The simple answer: details, details, and more details.
As we frequently point out, the uniformed security force tends to be one of the largest items in the budget for security functions. One way to ensure those dollars are effectively and efficiently spent is to carefully craft the service agreement, starting from the very beginning of the vendor selection process.
A strong contract starts with a strong Request for Proposal (RFP), which will determine what is included in the final agreement. The RFP should be thorough and exhaustive. This will help to ensure that the bids you receive for the contract are accurately priced and come from vendors who can actually give you the level of service you want.
According to Bill King, the SEC’s Subject Matter Expert for Security Force Optimization, the RFP or agreement needs lay out in detail what you expect of a guard service contractor now and in the future.
Ask yourself, for example:
- Specifically, what actions do you need uniformed officers to perform? (patrols, visitor management, alarm response, etc.)
- What performance standards do you expect to be met, and what will be the penalties for not meeting those standards?
- How do you expect officers to be trained? In what capacities and how often?
- Which party will provide which equipment to the officers?
- Will they be expected to perform in emergency situations or on holidays?
- Who will be the point of contact for the force?
- With what KPIs will you measure their performance?
- How will contract compliance be audited, by whom, and how often?
Vague, basic service agreements can result in overspending on underperforming guard services. But if you delineate exactly what you want, how you expect it to be delivered, and how you will measure and monitor it, your guard force has a much better chance of returning the desired deliverables at the right price.
We’re offering an abbreviated sample of a guard force service agreement that can help you on your way to creating your own. Download it here
Vendor selection is one of five areas in which cost savings can be found through security force optimization. Contact us to discuss more ways to save, improve, and show value
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