How the Right RFP Can Ensure the Program You Buy Is the Program You Get

Campus procurement and security/public safety departments should work together to craft an RFP that will filter out less-qualified security service contractors while attracting the right companies.

The security service purchase – is it a job for procurement or a job for the security and safety expert? For most organizations, the answer likely lies somewhere in the middle. Procurement has a prominent role in every organization, particularly in education and healthcare, where every dollar counts. How can you work with procurement to ensure that your request for proposal (RFP) will ensure you get your desired outcome?

It depends on what you want. If your desired outcome is a basic service that performs competently to pre-set instructions and does not require critical thinking, understanding and actions that drive value beyond your post orders, then the selection of a mid-priced company with a decent track record will likely be what you get.

But is that enough? If you desire more, more must be required at the RFP stage.

RELATED: 10 Steps to Crafting an Effective RFP

If your desired outcome goes beyond post orders and encompasses risk mitigation, high levels of engagement, customer service and a workforce with the ability to identify issues, think critically and act appropriately, then procurement and security/public safety must collaborate to drive a process that requires this outcome through a well-crafted RFP. The RFP must provide the platform for an experience-based security staffing offer that specifically outlines experience qualifications and is granular with regard to wage and benefit plans.

Training, Screening and Benefits Are Critical
Don’t all security providers aspire to provide a competent and engaged workforce that will deliver these services? The answer is yes, but the “how” is still a challenge – even for providers who do this every day. This is where a “hopeful strategy” vs. a “defined strategy” has held back the security industry and has slowed its progress to becoming a true profession vs. a minimum wage job.

RELATED: Is Your Consultant Qualified for the Job?

Most companies that offer security officer services will reference their U.S. Military veteran population, personnel who have a post-high school education and prior careers in law enforcement or security and a rich pool of applicants to secure your location. However – and here is the subtle but glaring difference – they won’t guarantee their personnel have one or more of the above listed experiences, coupled with the expected pre-assignment and post-assignment training, customer service expertise, background clearances, pay and benefits bespoke to such a workforce. 

When it comes to an engaged workforce you must understand that experience, pay, benefits and opportunity all matter. There must be an appetite on the customer side and security company side to recruit, screen, train, pay, provide benefits for, motivate and inspire a security or public safety workforce.

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