This month Simon Banks talks to Anthony King, Chief Executive Officer of Kings Security Systems Ltd. Kings has grown to be one of the largest privately owned providers of security systems in the UK.
You are now in your 30th year in the industry. How did your introduction to business as an apprentice help?
When you run any size of organisation, it’s important to understand the nuances of every aspect of the business. I know what it’s like to be up a ladder at 8pm on a Friday evening making sure the client has security for the weekend. I also understand that things change and that the pace of change is fast. I am very fortunate to have a great support team within Kings that keeps the company sharp and current. Since I was an engineer, the skill set required has changed completely and I can only see there being an ever increasing lack of relevant skilled engineers to support the shift change in the industry. It is one of the major motivators for Kings starting our own Apprentice academy, which will see over 150 apprentices trained over the next year.
Kings dominate the high street. What makes the company so aligned with the retail sector?
Kings provide the levels of service demanded by modern retailers but times have changed. It is not just about burglary, daytime theft and shrinkage, there is so much more. It is about filling the gap between our clients and Law Enforcement, which is a new strategic development our clients demand. Working closely with our clients on every aspect of their day-to-day business, helps us deliver a tailormade solution. Our industry is changing, it is not good enough to simply install a CCTV system and walk away. There is nothing more frustrating than watching a theft or crime that took place last night played back on a DVR. We work with the four ‘D’s’ in Kings; Deter, Deny, Detect and Disrupt. If all we do is watch a crime played back, then we have not achieved even one of our four ‘D’s’.
Where does your business draw the line in terms of scale?
We have a phrase in Kings: “Vision without Boundaries”. We encourage our staff to have the biggest vision possible, start out as far as you can and work backwards to remove the blockers between where you are now and where you want to be. If you only ever look at the blockers, walls, or people right in front of you that say you cannot do something, then you probably never will. We look beyond that and work out how to remove or go around the blockers to get to where we want to be. So in answer to your question, why would we place a limit on drawing a line on the scale that Kings can get to? Our target right now is £100M by 2020 and then we will set a new target.
What are the biggest threats facing the security industry?
Cyber threats are easily the most dominant of current future threats. The industry and the standards must prepare themselves for a new world of risk assessment. Physical and electronic security are still relevant for risks associated with opportunistic theft but more organised crime via the Internet is something that is a clear and present danger to us all. Kings takes this very seriously, but our standards just do not address this enough. It’s only when you implement something like ISO27001 Data and Information security and ISO22301 Business Continuity that you realise how much our standards are lacking in addressing these two critical issues. A back-up arrangement with a friendly ARC just isn’t good enough. We all demand faster more reliable services (just ask Kevin Bacon) and expect 99.999% uptime on everything. No one is going to attack an ARC with a sledgehammer anymore; it will be from a laptop on the other side of the world. We need CESG Pen testing as standard for our ARCs. It is time for a Platinum standard to give customers an informed choice, Gold is just not good enough anymore.
About Kings Academy:
• Kings Academy is a state-of-the-art, £100,000, Bradford-based training facility
• Offers the latest digital AV presentation equipment and 20 mobile desks with pop-up PCs
• Apprentices receive the support of senior management
• Many joined via the Apprentices for Fire & Security initiative founded by CSL DualCom
• Currently 730 employees within the business
You Said It!
"A nice G2 intruder alarm install completed at #yasmeen #London with @CSLDualCom"
Tweeted by @centralfireands – Jan 11