA certification cards for all security personnel on your premises.

I cannot stress the importance of this enough. If you are unsure of what to look for feel free to contact me personally on for assistance.

Kyle Condon is the owner of D&K Management Consultants, a South African based security and risk consultancy. His company performs compliance audits and security surveys throughout South Africa.

Registered as a security provider by the Private Security Regulatory Authority (PSIRA), registration number: 0191377

Apache Boilerplate:

Apache Security Services was established with a vision to change the private security landscape; a vision that we are proudly achieving daily. As a trusted and highly qualified security provider, we offer an array of security services that consistently set the benchmark for others to follow. Part of this service is keeping you informed, through monthly news and industry updates.

Apache Security Services was built on the solid belief that the protection of lives, property, assets and reputations can only be achieved by people who are fanatically driven and obsessed with being the best in their chosen profession; this is the philosophy our management team lives by.

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