ARMANDO ZÚÑIGA SALINAS

Mexico 2021 | TRANSPORT & SECURITY | INTERVIEW

IPS is using increasingly new and innovative ways to resolve problems in Mexico's security sector and retain its strong position.

Armando Zúñiga Salinas
BIOGRAPHY

Armando Zuñiga Salinas is CEO and founding partner of IPS. He has over 20 years of experience, and was president of ASIS Chapter Mexico. He holds a CPP certification and graduated from the security direction program given by the Universidad Pontificia Comillas de Madrid. He also graduated from the AD2 program of the Pan American Institute of Higher Education (IPADE). He is a counselor of COPARMEX NACIONAL and is president of the public security commission of the Mexico City business center.

What strategies did you use to adapt IPS' business model to the changes in the market?

The company was determined to keep jobs going and continue to pay its employees on time, though we needed everyone's commitment to manage resources and take all the necessary precautions. Fortunately, we closed 2020 well, with solid liquidity, profit, black numbers, and growth of 8%, although we initially predicted to grow by 15%. 2021 meant growing in some strategic sectors, such as finance, where we are strategically positioned with the largest banks in Mexico, insurance companies, and more. We considered 2020 a good year despite the pandemic. One of the challenges for 2021 is to not only maintain growth, but also measure the market and costs well. Our sector is tricky since much of it is sold in the informal market. We are now seeking new ways to combat this. One is to continue through this part of the administrative efficiency and the other is to look for new services. Here, we rely on technology and tiLatina, which has a platform where all electronic security systems are integrated. We designed a service where we can monitor a place without having a physical security guard onsite. We install the technology, cameras, and access control system, and everything is then managed from a monitoring center. This service allows a single guard to monitor up to five facilities, which lowers costs without sacrificing facility security. Another part of the business process that we are automating is monitoring, which involves vehicles that cause traffic and pollution as well as staff. Using the same principles of technology, we plan to install a video linked to a center where a central supervisor will monitor everything that takes place. This will make us more efficient in terms of staff, vehicles, and fuel costs. In 2021, we want to opt for technology and innovation, which can help us significantly improve services in this current crisis.

You have many multinational clients. How have they reacted to this revolution in terms of the services you offer?

We are in the early stages of marketing and making our clients aware of them. We have only just started advertising them. So far, the comments have been incredibly positive; customers are convinced this is the way forward, and we have been looking to change up the services we provide for some time now. We hope that through these services, we will soon be able to replace people with technology, although the process will be gradual.

What kind of trends did you observe in the market that led you to create this type of solution?

The Security Groups United for a Stable Mexico (ASUME) is made up of 32 associations, and one of our main areas of progress has been our relationship and communication with public security and the business sector. This has helped us be understood by our clients and vice versa. We got private security classified as an essential service at the outset of the pandemic. At both the federal and state level, we managed to hold a number of conversations with states to communicate well with them, which was previously more difficult since public security often viewed us as competition. It meant understanding that private security plays a fundamental role given that we protect all strategic companies and sectors such as the value transfer, airports, and so on. In short, the private security sector positioned itself well in 2020. At ASUME, we will also ensure that security staff receive the vaccine since they come into contact with people all the time and are therefore at risk.