By Darren Read
Hot off the heels of the announcement that Churchill Security has made its debut into the Infologue Top 30 Rankings, Darren Read reflects on what this means for the future for Churchill Security Solutions, following the acquisition of AOS.
Yesterday, we were delighted to announce that Churchill Security has made its debut into the Infologue Top 30 rankings for 2017 (more on that here). In the statement, we touched on the fact that our debut into the rankings was timely given our acquisition of AOS in October last year; and clearly, all the hard work put in by both parties is already beginning to pay dividends.
As the managing director of AOS – and now Churchill Security – I’ve been in a privileged position to oversee the acquisition process. Beforehand, at AOS we were successful and respected in the security sector, having clients such as London Zoo, Chiltern Railways, and The Greater London Authority within our portfolio. However, we somehwhat lacked a broader market presence to raise our profile beyond the upper echelon of the UK security sector to a wider audience.
Churchill, already well-established and successful in the multi-soft service solutions field, and now in the Grant Thornton Top Track 250, were seeking to develop their security services beyond the ‘bread and butter’ of manned guarding to a specialist, solutions-led, consultancy-level business that can deliver a totally outsourced managed security solution. A solution that delivers value for money for our clients and mitigates their risks. Together as “One Churchill”, we’re committed and capable of providing this.
The nature of our role has changed radically in the past few decades; primarlily, in response to the volatile and ever-evolving nature of threats within the UK. Terrorism- related incidents are now a part of everyday life. Unfortunately, knife and gun crime is increasing year-on-year, and the recent emergence of acid attacks is yet another emerging trend. All of these have changed the way in which we help protect our clients assets; be that people, buildings, physical assets or infrastructure. With so many incidents occurring daily in the public domain – naturally people expect a security reassurance throughout their ongoing daily routines. In terms of threats, we’re living in turbulent times and the stakes could not be higher.
These are the challenges we face as a profession, and no one could argue that our job isn’t dynamic by nature. Currently, one of our contracts involves close protection of members of a very special UK family. On the other hand, we have teams working at London Zoo providing a customer-focused solution to optimise everyone’s enjoyment of the Zoo’s fascinating animals. On London’s affluent Bond Street, we provide specialist security services to support clients directly as well as the security infrastructure required within this unique environment. In addition, we have teams on the ground at iconic heritage locations such as Parliament and Trafalgar Square.
Technology is changing the face of our business and the fully integrated technological and people solution we deliver for C2C Trenitalia (in the rail sector) is testament to this; enabling us to recently secure a long-term contract to protect their staff and passengers.
The threats we face are the same as our competition and each organisation has an equal responsibility to identify and deliver solutions to meet their customers’ concerns / issues and mitigate risks. However, many choose a different route which I refer to as “easy street” – delivering purely an input-specification solution; whereby they solely follow what the contract states. What defines Churchill is our approach; our people, our quality of service, and our drive to go above and beyond in delivering security solutions that solve issues and mitigate risk for our customers; with a clear focus and measurement based on the output.
The industry as a whole, unfortunately, still focusses on hours per week and how many swipes of a designated point have been completed. We will not choose that path, and instead, we will influence positive change within our industry. Others may follow suit, but Churchill are already in the driving seat, leading the way forward!