Breaking down notes taken after listening to Robert H. Perry and Associates, our very own Jeff DiDominico VP of Business Development and Strategy, and other security industry professionals.
What’s Going on So Far in the US
It’s no surprise to hear that this current healthcare crisis is unprecedented. It’s a term that’s been used to explain the confusion, worry, anticipation, and frustration felt among the people of the United States. You can gather more information by visiting the CDC’s website. While we’re still unsure if our nation’s response to this pandemic is enough to contain it, people across the country are concerned about the impact this pandemic is currently having on our economy. This is where we’ll start.
A Few Issues Facing Contract Security
Security companies have been placed in a unique position – the most unique being how to ensure the safety and security of the guards performing essential tasks while also upholding the duties outlaid in current contracts.
The Trackforce Valiant team is talking with top security industry executives and security company owners about how COVID-19 has impacted their business operations – and how some are faring.
The Lack of Manpower for In-House Guarding
Security executives managing in-house security teams are struggling to maintain a pool of healthy guards to work, since many in their security team are quarantined or are absent. Perry and Associates and Associates found that in-house security teams are being backfilled by many mid-sized and large contract security companies.
A Financial Freefall for Security Companies Relying on Credit
Another financial shift is the issue many security companies are dealing with in receiving needed financial assistance. Here’s a highlight from Jeff DiDominico, VP of Business Development and Strategy:
“While plenty of physical security firms rely on lines of credit to maintain business consistency in times of fluctuation, the downturn in some of these businesses is causing security firms to add to their credit lines, renegotiate rates, and to look into SBA and paycheck protection loans. A huge challenge they’re facing is that banks are unwilling to give them definitive dates on when they can take advantage. There’s too much hurrying up and waiting at the moment – and while they’re waiting, business is dwindling, and lines of credit are getting used up.”
Lack of Tools and Resources to Meet Demands and How Trackforce Valiant is Helping
For any business, balancing the right thing to say with making the right business decisions can be a challenge on a typical workday. However, during a crisis, it’s essential for our clients to know that they have our full support – and that we’re prepared to help them overcome even the biggest operational challenges.
These uncertain times call for all of us to work together and find ways to minimize impact, stop the spread of this pandemic, and leverage our tools to get through this. To help our clients maintain productivity while minimizing risk to their employees, their managers and their clients, we provided a list of several key features from the Trackforce platform that is already available to all Trackforce clients. For resources on navigating the financial challenges brought on by this pandemic, we’ve got you covered too.
Financial Concerns Security Company Owners Are Dealing with Now
Navigating the financial crisis has been a challenge for business owners across the US, to say the least. Perry and Associates noted that overall, large security companies are faring well, especially those with a large footprint in the healthcare, distribution and local municipality sectors as they are experiencing a ramped-up demand for extra coverage. This is to be expected as those industries are currently in high flux for security guarding services due to the need for patient and staff security plus crowd control in local municipalities, to say the least.
For other security company owners, their biggest concerns revolve around a few key things:
- – Ensuring their guards are safe and available to work
- – Balancing their current clients’ needs and making up for those who have cut down on hours, especially those serving the airlines, airports, cruise lines and hospitality sectors
- – Keeping a tight watch on guard schedules and ensuring there are no laps in site coverage
- – Keeping a pool of healthy guards on call for absentees
- – Ensuring that they are getting paid for services rendered
- – Applying for the federal government’s business stimulus package – and navigating the waters to do so efficiently (and in a timely manner)
Among those concerns listed above, one of the most pressing is the unease CEOs are feeling in ensuring employee trust. Despite most CEOs looking out for what’s best for their security team, at the end of the day, their guards are free to express their fear in not getting enough work – this is a concern that’s being felt across all industries.
Luckily, our own Tim Lozier, VP of Marketing has put together a resource page for the security guard industry to help navigate the key pieces of the Federal stimulus package that can assist business owners in one form or the other. The page has details on:
- – Video overviews for the PPP and paid sick Leave under the FFCRA
- – Important considerations when making COVID19 related changes to your payroll
- – Information on paid sick leave and companies who employ more than 500 employees
What the Future of Contracted Security May Look Like
The crisis we’re all dealing with has no doubt shifted the outlook for the security industry. A few final thoughts from Perry and Associates truly struck home to the Trackforce Valiant team: increased offerings, an open door for in-house security, more guard training.
Increased Contract Security Offerings Aimed to Combat a Shortage in Guards
In what can be a somewhat challenging note for any security company is the paradigm shift that will occur due to those needing additional security. Perry and Associates predicts that a rise in an integrated security model will result from less reliance on humans to fill in security functions. However, much is left unclear; does this mean a decrease in the human component to providing security? Is this a shift toward more technology-based security solutions? As of now, we’re uncertain and will not know the effect this crisis has had on the security industry for possibly a few more months or even years.
Contracted Security with Stronger Service Offerings Will Become a Clear Option for In-House Security Teams
As a few in-house security teams relied on outside security guards to fill in the employee gap, this trend is unlikely to end any time soon. As Perry and Associates predicts, security companies who have what in-house security executives are looking for will be more willing and open to considering work from outside sources, specifically if security companies have already invested in advanced technology, some artificial intelligence, automation, and the ability to manage a fluid security force.
More Guard Training Centered Around Pandemic and Other Related Emergencies
One sentiment heard across all CEOs was the need for more robust training for their guards and security team. Enacting “specific pandemic related training” is one subset of overall guard training that will grow to be something expected. Just as other major disasters and emergencies changed how businesses react and prepare their employees, the COVID-19 pandemic will be no different.
Future Emergency Preparation and Business Practices
Other security guard companies are looking at how to future-proof their operations. The mandatory shelter-in-place order put to the test how security guard company chose to operate their business; and for some, this brought to light many issues. Being forced to operate remotely had CEOs face hard facts about the inefficiencies of paper reporting, non-trackable security personnel, and poor communications. Most have indicated how the mandatory shelter-in-place orders ultimately forced them to face hard facts about how they were running their operations. Ultimately, much of what was done in person or on paper was simplified when they were forced to manage remote workers.
Facing Hard Facts and Difficult Decisions
All in all, in listening to the pain points felt by various CEOs across the security industry, one thing is for certain; the path forward will be one of the most challenging any business owner will have to face. The silver lining, however, is the hope that businesses can find value in being forced to reconsider operations, in finding ways to cut costs, and in ultimately discovering how to stay afloat during times of duress.
Resources for You and Your Business
These resources are brought to you in part by the Trackforce Valiant team and Silvertrac Software. Silvertrac is an expert leader in aiding small to mid-sized contract security companies better their business. Their resource page covers all information pertinent for SMBs during this crisis.
Trackforce Valiant Resource Page: COVID-19 and the Security Guard Industry Resource Kit
Silvertrac SMB Resources: SMB Contract Security Resource Page