Long-Term Approach to Business SecurityWed, 05/08/2019 - 17:01
When it comes to security, talking about “what ifs” when something has already happened is the last thing a company should do, says Carlos Seoane, Director General of Seoane Consulting Group, a security consulting firm whose services range from operational issues like consulting and training to more complex matters such as crisis management and emergency response planning. “Unfortunately, prevention has always played a secondary role in Mexico,” says Seoane.
The protection industry remains in its adolescence, despite security being a national concern, according to Seoane. This is partly attributable to a lack of knowledge from the Mexican business community regarding both the risks they face and the available solutions. Many companies look at security as solely executive protection and perimeter and access control. But it entails much more than that. “It is a business of many layers,” says Seoane. “At times, it has nothing to do with the day-to-day operations but instead, focuses on long-term strategy.” This includes elements such as business continuity, strategic planning and crisis management.
Rather than straight-ahead security, Seoane Consulting focuses on offering tailored solutions that address and solve specific company needs. He points out that companies face an array of complex issues that could hinder their business, including natural disasters, criminality and geopolitics. “It is not just about spending money for the sake of spending money on security but about investing in the right fit for their operations.” Misconceptions about what private security entails also stem from the fact that the industry is still developing. “In Mexico, private security is still in the early stages and there are people with very little training, who work long hours or have several responsibilities but are paid low wages,” Seoane says, adding that this is a natural process that other countries have also experienced.
Maturity is starting to emerge as professionalization slowly penetrates the industry. “Twenty years ago, whenever transnational companies opened up operations here, they would bring security people from their headquarters rather than use local players. They did not trust us,” says Seoane. “But bringing an entourage of private security from other countries became very expensive. Combined with the professionalization of the local industry, this allowed us to change the dynamic.” With the change in federal administration, Seoane says clarity in regulations would go a long way to bolstering the industry. “The first regulatory framework for private security was created in 1989. Even though today there is more regulation, some aspects are not clear. This forces many companies to depend on their good name, reputation and work ethics.”