Why you should consider using an independent qualified consultant before buying your next Security System but who is
Watching the Watchers By Roger O’Shea M.Sec.I.I
In these harsh economic times it’s vitally important for companies, whether large or small, to ensure that they get value for money. In the security area, that applies to buying a new system or upgrading an existing system which no longer works properly, if indeed it ever did. So how does a person without the necessary qualifications ensure that they spend their money wisely? Normally, they adopt one of two approaches (and for example purposes, let’s assume they are buying a CCTV system).
Option One White Van Man The customer consults the yellow pages, calls companies he/she knows little or nothing about and asks for a quote for a CCTV system. Very often, they do so without knowing exactly what they need from CCTV. White Van Man arrives and after viewing the premises, they prepare a quote for 20
a generic system where price is the main consideration. The same process happens with a few companies. The customer is then left in the confusing position of having to decide between a few proposals, none of which they fully understand and where the main influence is cost. Usually, they opt for either the lowest or middle price. Following installation they own cameras, a recording unit and a monitor of some sort but because they have probably chosen the lowest quote they, more likely than not, have not even been shown how to use and operate the system properly. They actually would have been better off putting their money on a horse in Punchestown and if they were lucky, spending their winnings on Lotto tickets. At least that way they would get some enjoyment and value out of their investment. They certainly won’t have received any value from their investment and interaction with the security industry.
Option Two Slippery Sid, The Sales Man. The second scenario normally involves a company which is more experienced
or has been previously stung by White Van Man. They contact companies with bigger adverts in the Golden Pages or those that advertise elsewhere. The company has a clear view of what they want and task their purchasing manager to get the best value, this time from a reputable company. They then meet Slippery Sid, the sales man, in the flashy suit who attempts to impress them with colourful brochures and sales folders while offering demonstrations of equipment. He also talks about satisfied customers, licensing the industry and warns of all the dodgy companies operating in the business. The customer probably pays twice as much as the unfortunate White Van Man client for the same equipment and yes, you have guessed it, they too would have been better off with a punt on the horses. The key point here is that neither option works as without a written specification and a method of ensuring that the specification was followed you the customer have no way of knowing what you have purchased and whether it can do the job.
Spring 2010 edition of Risk Manager Magazine