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Professional Security Magazine meet with First Response Group at IFSEC

July 29, 2019

Among our coverage of the IFSEC 2019 exhibition in the August print issue of Professional Security magazine, we feature one of the presentations to NSI-approved companies, on the inspectorate’s stand on the show floor.

For IFSEC was the occasion for several newly-accredited NSI companies to officially receive their certification from the inspectorate. We spoke to one guarding firm that gained NSI Guarding Gold.

Tough to attain

That was FRG (First Response Group) based in Leeds. Simon Alderson, the chief executive of FRG, who joined the firm last year from the vacant property protection contractor VPS, gave as one reason for ‘going for gold’ their client the insurer Axa. That firm, and its clients, set a security standard. On a personal note, Simon (like others who have gained Gold) described it as one of the toughest to attain, for it demonstrates robustness within the business. While Simon was pleased to have achieved Gold, we can find it easy to be bored by process, and standards. In truth, as Simon’s conversation showed, going for Gold takes us to the heart of doing business in general and contract guarding in particular.

Not a one-off

For the Gold award – requiring the ISO management standard 9001 besides the standard particular to your service, whether guarding or installing of security or fire products – makes your business, as Simon said, ‘really think about how you are delivering’. As the word process suggests, NSI Gold is not a one-off that you gain; it’s something you keep using, to improve and benefit the business. “Having gone through the process, I now see it as a real differentiator.” Here Simon hit the nail on the head, about something that Professional Security has featured before. In a market of hundreds of SIA-approved guarding firms, how do you convince a customer that you are better than your neighbour or one of the big names, except cosmetically (by a colourful brochure) or on price (promising a lower price than rivals, which only makes it harder to turn a profit, let alone train and retain staff).

‘Quality of delivery’

FRG is a member of ACS Pacesetters, a scheme Simon praises, as someone who attends the annual awards lunch for officers (featured last issue). But while Pacesetters is simply a membership body – you can join if you are marked one of the top 15pc of SIA-approved guard firms – NSI Gold shows your focus on doing things to the highest level possible. FRG is working on Gold for the systems side of its business. While Simon points to growth, he also adds: “We will only stay there through delivering quality. Quality of delivery has to be the differentiator in the security market-place.” More practically, that means FRG is ‘selecting long-term partners’, in other words, customers.

Author – Mark Rowe – Professional Security Magazine

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