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Tips For Adopting a Best-Value Security and Procurement Approach

How to meet physical security needs and cost objectives without sacrificing quality

As a result of economic pressures, many companies often procure goods and services on a strictly low-price basis, oftentimes ignoring experience and past performance and failing to take into account necessary best practices when looking at specific services.

Physical security for instance, is an area where services cannot be based on the same cost criteria as the purchase of material goods. The idea that purchasing security services equates to the purchase of desktop computers is fundamentally flawed. To win and maintain low-bid contracts, service providers must reduce their own costs, which often mean cutting corners that result in sub-par security and increased liability.
So how do companies get the best value for their yearly security services expenditure? The following recommendations will put you on the right track:

Change your model
Adopt a best-value approach vs. a low-cost procurement approach to contracts for services. Low-cost procurements award a contract to the service provider submitting the lowest bid. This procurement approach is an effective tool when purchasing commodities. The best method to adopt when services are an important component to the property is to identify a full set of bid evaluation criteria, in addition to cost, which will benefit the organization.
It is critical that quality indices outweigh price as a means to obtain the best value. This is important because measuring the quality of services like security is a subjective process.

Obtain top management support
Experience has shown that senior executive buy-in is required if quality procurement is to succeed. Executive support should be obtained early, and frequent updates are necessary to ensure timely and realistic decisions.

Develop clear procurement policies and goals
Establish policies and objectives to provide guidance in the use of best-value acquisition methods. A company may have a goal to upgrade the quality of personnel assigned to their facility. With this goal, your RFP should require responders to clearly describe their staffing methodology, supervision structure, management experience, training programs and compensation and benefits offered to the security personnel. These items will impact the caliber of individual the security firm will be able to attract and retain.

Ensure that the relationship between the purchaser and the seller is mutual
No contract that proves unsatisfactory to the security contractor can be regarded as satisfactory to the buyer. It is often the case that a buyer will attempt to leverage the volume of the contract which the security service provider should be willing to compromise price without compromising quality. Unfortunately, this is a fallacy. The reality in a service-based industry is that you can’t compromise on cost and still maintain quality. A security service provider should only be willing to compromise profit, not process. This is a critical distinction. Low bid service providers will cut corners on their program to win the bid.
Ues. Your company can potentially save time and money by having the security provider perform these duties, as well as ensuring the security personnel remain busy and challenged on their shift. This can only be achieved if competent, quality personnel are present.