Today’s Manned Guarding is technologically powered
There was a time when security was all about having someone at the gate to have it opened and closed as the need arises. Today, all that has changed. Mr. Adekunmi Odebunmi, Head of Manned Guarding Business at Halogen Security Company Limited, talks about the chronicles of what has now come to be referred to as Manned Guarding.
From Maiguards to Manned Guards
Back in the day, securing locations such as office premises, school premises, residential premises, and so on, were usually left to the persons known as ‘maiguards’ in the past. A maiguard means someone who guards the gate. They usually have a very basic roles – open and close the gate as well as conduct visitors in and out of the premises. A more general term for this job in Nigeria is the ‘gateman’.
Today, paradigms have shifted. With the massive advancements in technology, the emergence of the more informed society, and a complete breakdown of global and local cultural borders, challenges within the security circuits have increased. These have led to the need for a more sophisticated delivery of security services.
The role of the typical gateman has evolved. Today, the person who is charged with the responsibility of manning the gate cannot only just be concerned about monitoring access into and out from the premises being guarded. The security personnel of today must be able to identify threats and red flags from a security point of view. Technology-aided gadgets and equipment now help the personnel to get more efficient with gate keeping and access control, which is now more generally termed as Manned Guarding.
What we have now is that the old Maiguard concept has now evolved to a more inclusive professional service with a corporate operation, due to the deficiency of the Maiguard system. The Guarding personnel of today is professional in outlook and receives a lot of training that enables him/her deploy security functions with well-established systems and processes. From a more sophisticated way of deploying security services, a further metamorphosis has enabled an extension into a full bouquet of security services. Part of that, today, is the electronic device which strongly supports the guarding duties leaving the personnel to properly focus on access duties, patrol functions, observation of irregularities and response capabilities.
Current Problems of the Industry
While there has been a huge degree of compliance with emerging technologies with regards to security management by several security service providers, there have been several problems currently affecting the industry for which optimal value is not being offered to clients. For instance, the industry’s regulation infrastructure is poor with very low entry barrier into the market. With all manners of service providers entering the market, the buyers stand to take charge, thereby determining what price they choose to pay. We are currently dealing with a situation where competency loses against price war. Part of the effect is that walls of differentiation are completely broken down so that the clients are not seeing strong reasons to patronize one provider over the other. These problems are only compounded with heightened criminality as a result of the economic recession and this is increasing the risk of losses.
Our competitive edge
At Halogen, we are however pretty aware of these industry challenges and we are well positioned to stay above the clutter, while developing solutions that help bridge our clients’ security gaps in an open world. Halogen is currently in control of about 8% of the N100b Nigeria security market. We are able to wield our competitive edge by optimizing value creation where people, processes and systems are combined for effective results. Our operational efficiency is continuously oiled by a consciously established improvement platform. Besides, we jealously guard our customer intimacy value by ensuring that our overall business is all about delivering value to our clients. With the values that we bring to the table and having created positive disruptions in the Nigeria security market over the last 25 years, our products, services and operations are clearly differentiated from the pack. For us, it is about deploying a total service portfolio that protects human, asset, and information.
We offer a lot more help
Different strokes, they say, for different folks. We have a wide range of security offerings, but we are primly aware that one-size of solution cannot fit all our existing and prospective clients. We therefore prioritize the initiative of extending the bouquet of services to an array of bespoke solutions. Our real-time electronic monitoring from the back office helps to support field and patrol activities. We have also migrated to sector operations specialist-supervisor model. And all these are just to mention a few.
The core challenge and how we stay ahead of it
Securing of physical assets and properties that house human beings, such as residential premises, schools and offices, have been at the forefront of security service provision. For us at Halogen, this is the single view which we have moved away from. Today, we deal with that as well as medicine security, economic security, food security, human security, physical security, cyber security, environmental security, education security, defense security, alongside the intellectual (esoteric sphere) such as philosophy of security, security ethics, epistemology of security, etc.
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