Four Considerations for Security Contracts

10/01/2013 | By Jennie Morton

Ensure your security services match your expectations and needs

Is your security services contract the right fit? Review the scope of work and terms of agreement on an annual basis.

How well do you understand your security services contract?

Security contracts are often more complicated than other services you may outsource. Instead of purchasing a commodity or equipment, you’re paying for human capital.

To ensure the services you receive meet your security needs, make sure you can navigate contract language, terms of agreement, and scope of work.

1) Conduct a Risk Assessment
It can be difficult to estimate security coverage if you don’t know the threats associated with your property, says Glen Kitteringham, president of Kitteringham Security Group, a consulting firm.

Is your building prone to demonstrations, vandalism, break-ins, theft, or assault? Do you have a high-profile tenant or neighboring building that carries specific risks? All of these factors impact your security coverage and are risks a security provider must weigh as well.

While not required to contract security services, a risk assessment will help you make informed decisions about the services your building needs as opposed to making assumptions.

Risk assessments typically outline assets, identify risks and their probability, estimate the potential impact of a specific threat, recommend countermeasures, and offer a cost-benefit analysis.

2) Look for Vendors
With your risks identified, send out a request for information (RFI), an informal query that allows you to become familiar with potential vendors.

“You want to prequalify bidders instead of blindly selecting one,” recommends Kitteringham. “Look at staffing levels, hourly rates, hiring practices, credentials, training programs, and membership associations.”

After you have a field of candidates narrowed down, you can issue a request for proposals (RFP) for formal bids.

“With an RFP, a property manager can avoid hidden or additional costs not identified in the bidding process and clarify which deliverables are included in the agreement,” says Mike Coleman, vice president of commercial real estate for AlliedBarton, a security services provider.

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