ServiceMaster, leading multi-brand franchisors based in Leicester, got in touch with SECOM after talking to their insurer. They were in need of a new security system, and while SECOM were recommended originally they wanted to talk to other vendors as well. However, SECOM were the only firm that would take on the difficult task that ServiceMaster was presented with.
ServiceMaster's Wigston office, in Leicestershire, is an old government structure that was in need of a refurbishment. Along with improving the decor and upgrading the technology, the company made some changes to their staff teams and implemented a more engaged working environment for their employees through utilising the office space more effectively. This resulted in a section of the building being empty and the opportunity to sublet it to another business became a possibility.
All of this necessitated an upgrade of the existing security system so that staff could feel secure, while also decreasing the risk posed by the potential sublet of the building. Furthermore, protecting the offices containing sensitive and confidential information would be paramount in a sublet environment.
It was decided that a new access control system was needed to limit parts of the building to certain people, while keeping a record of who was coming and going. On top of this, ServiceMaster had to pay huge insurance costs due to their lack of an existing alarm system, which significantly increased their excess.
"The whole process began with saying 'what can we do to reduce that insurance cost'," said Darshan Patel, IT manager for ServiceMaster. "To do that we needed to have certain systems put in place. Our insurance provider recommended SECOM for the job. We spoke to other vendors, but SECOM were the only ones who fulfilled all our requirements."
The company's security needs were relatively complex, and many providers said it couldn't be done. SECOM were the only business willing to provide ServiceMaster CCTV set up in such a way that they could handle and manage it at the office, while other firms claimed the age of the building made the task of wiring too difficult.
Along with the CCTV system that SECOM installed, SECOM also provided ServiceMaster with a new visitor management system. This was another facet of the office's security that other companies were not able to provide. The system was needed because with the team restructure, ServiceMaster no longer employed a receptionist and needed something as a replacement.
"The visitor management system handles that for us now," said Mr Patel. "We tell it who's going to be arriving on site and it tells us who's there and prints a badge off for them." Nobody can enter the building without having signed in, so this prevents unwanted visitors from gaining access.
This is a much more efficient and cost-effective option than a receptionist. If a visitor came to the building without having been entered into the system beforehand, an intercom and video link system was also installed so they could contact a member of staff and be issued a visitor pass if necessary.
In addition, a door access control system that recorded who was accessing what areas was installed. This both prevented people from accessing areas they were not permitted to be in, as well as assisting with the company's fire management system. The location of each employee could be tracked as they entered or left certain areas, so in case of a fire it would be clear when everyone had left the building.
Finally, an alarm system was installed. As well as the insurance issues, the alarm was designed to protect ServiceMaster's offices. It also acts as a deterrent to prevent criminals from trying to break in.
"The whole setup from SECOM has been fantastic," Mr Patel said. "We're really pleased by it. The nature of this building caused a few problems, but SECOM was able to get around them, while previous vendors have looked at it and thought 'no way'."
ServiceMaster's offices used to be an old government building, and as such the walls are very thick. While this was an obstacle, it was something we were able to overcome. "SECOM just got it done, even though things like installing the door access control was a really big job," added Mr Patel.
As a result of the new security system, ServiceMaster's staff feel safer in their workplace, especially while working late at night as some do as they now use personal ID cards to sign themselves in and out.
Our security system also helps ServiceMaster's sales and marketing department. "It helped with the whole process of getting customers on board," said Mr Patel. "They see our premises and know that we're serious about security, so they know they're in safe hands."