Jenny Reid – SASA President’s Colum
November 19, 2012
As an industry, we have to ensure that we meet the highest standards of security and maintain the hallmarks of professionalism. It is essentially about trust— creating trust, fostering trust, maintaining trust. In this respect, SASA has embarked on educating the security industry and its consumers on the importance of using compliant security providers.
As we all know, most South Africans are relying on private security forces to guard the sanctuary of their homes while they are away. While cost is sometimes a factor in a client’s decision to purchase residential security, others are looking at the level of protection a company can provide, its reputation, its technology and the quality of its personnel themselves. By aligning themselves to the self-regulating standards and best practice models of the industry, companies will have a much stronger chance of providing the best service possible to homeowners.
Residential security companies should realise that a Security Association of South Africa (SASA) membership will add credibility. The number of years you have been in business, service guarantees and a warranty on home systems – will further provide gravitas to a security brand in South Africa.
Service must be top of mind, and a security company needs to engage with clients and keep open communication channels. The perceptive company should strive to meet an individual homeowner’s needs or provide a value-add service contract or additional benefits not available elsewhere. More importantly, staff should be trained to interact clearly and professionally with clients across all communication points.
Another differentiator is looking at progressive and new technology available for the residential security sector. From the level of response from a monitoring centre, right through to the type of alarm equipment and installation process, can be important factors when serving the residential sector. Remote access to security features at their home while they are away will also give homeowners peace of mind. This type of technology can also give an extra advantage to your brand in a competitive market. Solid and experienced security companies should be able to identify vulnerable points on a property and be able to deliver efficient installation team to upgrade any security features needed before a family leaves on vacation.
Residential security offers a massive market for security companies, but it must offer the best possible product and service to a client, as well as remaining compliant and up to date on current legislation. This holiday season, let us all do our bit to keep our cities, suburbs and recreation areas safe and peaceful places.
On the SASA front I am happy to report that SASA members were represented at the recent SIA Board Meeting, where Costa Diavastos of G4S, presented on the proposed PSIRA Amendment Bill to the Portfolio Committee. Other industry news is that firearms licenses are being issued fairly efficiently now but competencies are still a major challenge. There is now also an incentive for security officers to register with the SIA Employment for Life database where they receive loyalty cards.
I will be representing SASA at the conference in Cape Town and am presenting in Beijing in December on the South Africa private security industry.
The SASA constitution is also currently being reviewed. Any input or suggestions are welcome.