Written by Mike Bowles
Companies seeking contract security services routinely choose a contractor that is the “lowest, most qualified bidder.” Often, this translates to simply the lowest bidder. Most often the lowest bidder is not the best choice based on the critical protection and service needs of a customer security customer. Obviously the cost of services is important when crafting a budget that strives to keep costs down, however, if you are spending any money at all, quality and value should always be the primary focus of selection.
As the private security industry has become dominated by a handful of national companies, the fight for market share has become increasingly competitive, setting the stage for “bidding wars” between contractors. This, coupled with an economic culture that often emphasizes budget cuts in spending, has established industry standard pay and billing rates largely set by buyers. This has had a significant impact on security officer salaries often staying below suitable ranges, thinned out an already sparse labor pool and challenged the quality of the services a regional firm like Top Guard strives to provide daily. Our priority concern has always been with our employees, service delivery, and 25 year reputation for delivering on our commitments. Sadly, awarding service to the lowest bidder has gradually lowered overall quality standards in our industry. For our part, Top Guard fights the good fight every day in a concerted effort to raise pay levels and maintain our current level of deep support resources.
Top Guard emphasizes to each potential customer that the risks of paying less should be viewed in relation to failing to meet the critical needs of their security program. The big question: How will a low end security contractor potentially serve to the detriment of a company’s culture, image, level of protection, and liability perspective? In the end, paying more for adequately compensated security officers and a premium level of customer service, will increase overall quality, lower turnover, and make the customer’s job a lot easier. While certainly competitive by margin, Top Guard has avoided being swayed by the pricing battles of competitors. We want our prospects to have a high value option, even if that may effectively price us out of potential work initially – but very often with a call back not long after service has started to discuss making a change already from low cost services.
In the end, compromised performance, poorly trained officers, low wages, cut-throat competition, and licensing, insurance, and regulation neglect will almost always be the result of selecting a low cost contractor. A race to the bottom only leads to lowering the image of the private security industry. This is a race Top Guard wants no part of for its officers or customers.