This is the fourth instalment in a new series of articles for the readers of Risk UK where we shine the spotlight on NSI-approved businesses for the benefit of risk and security managers who purchase security guarding as well as systems-focused solutions. Answering our questions this time around is Scott Boyd, managing director of Securi-Guard Fire and Security.
Risk UK: Can you briefly describe your business’ activities and what you consider to be your USP as an organisation?
Scott Boyd: Established back in 1982, Securi-Guard is a family-owned NSI Gold, BAFE and Security Industry Authority (SIA) Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) accredited fire and security solutions specialist with offices in Plymouth and Wellington in Somerset.
Celebrating its 35th Anniversary in April next year, the business is now recognised as the largest independent ‘one-stop shop’ fire and security solutions provider in the South West.
On that note, end user organisations are now increasingly seeing the cost benefits of combining services from one trusted specialist. Many clients prefer to use our wide scope of services rather than four or five different suppliers, which can have a significantly positive impact on the buyer’s bottom line.
Risk UK: What do your clients value most about the services you deliver?
Scott Boyd: We believe there’s a positive perception of an independent, family-owned business like ours which is locally based and boasts a solid heritage and proven track record. The highest levels of customer service are at the very heart of our company ethos and we’ve built a solid foundation of trust and integrity among our client base.
Equally important is our wide range of quality assured and industry accredited services delivered by a dynamic and highly-skilled cohort of engineers and security personnel, all of whom are supported by a strong management team.
We’re dedicated to not just meeting, but exceeding clients’ expectations. That’s probably what our customers value the most alongside the NSI, BAFE and SIA accreditations mentioned previously.
Risk UK: How do you feel accreditations have assisted your company?
Scott Boyd: Industry accreditations are hugely important to us as a business as they set a benchmark for quality and professionalism in which clients can place their trust.
We’ve been committed to meeting the high standards set by the respective accreditation organisations. It’s a company policy that has paid dividends, too. We’re now multiple NSI Gold, BAFE and SIA ACS accredited for security guarding, fire and security systems and 24/7 monitoring services.
We do find that, while local authorities and larger businesses recognise the benefits of an accredited company, there’s still a lack of knowledge in the general marketplace about accreditation and a perception that it adds to the cost for the buyer rather than adding value. All of us work hard to change such perceptions by helping to educate clients such that they can see the benefits.
Risk UK: Specifically, what value does ACS registration and NSI Guarding Gold approval bring to your business and its clients?
Scott Boyd: Our NSI Gold and SIA ACS accreditations are a major benefit when it comes to carrying out third party work for ‘other’ security guarding companies. Being a part of our industry themselves, clearly they have much better knowledge of what these accreditations mean so what matters to them is that our team members always deliver the correct processes and procedures.
Having the accreditations is obviously very important, but being consistently able to meet the requirements of those accreditations is absolutely vital.
Risk UK: In practice, what are the main differences between ACS registration and NSI Guarding Gold approval?
Scott Boyd: There’s probably very little difference in as much as both schemes recognise that, as a company, we’re consistently meeting the highest standards of service delivery which should afford our clients and potential customers alike reassurances.
As the NSI has been providing certification for more than four decades now, the organisation’s ‘seal of approval’ does carry a good deal of clout in our industry.
In its commitment to opening up new business opportunities for the private security sector, the SIA’s ACS has also been beneficial. It helps in making sure that we don’t let our professional standards slip.
Risk UK: How do you think technology has changed the industry over the last couple of years and what do you feel will be the direction of travel in the future?
Scott Boyd: We could see how fast technology was likely to develop and recognised its growth potential, and so formed separate divisions for the business, each with its own management team and associated accreditations.
Those divisions cover security services (ie guarding, key holding and mobile patrols), fire and security systems (CCTV, access control and alarms, etc), fire safety services (such as fire extinguishers and fire door holders) and 24/7 monitoring services (security and fire alarm as well as CCTV monitoring).
Technological innovation is now at the forefront of our industry. A large number of our clients have moved away from the traditional 24/7 manned security service. Increasingly, they’re making good use of cutting-edge electronic systems combined with ‘office hours’ security officers, 24/7 monitored fire and security systems and ‘out of hours’ mobile security officer response/patrol services.
Risk UK: When it comes to negotiating contracts and responding to tender requests, what aspects are of most value to customers and how are these changing?
Scott Boyd: Customer satisfaction is the best advert for any company’s services. We’re extremely fortunate that the majority of requests come to us through recommendations and/or knowledge of the company’s reputation.
Ease of communication is also vital, which is why our key team members are always available on a 24/7 basis.
Increasingly, clients are asking for ‘shared’ services (ie reducing/removing their manned security cover and introducing mobile patrols to open/close sites, carry out random patrols and respond to any security system activations that occur during ‘the silent hours’).
Risk UK: How has Government legislation (eg the National Minimum Wage, the National Living Wage and holiday pay) affected your business? Do you believe such legislation is a good thing?
Scott Boyd: We agree with the introduction of the legislation you’ve mentioned, but as referenced earlier, over the last few years we’ve witnessed an increase in clients requesting a review of their existing ‘manned’ security cover with the specific intention of reducing their annual spend and replacing this service with 24/7 monitored fire and security systems in tandem with police/security response services.
Risk UK: What are the most important attributes you look for in your security officers and staff members in general?
Scott Boyd: We seek candidates who wish to be a part of our security and fire family. We want committed and dedicated team players who have the skills and knowledge to deliver the best possible service for all of our clients.
When we invest in our staff, we’re investing in the future strength of the business and, to date, that effort has most certainly paid dividends. Of the 154 members of staff employed by the company at present, 58 of them have over ten years of service with us.
Risk UK: How can the SIA, the NSI and industry standards best serve the sector in addition to the needs of your company’s clients and the wider public interest? Will the introduction of business licensing be a positive step?
Scott Boyd: It’s imperative that we continue to have a robust accreditations system in place that’s always raising the bar and challenging companies across our sector to not only prove their professionalism and worth, but consistently maintain – and, ideally, improve upon – those high standards.
What would the introduction of a business licensing regime from the Regulator ensure? Greater accountability and better practises. It would afford customers the added assurance that they’re dealing with a reputable business working within the strict confines of the law.
Time in the security sector
I’ve served in the security sector since 1985, having joined Securi-Guard Fire and Security that very year
Location of the business
Securi-Guard Fire and Security operates from offices in Plymouth, Devon and Wellington in Somerset. Main areas covered by Securi-Guard Fire and Security across Devon and Cornwall include Bideford, Dartmouth, Exeter, St Ives and Truro
Areas of expertise
Security guarding, alarm response, mobile patrol and key holding services, security, fire alarm and CCTV systems, fire safety services and 24/7 monitoring solutions (security and fire alarm monitoring, CCTV monitoring, lone worker alarm monitoring and vehicle tracking)
NSI Guarding Gold, NACOSS Gold, NSI Fire Gold (BAFE SP201 and BAFE SP2013-1), NSI ARC Gold, SIA ACS (Security Guarding, Key Holding, CCTV)
About the National Security Inspectorate
The National Security Inspectorate (NSI) is a wholly-independent, not-for-profit company limited by guarantee and operates as a UKAS-accredited certification body specialising in the security and fire safety sectors.
For over 40 years, the NSI has served to protect businesses, homeowners and the general public alike, raising standards by providing robust and high quality audits of both security and fire safety service providers.