Our CEO Dave Potts gives his views on how all contracts should be developed and maintained.
I am a firm believer that too many national security companies take clients for granted. It is well known in the industry that there is express interest at the very start of the contract and then for whatever reason the provider tends to dip in the middle of the contract and then shows a great deal of interest as the contract is up for renewal.
Time and time again senior client managers have told me that this is the case. Of course, national companies have all the infrastructure resources at their disposal but they tend to work on a principle that they will win and lose large contracts almost in rotation. On these extensive contracts there always seems to be a continuous whirl of provider change, at least every three years or whatever the length of the assignment.
This constant merry go round is not good for the client, certainly not good for the provider and most of all not good for the poor employees who are subject to TUPE. It is not uncommon for a security officer to have worked for at least four national companies in ten years.
Medium to large scale security companies tend to have a better reputation for longevity of contract but even they tend to struggle with maintaining levels of service and an eye taken off the ball for just a moment can be disastrous.
Whilst the introduction of the SIA regulated the industry, which was what was desperately needed at the time, very little if anything was done to educate the end user in what they should expect from a provider. In terms of differentiators there was of course the Approved Contractor Scheme but for so long the Dutch auction has ruled where the price is key above all.
Within this framework apart from changes in the National Minimum Wage and the Living Wage frontline staff have not seen their status and rewards alter and in fact the margins between supervisors and staff has often diminished. Unhappy staff are less able to concentrate on their roles and service levels plummet.
At GSTS we believe that comprehensive staff training is the key to maintaining the longevity of contracts but also that this vital investment in people can and will pay dividends. We were founded as a training provider in 1997 and we continue to provide the best and most comprehensive courses out there. Whilst I am CEO this is something that we will not move away from, and we are incorporating this ‘encouragement by training’ philosophy into all our forward planning.
The empowerment of staff is not only good for them as individuals but also something that the client can relate to in their own business aims. At GSTS our people drive our success and it is what stands us apart from our competitors.
We believe in matching the competencies of staff with the assignment and our internal process for promotion is built upon our service and military backgrounds. Staff who are given the right tools will ultimately display the best attitudes and become the best employees for GSTS and you as the client.