HAWK-LIKE VISION

Jamaica 2018 | IT & BPO | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Sean Clacken, CEO of Hawkeye, on the evolution of its offerings, plans for expansion outside of Jamaica, and a leg-up on industry training.

Sean Clacken
BIOGRAPHY
Sean Clacken, CEO of the DLM Group, the parent company of Hawkeye, has dedicated more than two decades of service to Jamaica’s leading provider of electronic security solutions, armored courier, and residential and commercial armed response services. Joining Hawkeye in 1995, he rose through the ranks, serving as sales executive, sales manager, and director of sales. His prior training in business administration at the Institute of Management and Production (IMP); Electrical Technology at the University of Technology as well as numerous certifications from Quantum Business Solutions armed him as a technical expert.

How has Hawkeye developed as a company, and how have your services and client base evolved?

Hawkeye has two arms: guarding and electronics. The electronics side will turn 30 in 2018 while the guarding division will be 32. In the past, the two companies operated completely independently and were run by different brothers. Several years ago, we merged the management structures to resemble one brand, giving customers the impression that we offer one complete solution. Hawkeye does everything in physical security, including armed and unarmed security guards. On the electronics side, our primary service is installing alarm and panic systems, as well as monitoring and armed response to alarms. We also offer many accessory services that our core business has allowed us to build. The second-largest part of our business currently is the sale of equipment. We do a great deal of installations of camera and access control systems for small to enterprise solutions. We have installed 2,000-3,000 cameras over the past year, particularly through a great deal of expansion in the hotel segment. We have also seen a large expansion in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector. We are currently working with Petrojam and tend to do almost all the BPO sector's electronic security.

What does Hawkeye bring that is different to what local security companies offer in the US, for example?

Generally speaking, there is not much to differentiate between what the various companies offer in the security market in the US. One of the reasons for looking outside Jamaica is that the margins here are slim. There are greater margins to be found for security services outside the Jamaican market. We also look to continue to drive our current lines. We are doing a great deal of training and expansion of our sales force. We expanded our sales force by about 25% in 2016 and intend to increase it by another 25% in 2018 because we have seen the returns from this expansion. The final plan is to look at areas of opportunity that are new business lines for Jamaica. We are exploring the information security field. Hawkeye's name is strong in the security market and we can leverage our name to take ownership of the information security market here. This is an area that our customers have been asking us if we are considering. Awareness of cyber security is growing rapidly. The need for physical security services will not go away; this is just another area that will grow, and we want to be the ones to fill this niche.

What sets Hawkeye apart from its competitors?

It is hard to say one thing because we offer many different services. On the electronics side, which is monitoring and armed response, our unique proposition is that Hawkeye offers the fastest response times in the industry. Our current ratio is 350 customers to one response team, while our competitors have ratios of 650 to one. On the guarding side, what makes Hawkeye different is our focus on training. In 2017, we became certified as an accredited training organization, and we can now train and certify our own level-one security guards under international accreditation standards. There are only two other security companies that can do this. We are also the only company in the security industry here that can offer level-two training for security supervisors. Our next step is to expand our training institute beyond our own staff and train other security guards who want to become certified. Then, we want to expand further into other areas, such as training in customer service and installation of security equipment. Training is important at Hawkeye. In 2017, we were the proud recipients of an award from the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) for investing in getting a large number of our managers certified as security professionals.