Please Use The Security Professionals
In years gone by you could talk direct to the Customer and their Architect personally, even influence the Consultant and the Main Contractor if allowed. How many times have I heard “You are the professionals what do you suggest” and then the consultant writes his own specification and the Main Contractor ends up asking the Security company to explain again why this won’t work with this piece of equipment. Gone are the days of Security Packages consisting of just Intruder, CCTV and Access/Intercoms. Packages have grown to possibly include Fire, Gates, Barriers, Bollards, Ramps, Perimeter fencing, IP, Analytics, Car Parks, Turnstiles, Revolving Doors etc, etc.
Do too many fingers in too many pies spring to mind? A tender can now be broken into so many pieces that what the Client and Architect wanted to achieve at the beginning ends up diluted. Is this due to companies off loading the risk and protecting their margin? Electrical Contractors now do a lot of the Security package themselves because they have the cable infrastructure in their remit and then have to hand it over to the ”Security Professionals” to either finish off or rectify. Procurement is a big player regarding main contractors but do they buy for the customer or their company? Has everyone given up on giving the customer what they want for their value for money? We all know that a building cannot be opened unless the fire alarm works correctly and it is signed off and handed over, but the fire alarm company had little to do with the installation from its inception and somebody else commissions it, and then comes the liquidated damages if it does not work.
I've been to enough meetings in my career to see that blame is a big part of an agenda and this leads to who has the best possible project manager on site to off load the problem at a cost. The only thing that happens then is time wasted and a rush job to finish on time.
Customer - has a vision
Architect - has a vision for the customer
Consultant - puts vision into a word document
Main Contractor - builds vision
Electrical & mechanical - integrates vision
Installer - executes vision
We all know that the above is a vision in itself; however it can be a format that we can achieve as a Fire and Security Company. Architects are the professionals when it comes to the Aesthetics and quite rightly so, but how often do they get what they originally asked for regarding security? There are so many companies involved in the vision above, that the customer, architects and the consultants (first and secondary, depending on the size of the project) spend more time rectifying paper work and ideas to get around what they can or can’t do due to legalities, standards and health and safety. You can now bid online for open tenders and the lowest bid wins, this sounds absurd but the government believe it to be the correct way to win major projects. They call it transparency; I call it eBay with higher stakes.
Before the build starts this is the time for the Customer to have a discussion with the Architect, Consultant and the Fire and security companies. Then the customer gets what he wants and value for money, the Architect gets an aesthetically pleasing system to the eye that works and the Consultant has a fighting chance with the tender and the correct manufacturer will be used and not a number of them that do not work in harmony.
Sounds Easy…. you decide.