Maintaining Customer Trust

Cover Story

Maintaining Customer Trust

There are a few things you should know about the consulting business in the security industry. First, it is a must to be a trusted security advisor. Chad Parris and Lynda L. Buel know this well, and believe it so much so that it is part of the company profile. They are Security Risk Management Consultants (SRMC), trusted security advisors.

Based in Columbus, Ohio, their work extends well beyond the confluence of the Scioto and Olentangy rivers. Columbus is the 14th largest city and the third most populous state capital city in the U.S. There is also, of course, the Ohio State football Buckeyes.

STRETCHING ITS ROOTS

Columbus is a pretty amazing city. All that aside, this is the place that SRMC has set its roots, which stretch worldwide. The security business is alive and well, thanks to the company’s holistic security process.

“We start with a comprehensive review of any given security situation; from a current plan to technology needs, policies, procedures and processes,” said Parris, an owner and president of SRMC. “We augment what we learn with real-world expertise to create a custom security solution, designed to keep our clients in front of an everevolving threat landscape.”

The fact is a custom solution helps protect people, property and assets that seamlessly integrate into the end user’s mission and culture.

“It is important that we become and maintain the status as a trusted advisor to the end user as well as architects and engineers,” said Buel, also an owner and the CEO of this certified woman-owned, independent security consulting organization. “We travel all over the country, attend a lot of conferences and seminars so that our clients trust that we know what we’re talking about; and when the time comes, we can present technology benefits, interoperability and functionality of security systems. We must continue to offer value to our clients.”

I might be getting a little ahead of the overall story, because SRMC is really one of the best kept secrets in the security consulting industry. While that isn’t always a good thing, it doesn’t stop end users, architects and engineers from calling when they need help, integrity and knowhow is a must.

BUILDING A BUSINESS TOGETHER

Parris and Buel have a similar track into the physical security industry, and the one link that brings them face to face, is working with and learning from Elliott A. Boxerbaum, who sadly passed away in 2014.

Boxerbaum never knew a stranger, and to his credit, hand-picked the executive team (Parris and Buel) he wanted to work with in bringing together SRMC. Boxerbaum honed his talent maximizing and designing security services while serving as the director of protective services at Ohio Health, director of safety and security at Ohio State University Hospitals and a police supervisor with Ohio State University Police Department.

Technological advancements and futuristic gadgets were both a love and hobbies of Boxerbaum’s. You could bet that his latest gadget was light-years ahead of the curve. He was passionate about the security industry and advocated for its progress. He was driven and hardworking, always striving to improve and ensure the industry was at its highest standard.

It was this drive that ensured those who Boxerbaum chose to work with, and eventually run SRMC, met this high standard. Buel’s expertise in senior security management in retail and banking environments on both a local and national scope and Parris’ professional security experience, including physical and technological assessment, system design and planning, made them the right team to lead the firm. Even today, Boxerbaum’s security consultant legacy endures by continuing to provide high-end security assessments, planning, design, support and training services.

There’s a lot to be said about being a trusted advisor.

“Our process includes the needs of the customer, or end user, then adding in our own processes,” Parris said. “We also take into account environmental factors, such as asset and risk assessment, emergency response and recovery dynamics.”

SRMC considers the architecture and facilities that are in question for either an upgrade or a completely new security system. Of course, the existing IP infrastructure, as well as technology needs assessment.

ENSURING COMPLIANCE

Parris said that customer needs will likely include regulatory compliance, such as those in the healthcare industry, and other regulated industries. He also said vision and values of the installation are critical, as well as collaboration with the IT team.

“It is our goal to identify our client’s organizational risks, vulnerabilities, and engage the stakeholder and community for best results,” Parris said. “We have to understand any and all integrations issues as we perform a site assessment, and we always implement industry best practices.”

One of the time honored traditions founded by Boxerbaum and still carried out today by the SRMC team is to educate an architect and engineer on security technology, interoperability and functionality in an effort to build security in and not bolt it on. Parris said this brings value to company clients, and SRMC becomes a value-add to the end user.

While most companies have their favorite, well-known projects; the kind that bring fame and sometimes fortune, Buel said that working with a family-owned business is often one of the most rewarding because they are privately held companies, and SRMC is working directly with the owner of the business. Aside from all of this, SRMC has participated in plenty of pro bono work, where she or a staff member has been able to solve a question in 90 minutes or less, which can be more gratifying than taking a consulting fee. SRMC will take on any project that is within the scope of the services offered.

These services come in the form of the SRMC staff. It is a stellar lineup of consultants: Paul Denton, Marilyn Hollier, Rose Miller, Paul Redmond, Rick Amweg, James Clark, Charles Smith, John Kleberg and Patrick Maughan. Laura Schween is the staff business development specialist, and holding it all together inside the Columbus office is Gen Lanphere. Many of the staff members have specialty expertise. However, Buel said the SRMC staff has been exposed to so many other verticals over the years; they have become experts in many diverse markets.

“It has been and is a great career for all of us,” Buel said. “In our line of work we get to meet new people, and help them. We become their trusted security advisor.”

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

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