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Private security companies in Latin America: A comprehensive improvement strategy

Private security companies have always been of enormous importance in Latin American countries, which has increased significantly in recent years.


Today they are in charge of ensuring the control of security risks in facilities, operations and processes that are critical for other companies, government institutions and for society in general.

Some examples of the great social benefit that private security companies provide are the protection and control of security risks in airports, government facilities, power generating plants, hospitals, manufacturing plants, as well as systems and processes for transporting and protecting people. and other assets.

Private security companies are especially important in communities or socio-political environments where government security bodies may be weak or non-existent, or the rule of law is damaged due to human, political, economic events, or due to natural catastrophes.


Current situation of private security companies in Latin America

Today we have many companies in Mexico and the rest of the countries of the Latin American region that are examples of excellence and compliance with the best practices in operational and administrative management. These companies have also had extraordinary growth due to the aforementioned causes.


Unfortunately, some private security companies lose competitiveness due to a lack of an adequate structure or effective operational management. Improvisation, as well as inadequate systems and processes lead to multiple problems that generate a lack of profitability and liquidity, customer dissatisfaction, and in some cases, legal breaches.

These conditions, together with the problems generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, promote a deteriorated work environment and dissatisfaction of the parties involved that can even lead to possible business failure.


What should Private Security Companies do in this context?


Recognizing the great importance and social benefits that private security companies provide, they must take actions to ensure their long-term successful survival, including among the most important:


1) Review and update their strategic planning considering all the realities they face in

their internal and external context

2) Identify the risks and opportunities they face, carry out the corresponding risk

analysis to determine and implement the pertinent actions and controls.

3) Plan and carry out the necessary actions to ensure the profitability and liquidity of

the company, for which it is essential to improve sales and collections, based on

customer satisfaction.

4) Continuously and significantly improve processes, tactical and logistical

operations, as well as their administrative management, complying with the good

practices established in recognized international standards, such as ISO 9001, ISO

18788, ISO 28000, ISO 45001, PSC -1, BASC, etc.

5) Ensure compliance with the applicable legal and regulatory requirements, as well

as the contractual commitments contracted.

6) Guarantee the adequacy of its infrastructure, including uniforms, weapons,

vehicles and facilities. We must remember that, in the business environment, very few

clients give their money to those who obviously need it.

7) Improve internal and external communication with all interested entities.

8) Take care of and improve the physical and mental health of its employees and their

satisfaction.

9) Be very careful with saving efforts. That the savings come from improvements in

efficiency, not from the elimination of people or elements necessary for the operation.


Potential benefits of this approach


This strategy for managing and improving private security companies has the following potential benefits:

a) Improvement of the effectiveness, efficiency and control of your operational and

administrative processes

b) Greater satisfaction of your customers, managers, suppliers, employees and

shareholders

c) Improvement of your prestige in the industry and in your corporate group, leading

to a significant improvement in your sales

d) Compliance with applicable legal and regulatory requirements

e) Improved work environment and employee satisfaction with their work

f) To be an aspirational company for the best talent in the places in which it operates

g) Higher profitability and liquidity

h) With all of the above, help ensure their long-term successful subsistence


These benefits would seem too good to be true. But they are totally real. The stricter the implementation of the strategy described in the previous section, the greater the probability of achieving them.


The worst that can happen in the management of private security companies is to fall into a comfort zone accepting a moderately good situation or to be dejected by the problems of day-to-day operation. We must act in a timely and orderly manner to move forward.




We will continue with this series of articles on Private Security Operations Management.

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