28 January 2020


This month Simon Banks talk to Christian Watts, Director of Fire & Security Systems at Mitie Security. Mitie Security is one of the UK's leading security companies providing integrated and risk-based services.

Mitie have recently announced a series of acquisitions and national contracts. Can you tell me a little more about this?

We have a clear strategy for growth at Mitie and we aim to achieve this with both organic growth and acquisition. In October 2018, we announced the deal to bring VSG into the Mitie Group, which was a major strategic move by the business. Over the past 12 months, lots of hard work has been going on to integrate the company into one way of working, but we are now there, and I’m delighted with how this has come together.

Additionally, in 2019, we secured a deal to provide security systems maintenance and monitoring services to all Sainsbury’s stores across the UK. Mitie Group has been providing Security manned guarding services to the supermarket chain since 2016 so this deal was extended to include Mitie’s additional offerings.

Overall, in the next 5 years we are aiming to grow our presence in the UK Systems marketplace and become a top three leading player. Focussing on winning large national contracts and major project frameworks will play a big part in this, as will the strategic acquisitions we are planning to make across both the Fire and Security sectors.

What is the winning formula for landing these national contracts?  

There are some clear reasons in my mind. Firstly, we are the only provider of the full suite of services, including: facilities management, guarding, electronic security systems, fire, mobile response, monitoring, and much more. Customers such as Sainsbury’s have a requirement to consolidate their suppliers both from a financial and operational perspective to drive efficiency. This is where, in my opinion, Mitie stands out from the crowd.

Secondly, our technical offering is entirely self-delivered from end-to-end. We have hundreds of professionals and experts throughout the business. They know the industry, the risks and the best products and solutions to provide the best levels of service. We have a complete approach to the delivery of services and intelligence. The security industry is very technical but is still driven by people. Good processes, excellent customer experience and relationships are vital. 95% of our installations are delivered by our own team, with the specialist non-core services contracted to multi-skilled, professional and trusted partners.

There has been continual change on the high street in recent years. How has Mitie dealt with this?

The changes on the high street is part of an evolution, not strictly a decline. The brands and companies we see there have changed, and so have their requirements in terms of risk. There is a significant emphasis now on intelligence, situational awareness, crime rates, types of attack, behaviours, etc. Mitie has been able to use this shared knowledge from across our client base to help our customers react to trends in certain areas of the country and minimise losses.

Additionally, efficiency and long-term value are high on the agenda for all loss prevention managers. Value does not mean cheap. It means the right solutions to show successes in preventing and reducing crime against our clients.

Better use of intelligence and increased efficiency are both driven by the latest technologies available to the market. Increasingly IT networks are becoming part of the security offering, and we can utilise this to provide remote support, increased reliability and failover systems.  

Mitie’s core business has always been Facilities Management. How is this changing and what impact is this having on your Security business?  

Increasingly we are seeing FM solutions being integrated with that of security both in terms of systems and personnel. These bundled offerings have become more available as technologies now allow true integration between systems via the cloud, allowing multiple strands of our business to run through the same systems.

We have been able to successfully integrate all the services we offer to allow us a level of flexibility to always deliver for the customer. In addition to this, we have great diversity within our client base: supermarkets, retailers, offices, public sector and so on. This diversity also provides our security business opportunities from other areas such as FM.


“We commissioned our first 2 GPRS/GPRS DualCom Pro units yesterday and the engineers loved them so all good so far”.

Gary Ralph (MES Systems Ltd) – LinkedIn Post – 11 December

Other recent news