Why innovation is more than ‘inventing stuff’

13th October 2017

In a technology-driven world where security risks for individuals, businesses and organsations come from multiple sources, being innovative in your approach to clients, staff and sales can deliver results as exciting as ‘inventing stuff’, says Barry Dawson

I’ve worked in the security industry for over 30 years and seen huge changes in both the risks we face and the solutions we can offer. There’s no doubt that invention is exciting and new technology is powerful but what isn’t exciting or powerful is chucking it wholesale at clients. It’s not enough to say ‘hey, this is new, let’s roll it out to everyone’.

That doesn’t work because for most clients, budgets haven’t risen just because costs have. Where I want to see innovation in this industry is in our approach to how we offer our services. On day one, I look at a contract – even through the sales process – and look to see how we can move beyond that traditional transition process to be more strategic, more bespoke with each client. This ‘strategic journey’ is a roadmap where we look at a clients’ whole business and our whole service offer, looking beyond Wilson James’ excellent manned guarding services to everything from front of house reception and concierge services to counter terrorism, intelligence reporting, global travel risk and social media monitoring.

It’s about creating wrap-around, tailored solutions with the client, rather than imposing ready-made ones. That kind of approach is only possible in a company like Wilson James. WJ has expanded into a £130m business without becoming a faceless corporation. That’s important: at its heart, the security industry is a people business. WJ’s ambitions to grow are powered by a passion to deliver excellence service and long term relationships. Growth and profit are vital, of course, but it’s the bits in the middle that are really important and that’s where true innovation happens.

Barry Dawson, former MD at VSG, is the new head of Wilson James’ expanded Southern region.