The Four C's of Success
Committing leadership and resources is a top priority
- By Dan Myslewski
- Apr 01, 2012
When selecting a partner for your government security program, it’s important to keep in mind the four C’s that lead to success: commitment, compliance, coverage and communication. Success in the government security market comes when a company commits its leadership and resources to all segments of the government market—federal, state and local—placing a top priority on the compliance and certification of people, projects and systems that cover the entire country while relying on strong centralized and local communication.
Commitment goes beyond a flashy brochure. It means that a security provider has adequate staff dedicated to serving the government market. To ensure success, specific expertise is needed in the design, integration, installation and maintenance of any and all physical security systems and solutions for government projects, whether directly with the end user or technology partners. Customers must be confident their government partner today will remain their government partner in the future. Customers are looking for a security partner that has insight and knowledge of government-mandated compliance reporting requirements and procurement standards, program management best practices and attentiveness to its partners’ overall needs.
A company’s commitment to the government sector must include a blend of focus, timing, transparency and compliance. A company must sustain a strong focus on the strategic, albeit distinct, segments of federal, state and local government projects; a strong knowledge of relevant procurement practices, trends and forecasts; a detailed understanding of performance objectives and requirements; and the applicable resources timed to maximize responses to pragmatic opportunities. In addition, by providing a company-wide philosophy of transparency, and by cultivating and educating a dedicated operations team and ensuring meticulous attention to documentation requirements, success will be achieved.
By focusing on strategic segments within the government, a company can competitively position itself over the long-term to work with customers who need and use its services on a daily basis. This allows for familiar, lasting relationships to develop, and by further leveraging the collective capabilities and knowledge of strategic partners, credibility is further enhanced by maintaining closeness to the heart of the industry and its major players.
Commitment also includes a company’s innovative drive within the government security sector. Such corporate innovation not only includes new product designs or advanced technology applications, but it also includes improvements to the customer experience. Innovation in this industry is by no means optional. In this fast-paced technological age, it is a necessity, an expectation and the ultimate standard of quality capability. It’s a sign to customers that a company is never finished serving them and is always striving for new and better ways to augment a customer’s security measure of protection.
As with the real estate business where it’s “location, location, location,” the government market is about “compliance, compliance, compliance.” In strengthening a security government program, the compliance procedures of the government operations team must be emphasized.
There is an element of increased care and meticulousness that must be implemented in the selection and hiring process to ensure that properly trained individuals will lead and implement compliant solutions. A top-performing operations team should be fully aware and remain abreast of market trends and understand how clients procure under the Federal Acquisition Regulations program. Such institutional knowledge, together with robust GSA schedules, multiple contracting vehicles and the ability to offer “cleared” staff, offer significant value to teammates and government security customers.
Employing a multitude of contracting vehicles also is critical to helping develop all government agencies’ security easily and quickly. Understanding compliance requirements affects the speed and transparency of procurement as well, and the adherence to policy of procurement is vital in the government sphere and will help launch a company’s success within the market drastically. In the government security sector, companies that provide expertise in the procurement process and a willingness to work with customers throughout its entirety are more likely to experience greater achievements in the field.
A critical component of compliance includes the continual training and adding of newly certified high-security representatives in each market and establishing strict standards for staff. By requiring that only tested high-security staff work with government and defense contractors, a company begins to create a reliable reputation for having a full, comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of the government security sector and positions itself as an easy, wellinformed choice for potential and current customers.
Specially trained and knowledgeable personnel will know the language of the market and, most importantly, will be well-versed in the requirements associated with working in high security. In sustaining this kind of dialogue, providers bolster their image of proficiency within the market, positioning themselves as leaders with invaluable intelligence.
Having national coverage is a major benefit to government end users and allows for companies to work closely with regional security decision- makers on their specialized needs. Additionally, when a company has a significant number of installations and service of UL2050 high-security locations around the country, it increases the level of resources available to provide government customers. With scale in the government sector, companies are able to better understand the specific needs of all customers and can truly help national and regional customers, alike.
Part of coverage includes a direct-to-market approach to end users in the federal and defense contracting community. In teaming with strategic partners both inside and outside the Beltway, companies can expect to better meet government procurement needs. Partnering with other divisions allows businesses to develop a broader base of solutions to offer customers. By implementing an extensive range of strategic partnerships, which come with their own unique insights and services, companies can work to become one provider with the ability to solve multiple, common security and infrastructure needs.
It is not only a matter of working closely with government customers and strategic partners, but being able to effectively communicate with them. It’s important that partners involved in a government-based project are kept abreast of the dynamics of projects through a communication process that is complete, timely and transparent. As always, transparency must play a major role in the business partnership that supports individual customers and their needs.
Another key aspect of communication is proximity. In the government business, it’s imperative to establish your local presence in Washington, D.C.—the hub of government market activity. This can significantly increase the opportunity for face-to-face time that builds strong partnerships with decision-makers in our nation’s capital. Overall, establishing a close proximity to the heart of the government market can serve as a major advantage and is instrumental in contributing to the success of a government program.
Proximity at a local project level is also critical to a successful government program. Being able to have the same types of face-to-face meetings with local project managers greatly improves the success of individual installations. Having local company offices throughout the nation that serve the government customers separates those who dabble in government security from those who are truly committed to the government customers and market.
The Four C’s in Closing
To be a successful partner in the government sector, you should be mindful of the four C’s: commitment, compliance, coverage and communication. Government projects are, oftentimes, large, complex multi-year engagements, and any government programs team must be committed not just to the market but also to individual projects. Once the team has secured a government programs opportunity, it must maintain a heightened level of discipline to collaborate only with partners who have the same level of commitment and competencies. Companies should build project teams around the needs of a particular program and always try to implement cost-reduction resources whenever possible to the benefit of the government customer.
This article originally appeared in the April 2012 issue of Security Today.