TOOLS IN THE BOX

Mexico 2016 | ECONOMY | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Adrián Domínguez Gutiérrez, Director General of Grupo Securitas México, on the security market in Mexico.

How has the Mexican market developed during your time here?

When we first came to this market, it was not very mature, so the challenge was one that most big international companies faced—to increase our presence despite the lack of a formal security sector. At that time, security was just seen as labor. Most companies just hired a few security guards without any larger strategy. Since we acquired Pinkerton in 1999, we have expanded a lot. We have at least doubled our size in that time. And the market and industry have evolved as well. In some segments, the clients have more knowledge and more ideas about how to deal with security. This is still a market with a lot of potential for us and we see it as a bridge to connect our company with the rest of our operations around the world.

What role has Securitas played in transforming the private security sector here?

We want to educate our clients in order to change the way they look at the security industry. In the end, we need to reinforce our efforts to send the right message to the clients to change their idea on how to implement proper security services. The current challenge is to make security an established profession in Mexico. In many countries, being a security guard is a profession and a formal job, but in Mexico, that is still a challenge. We need to inform the public about the specialized nature of our services. A lot of our competition still comes from the informal sector, so one of our challenges is to demonstrate the benefits of working with a formal security company.

What distinguishes Securitas from other international security companies?

Our biggest differentiator is our business model. We call it “the Toolbox." That business model is oriented toward our clients and our people. With that model, we are not improvising anything. Our vision also distinguishes us—the vision we for our industry and our people. We want to transform the current services in security solutions. That is not a minor vision; it is a huge vision and we need to do a lot of things for that. The way we provide our services is what differentiates our services from our competitors. In Mexico, we have serious competition. Securitas takes all of our internal processes very seriously. Of these, one of the most important is our hiring and selection process, which is unique in the industry. There are rigorous exams that must be passed in order to become a Securitas guard. That ensures that we are hiring a professional person with a background check, who our clients can rely on for security. Secondly, our knowledge of the industry sets us apart. Internationally, we have expertise in different segments that we can rely on to support our core business here.

Can you talk more about “the Toolbox?"

The Toolbox is a great business model. If you were an engineer, you would need tools to do your job. Securitas is a company founded on three values: Integrity, Vigilance, and Helpfulness. Our business model is based on that. For that, our group established some basic tools to provide the fundamental skills and tools to do the job. There are nine tools in the box. Each represents an element of our business. The most important of all is our philosophy and our values. This model gives us the opportunity to make a big difference in Mexico. I doubt that anyone else has this kind of business model in Mexico.

How does technology play a role in your business?

Technology is essential, and is at the very basis of our vision. If we want to transform the current security services sector, we need to use technology. But, it is not just technology itself, we need to integrate the technology with the right platforms, software, and procedures, in order to transform that. Technology is the foundation of this process. In the end, it is possible to reduce the labor cost while also providing savings for the clients. It is more than just economics—we are providing different services for the clients. They can prevent serious losses using new tools and technology. It is fundamental to use technology in our services. For example, we offer “track and trace" with GPS. This service is totally different than it was in the 1990s or 2000s. It is more flexible, and more achievable for everyone. For many years, we were using just CCTV as a tool for monitoring. Now, technology can give you more advantages. We can integrate CCTV into various platforms, controls, and different tools in one platform and manage it in a different way to provide clients with a range of solutions. Technology is very important right now and our market is demanding different services using technology.

What do you see as the biggest challenges right now for Securitas?

The base of our services is still people. The labor force can be the biggest challenge right now, especially in the north part of the country near the border, where the manufacturing industry often gets first choice of the most qualified employees. Our other challenge is getting into new segments of the market. The majority of our clients are currently in a few sectors: automotive, manufacturing, education, and logistics. There is a lot of potential in airports, healthcare, logistics, and high rises. The challenge is to convince our clients that we have the specialized training to meet the specific needs of their sector. We have expertise from our work in other countries and we can deliver the best practices as a result.

What are your goals for Securitas in the next few years?

We still have potential segments for our market. We want to expand our footprint around the country in areas like airports, the healthcare sector, high-rises, and logistics. We will not lose sight of our vision in our approach to those segments. We will maintain our focus to transform the current services into real security solutions in line with the global vision of our CEO, Alf Göransson. These are the next steps for us—trying to educate the market in that way.