Pilgrims Group builds security guarding success on “strong teams and technology”

Improved technology and continued teamwork in Pilgrims Group’s Security Guarding division have contributed to a near 100% customer satisfaction across the business, according to the Group’s chief operating officer David Freear. Pilgrims Group has achieved customer satisfaction and service delivery levels of 98.3% across all of the company’s contracts, largely thanks to its strong team and the deployment of technology which measures and improves performances through multiple, real-time assessments.

Last November, Pilgrims Group won the Security Guarding Company of the Year Award (for those security companies with under a £50 million turnover) at the Security and Fire Excellence Awards. “Although we’ve achieved four Security and Fire Excellence Awards wins over the last four years, we must innovate and take our standards higher every year to remain at the leading edge of good practice,” stated Freear. “This means not just investing heavily in our members of staff, but also in our tactical use of technology.”

The company has won some notable high-profile national contracts, for example with broadcaster ITV and multinational professional services network PricewaterhouseCoopers. This success, Freear believes, has been earned by demonstrating a commitment to high quality training which uses the best technology and the “most engaging, interactive online courses” in the security industry.

“The training we provide covers more than 30 separate modules with in-depth assessments and testing every six months to ensure competency,” explained Freear. “We have embraced technology to develop our own unique operational training evaluations, with systems such as MinEval, FactFinders and DecisionMakers which prepare our security officers for almost any situation. We have also invested heavily in technology systems across our business and client sites. 85% of our manual processes have now been automated.”

David Freear: Chief Operations Officer at Pilgrims Group

David Freear: Chief Operations Officer at Pilgrims Group

Freear went on to state: “By using PDAs, our team members can upload audits and incidents immediately, easily generating reports, as well as monitoring training and screening. Our staff can check schedules, book leave, order uniform and more, all at the click of a button. Consequently, our service delivery, response times and communication with teams and clients have all been significantly improved through the strategic use of technology.”

Pilgrims Group has also developed IT-based strategic risk management and information gathering tools, in turn enabling clients to be considerably better prepared for meeting current threats.

“Technology is supporting our business in new ways, year on year”, concluded Freear, “but that technology is only as good as the team around it and the support and training they’re given. We continue to look at the best possible ways in which technology can support what we do to achieve the strong results our clients quite rightly expect. The future is exciting. We very much look forward to seeing what new technological advances will bring to our sector.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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