Faculty Advisor: Contract Security Challenges and Strategies: Part II

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Q. The KPIs currently used by my company to assess security services have been in place for years and the value of the information is questionable. What are the best quantifiable KPI measurements to demonstrate the value of our security contract as well as evaluate the performance of the security officers? How can I use the information to improve my overall contract security program?

Most contracts today have Service Level Agreements (SLAs) or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in place. But how effective are the measurements? Are the quarterly review meetings a painful reading of results off a slide deck or is your team gleaning important data that can help drive and improve the performance of your department?

Utilizing the right quantifiable KPI metrics can illustrate the effectiveness of your security program and demonstrate your ROI on every security dollar spent. The results can be powerful in the C-suite when defending your security budget. Meaningful KPIs are also an excellent tool for managing you contract security provider.  

To begin, review your department goals for security performance and insure they are aligned with the results you expect from your contract security provider. Designate a small team to review the existing KPI measurements in place. Do these measurements align with your goals for corporate security? Are the results consistently meeting or exceeding expectation? Are the metrics being audited and are the results consistent with the performance of your contractor? How are the results from the KPIs being used to improve the effectiveness of the security program?

Identify the existing KPIs that are generating the results you need then look to integrate new measurements to capture information that will drive the performance of your security program. Popular quantifiable metrics include contract compliance (meeting SOW requirements), billing quality & timeliness, customer satisfaction scores, critical incident response, supervisory quality, cost savings and/ or supplier productivity. There are countless KPI measurements in existence today; selecting the right ones will depend on your type of business and your department goals.  

Once your department goals and expectations are clearly defined include your contract security provider in the process. Collaboratively begin to change, add or delete any KPIs keeping an eye towards the time it takes to collect and record the information. Avoid creating unnecessary administrative burdens; utilize technology and automation when possible; ask for support documentation periodically during audits as needed. Consider collaborating with a consultant with an expertise in the area of KPI creation/ contract optimization. An outside perspective can often enhance the overall quality of your program and challenge you to examine your program differently yielding extremely valuable results.

The volume of annual spend deserves the allocation of time and attention within your company, not just your department. Challenge vested stakeholders to meet bi-annually or quarterly to share valuable feedback on how security is positively or negatively impact their area of the business. Share your department goals and successes that have benefited the company. Depending on the size of your security program be sure to include internal department leaders as well as outside influencers like finance, legal/ compliance, regulatory, facilities and operations. The diversity of perspective is powerful; take advantage of this free internal resource.  

In closing, prioritize and promote the importance of KPI measurement and security contract management. Personally designate authority to the person responsible for managing both; insure they have clearly defined expectations and the means to accomplish the optimal company goals. Routinely review the results of your KPIs and actively look for areas of process improvement and cost savings. Track hard and soft dollar savings and reward your security partner for consistent results that exceed expectation. Support the team driving results and track compounding results showing your contract’s ROI for every security dollar spent.  

Response provided by Heather O’Brien, former Security Executive Council Content Expert Faculty.

Heather answered a related question on how to make sure the right contract is in place and at the best price.

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