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    Any business owner will understand the importance of keeping their building, occupants and assets protected around the clock - and a confident security provider makes this a great deal easier.

    UK businesses lose millions every year to burglary and theft. In fact, an estimated 606,282 crimes are carried out against businesses each year according to the National Business Crime Centre - with 58% of these going unresolved.

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    At Chris Lewis Group, we understand that choosing the right commercial security provider is tricky - and we’re here to help. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the key focus points you should think about in the search for the ideal security company for your needs.

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    1. Do They Work With A Wide Range of Solutions & Brands?

    When you partner with a provider that works with a wide range of manufacturers you know they will provide you with a system to suit your needs, rather than what's most convenient for them.

    Technology moves incredibly quickly. Trusting in a company that works at the cutting-edge makes sure you’ll get the most up-to-date, future-proof protection available, with the longest lifespan possible. For extra peace of mind, it's important that you ask for examples and references of where the technology has been used successfully before. 

    A confident provider won’t be afraid to move with the times, but equally as comfortable repairing and maintaining your existing outdated technology like analog CCTV cameras. By drawing on their knowledge and experience, a good provider will understand the weaknesses of specific technologies and how they can be maintained against the threat of cybercrime and hacking.

    Even if you’re only looking to install one specific technology at first, you’ll eventually need to upgrade or add extra security solutions down the road. Working with one company with expertise across a range of solutions keeps this simple.

    You’ll be able to form a working partnership and respond to your urgent building security issues quickly. The provider will also build-up familiarity with your business and existing setup, making it even easier for them to carry out maintenance or even integrate new technology with their previous work.

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    2. Experience

    Experience is everything in the commercial security game. If you’re putting the safety of your business into another's hands, you’ll want to know they are up to the task. Seems obvious, right? But, it’s an easy thing to overlook. 

    In 2022, it’s easier than ever to design an exceptional looking brand, but this is no guarantee for a quality service. Many newer security services have slick-looking websites and bold service promises that make them seem like seasoned pros - often without the credibility to back this up. 

    Check the business credentials, ask for references of clients that have worked with them for a long period of time. Remember companies and people learn from their mistakes, don’t let new businesses make their mistakes at your commercial property.

    You'll also want to check out their recent projects portfolio. If a provider has previous experience working in your sector - with positive customer feedback - it’s a good sign that they’ll understand your situation, needs, and the best methods to protect your business. 

    Don’t be afraid to ask for references, look for Google reviews, testimonials and referrals from previous customers to put you in good stead. Of course, you’ll find glowing customer feedback on any provider’s website, so make sure you’re looking at other channels to get a more unbiased view. If you can't find much information online, or a high number of negative reviews and complaints, you’ll want to steer clear.

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    3. Accreditations & Qualifications 

    Working with a provider who isn’t appropriately licensed can cause all kinds of headaches - from minimal quality assurances to dodgy installations that risk your safety. 

    The worst thing you can do is hand your business’ safety over to an unauthorised, unregistered provider, which can leave lasting financial and emotional damage for your business.

    So what should you look out for? Bespoke security providers will wear their awards and accreditations like a badge of honour. For a reliable service provider, make sure to look out for an NSI Gold accreditation, this is a highly respected and trusted accreditation that shows the provider has technical expertise, with the quality of service to match.

    NSI approved providers face a yearly review to make sure their service is consistently meeting industry benchmarks, showing exceptional customer care, and operating in line with the latest requirements - so it’s a great way to judge quality and reputability.

    As a bare minimum, you’ll want to make sure the provider has a TrustMark accreditation. When you choose a TrustMark Registered Business, you're working with a business that has been thoroughly assessed to meet required standards and good customer service practices. If you can’t see the TrustMark accreditation, you'll want to steer clear.

    If you’re looking to install a highly-technical security system, it’s also worth looking out for an Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) accreditation. The ECA requires all of its members to have successfully passed regular assessments in the latest electronics and wiring regulations. 

    It’s also worth keeping an eye out for relevant manufacturer awards from industry-leading brands like the Paxton Gold Installer (Access Control), SALTO Gold Partner or Verkada Authorised Reseller (CCTV). These prove that the provider is trusted to install specific systems by the supplier themselves.

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    4. Ongoing Support

    Before giving any provider the green-light, you’ll want to understand their warranty policy and ongoing aftercare options. No matter how advanced the technology you choose is, with new threats emerging and new technology becoming available, security is an ongoing process of maintenance, care, and upgrading. 

    With a range of small parts and potentially hundreds of users coming into contact with cameras, gates, and keypads on a daily basis, regular maintenance is the only way to guarantee the safety of your premises. By taking the time to have your system regularly maintained, you’ll be able to respond to common faults, nasty software breaches, and understand how your technologies can integrate to protect your business further. 

    The right provider will always offer an aftercare and maintenance package to help you through this, putting your business first, listening to your concerns, and doing their best to resolve these in a timely manner. Try to find a client-facing provider that offers 24/7 support to its customers. This ensures you’ll always be on the front-foot when it comes to keeping your systems at full-speed and effective.

    Let’s say you have a CCTV camera deactivate, a locked gate, or a burglar alarm blaring in the middle of the night - these issues deserve an urgent response. The right provider will be able to diagnose these issues almost immediately, responding and resolving the problem before it becomes costly. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

    Final Thoughts

    While most security systems are built from similar systems, no two will be exactly the same. Each business and building is unique and will require a setup that suits its individual needs. 

    A provider that offers a range of services can tailor your offering to suit these needs, designing a system that fits your budget, layout, and adjust as your business changes and grows. 

    While a good technician will be able to advise you on the best way to protect your business, it’s best practice to ask yourself the following questions before making contact:

    • Where are you most vulnerable?
    • Which system are you looking to install? Why?
    • Do you need it to act as a visual deterrent or be discreet?
    • How many access points do you need to cover?
    • Do you need a 24/7 monitored solution?
    • Does your existing technology need updating?
    • How do you plan to monitor and control your security?

    If you can’t answer these, don’t stress. A good provider will be able to talk you through them. It’s all about partnership. A company that focuses on building long-lasting relationships will work with you to design a security plan that combines your knowledge of your business with their industry expertise, helping you to actively deter and defeat threats before they happen.

    At Chris Lewis Group, we pride ourselves on being one of these providers. We understand the reassurance that security can bring to your business.

    With over 30 years’ industry experience, our NSI Gold team is fully trained in the latest market-leading technologies. We’re perfectly positioned to support you in the installation, maintenance and ongoing care of your system.

    Let us bring your new system to life, get in touch with our experts today:

    Submit the below form and we will get back to you very shortly.

    Luke Lewis-Rippington
    I run our sales, technical design and marketing initiatives for the business. I work closely with manufacturers and trade associations to keep abreast with the latest technology and regulations making sure our clients are getting the very best and latest systems available.