Successful Leadership

Successful Leadership

Putting together the proper leadership team may be an overwhelming task. It has to be created carefully and properly, and it has to work to be successful. Bastion Security Inc., headquartered in Portland, Ore., has made it work both at the headquarters office, and at branches in Southern and Northern California.

Bastion has an operational heritage of 14 years, but it became its own brand in 2016, with the core leadership team coming together less than two years ago. Led by Josh Daniels, Bastion Security’s solution is video monitoring technology with security expertise, all rolled in together. That means serious security at a lower cost for the end user or customer. Daniels is the president and CEO of Bastion Security. Previously,

he served as the president and CEO of AlphaCard from 2005, until the 2015 sale of the company to Cortec Group. Security isn’t new to Daniels, and neither is successful leadership. Bastion has its challenges but nothing that a 90-minute plane ride won’t fix as one of the five-member management team is located in California. Four team members are located in Portland. The leadership tries to meet at least once a month person to person, and obviously more often via phone.

“We have a lot of activity in California, so we’re active on conference calls and remote messaging,” Daniels said. “We’re leading the advance in next-gen security; a smarter use of manpower matched with the right technology, to keep assets protected and people focused on running their businesses.”

A PIONEERING SPIRIT

Bastion Security pioneered the camera tower solution and was the first to deploy units in California. The company currently holds nine U.S. patents on security tower technology. They have a long and successful history of protecting property and assets.

Their team has decades of security experience, and some of the best minds in the remote video security space. Brett Kerekffy is chief sales officer; Karissa Aleskus, chief financial officer; David Raske, chief marketing & business development officer; and Anthony Moore, director of security operations.

DRIVEN BY PARTNERSHIPS

Partnerships are critical to the success of Bastion Security, but a joint effort has to be mutually beneficial; a partnership where both parties bring something different to the table and both parties walk away with a better business understanding.

Daniels said within the security space, there are numerous opportunities for growth, and he is not worried about cannibalism within the monitoring space because this vertical is still in nascent beginnings.

“A key component of our active security monitoring services is our Video Central Station,” Daniels said. “This secure facility is built with power and communications redundancies. We monitor hundreds of sites and process thousands of alarm events every day.”

FOCUS ON GROWTH, FOCUS ON THE FUTURE

Bastion Security, like any other successful business, has a narrow focus on the broader vision. They have three areas that comprise their vision.

Business growth. Acquisitions are an attractive possibility but today the focus is on organic growth. The management team talks about growth every day, whether during an onsite visit or conference call. “We’re always looking for growth opportunities, but we want to make sure there is quality, and a strong business model,” Daniels said.

Leverage expertise. The Bastion Security Video Central Station is open around the clock. The 24/7 operation is based in Corona, CA, and company leadership believes that because of the expertise already invested in the company, growth will happen. “We have experienced and seasoned technicians, who understand the mission of Bastion Security, and quality customer service. It is the right combination out in the field,” Daniels said.

Research and development. The patented camera tower solution is only the beginning. Bastion Security R&D is working tirelessly on putting together software and hardware technologies to offer features they feel the company wants to provide for the end user. “We’re not bashful about going to a manufacturer and letting them know what we need in order to be able to do our job better,” Daniels said.

UNIQUE SOLUTION AND BENEFITS

The tower solution was only the beginning. Today, Bastion Security is well known for its interactivity with the criminal element. It is not exactly what you think. When an operator in the central station is alerted that a possible crime is in progress, one key element in play is the voice down process.

If an intruder comes on premises, the central station operator lets the trespasser know they have been spotted and that they don’t belong on site. It is really an opportunity to stop crime before it happens because the intruder hears the voice, and it may be possible that the operator can detail who the person is by the clothing they are wearing, and they are told to depart the premises.

“Our operators have the expertise to alert someone that they shouldn’t be in the area,” Daniels said. “Another important differentiator of our security monitoring center is that all operators are based in the United States, and there are many staff who are bilingual.”

Unlike some other security providers, Bastion Security focuses solely on video monitoring services, which requires a very high level of experience, nuance and attention to detail.

“Our operators must complete an intensive 6-month training program that goes above and beyond what is mandated by state regulations,” Raske said. “They quickly gain an intimate familiarity with a customer’s site, and if requested can call the customer with an incident assessment before calling police. Most operators have backgrounds in the military, law enforcement, and commercial security, and are highly professional whether interacting with our clients or police.”

The mission is to combine the best technology with the most experienced people, and provide client-tailored security monitoring, for what company officials cite as a typically 75 percent savings compared to traditional security guards. Company goals are to offer high-performance service, customized for each site, enabling security staff to protect large, complex or dangerous sites that other companies simply cannot. Services are completely turnkey, from initial assessment and equipment installation to monitoring and communications.

WHAT THE CUSTOMER WANTS

Because this is a customer driven industry vertical, Bastion Security intently listens to customers’ specific needs, and then designs a costeffective solution based on operational requirements and a recommended security plan.

What sets Bastion Security apart is their attention to detail, or let’s say the custom protocols that are involved in every customer’s site. The concept is to approach every site with a plan specific to its various needs, and what it will take to secure that particular site.

The use of video analytics, for instance, allows the company to protect customers with people loitering around the secure site, facility or assets. Coupled with the audio voice down feature, video central station operators are able to quickly engage and deter someone who is loitering at a given site. Each system has its own defined parameters for deployment.

Who are the customers? Bastion Security typically works with clients from the utility (gas and electric) services, construction, education (campus), manufacturing, warehousing and other industrial or government sectors. They work on both temporary, monitoring and fixed monitoring projects. Temporary sites are usually monitored for two years or shorter, when a particular site is undergoing a change for refurbishment, is under construction, or is in a remote area. Firms with finished facilities would typically need a fixed security solution, where security cameras, speakers and equipment are installed and monitored by the Bastion Security team.

On temporary projects, the customer can expect use of the Bastion Security 14 foot tower, with security camera and the voice down audio feature. Setup on a site with a modular concrete base (4 foot by 4 foot footprint), the NVR backup power supply, router and cellular service are all housed inside a locked, weather-proof box. Each time a security tower or smaller format “Watch Box” is set up, the field team configures and tests the equipment to ensure it is working properly. Security of this type is competitive, but Daniels said it is a wide open landscape and once people recognize what Bastion Security offers, they are able to gauge a remarkable return on investment.

“People see the class of service we offer, and determine this is the type of security they need,” Daniels said. “They also become aware of our expertise, and the technology we deploy. We do work closely with local police departments in the four states we service.”

Working with local law enforcement, Bastion Security operators work closely with local dispatchers, and are able to walk them through any given scenario because they have a live incident on their screen and are able to relay information about a trespasser or criminal. Of course, all remote monitoring solutions are custom designed to accommodate the client’s needs and protocols.

GETTING INTO BUSINESS

Bastion Security has grown steadily over the past two years. Currently, there are roughly 50 employees, and the company is actively hiring for several positions. While it can be a challenge in the industry to recruit and retain security center staff, company officials have approached staffing from a different perspective. While most new hires do have security industry experience, the company targets candidates that are technologically inclined and customer-service oriented.

Daniels said the monitoring industry has been stable for so long, people can and should consider this type of employment as a career move. The company makes every effort to hire, train and educate it staff to keep them invested in security. Part of the enticement to work at Bastion Security is the technology and training they offer.

Bastion Security services are available in California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada, where clients can view live video from their own sites through the Bastion Security remote video server. They also offer backup video storage that can be accessed later, if necessary.

This article originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of Security Today.

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