In the process of optimising the safety and security of your organisation, at some point you will have to select your security and safety ‘hardware’ and/or a security manpower provider. The choices can be bewildering and it can be a difficult process, especially if your company does not have the technical abilities to differentiate.
In most cases, the vendor management process and selection of these providers is done by your procurement or contracts department, but we are still often asked how to identify and choose the best and most reputable security service providers who will most fully meet the needs of an organisation.
In response to a question made by a reader of these columns, I will make the answer as clear and comprehensible as possible and break the question down into three parts over three weeks and consider the various aspects separately: They are vendor identification and registration; preparing and issuing a Request for a Proposal (RFP); and finally vendor selection and appointment.
Today we will consider Vendor Identification and registration which involves thoroughly researching suitable and respected suppliers based upon your current and projected security and safety needs. The prospective vendors on your final list should number at least three. When it comes to hardware you will need to carefully consider what type and brand of systems, equipment and software you may already have in place throughout your organisation to ensure compatibility.
Most organisations will have some sort of Vendor Management System (VMS) in place that will involve forms that needs to be completed and documents supplied from the potential vendor. Whilst this is a very good start, if this paperwork is not verified or corroborated, it may be difficult to assess the true capability of a company. We often recommend a visit, where possible, to the vendor’s management team at their offices as part of this verification process. This is especially important for companies that are not already well known to the market or your organisation. This way you can personally meet the owners of the company and assess their commitment, capability and intentions. Their manpower will come and go, but the company management will be critical as to how they, as a provider, will respond to your needs and ensure stability.
We cannot emphasise enough the importance of the collaboration between your internal departments, namely those who are responsible for vendor management, and the security department who will be the prime users and have responsibility for dealing with and understanding the services provided by the companies on the list. The security department may also be able to provide procurement with some much needed technical assistance, if applicable, and also offer guidance as to the reputation of certain companies that they may have gleaned through their professional network.
Next week we will look at the preparation of the RFP process and how this stage can be made better through effective planning.
Anthony J Tesar / CEO / Le Beck International / CEO@LeBeckInternational.com