Does your security provider have a contingency plan?

When the ‘Beast from the East’ met Storm Emma, creating the worst weather conditions experienced by the UK for many years, this saw business and industry widely grinding to a halt. But that didn’t stop the team here at Venture.

For us, it was business as usual and that was thanks to our comprehensive contingency planning. We see this type of planning as an essential part of the service we provide, as it’s how we ensure we always deliver on our promises.

So, what does it entail and why is it so important?


What do we mean by contingency planning?

An external security provider will work with a client to agree and define the services that will be provided, as well as when and how they will be delivered. Expectations are set on both sides and a formal contract agreed.

In a perfect world, everything would always run smoothly - but that just isn’t life. The unexpected can happen and even the best laid plans can be disrupted.

Contingency planning is broadly defined as ‘making provision for a future event or circumstance, which is possible but cannot be predicted with certainty’. It is basically about having a ‘Plan B’ (and ideally a Plan C and D) that will kick in to action if needed.

By assessing potential risks and problems in advance, and planning for how they can best be managed, their impact can be reduced or eliminated. This results in a far less damaging situation but also a far calmer process. There is no rushing around in the moment to try and find a solution and everyone involved can feel confident that things are being managed competently and efficiently.


What should be covered by your physical security contingency planning?

There are many factors that may impact on physical security provision. These range from external issues, such as the weather and other geographical challenges, to internal issues that a security provider may themselves experience.

Common issues include:

  • Poor weather conditions – from heavy snow to high winds, flooding and heatwaves
  • Traffic – from heavy traffic, to accidents and road closures
  • Equipment failure – such as company vehicle breakdowns
  • Illness & absence – team member sickness, injury and other unexpected absences
  • Annual leave – team member holidays and other authorised absences
  • Team changes – team members leaving


What is the result of poor contingency planning?

When it comes to professional security services, a lack of contingency planning can cause a real headache for teams, as well as putting the safety of staff, premises and assets at potential risk.

Poor contingency planning may impact on everything from business continuity to increased risk. Worst case, a business may not be able to operate, or may suffer financially in other ways, if an opportunistic criminal is to take advantage of the situation.

For example, you may pay an external security provider to manage the locking and unlocking of your premises, and to respond to alarms. If the security provider doesn’t make it on site for whatever reason, for example at the agreed time to open up, then you have an obvious problem.

Equally, if an alarm is sounded in the night and the security operative says they cannot attend, a member of staff will need to go. This has implications for their safety and wellbeing, as well as being an unpleasant call to receive. If no-one attends and a crime is being committed, then there’s also the potential for significant loss and damage to property. The broader implications of this may be that the business is then unable to operate for a period of time as a result.


Is your security provider up to the job?

If you are using an external security provider, then ask what contingency planning they do. Check it is comprehensive and takes all potential risk factors into account.

There are a number of things that should set your alarm bells ringing:

  • Does your security provider regularly let you down?
  • Do they only tell you about a problem at the last minute?
  • Do you often have to chase for reports and updates?
  • Do you feel you have to check up on them all the time?
  • Do you have doubts the job is being done properly?
  • Do they take up a lot of your precious time and energy?

It shouldn’t be this way. Call us for an informal chat about your requirements on 01264 391538, or browse our full range of commercial services here.