Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve compiled a list of the questions we get asked the most often. To jump to the section you’re most interested in, simply click on one of the links directly below. If you still not finding the answer you’re looking for? Contact us directly and one of our customer service representatives will get back to you as soon as possible.
Yes, absolutely. The most challenging time for many companies is the period when they are too small to have a formal safety and, or security program in place, yet big enough to begin experiencing the safety and security problems faced by a larger company. SicherHeit has helped many organizations through this period of transition. We generally recommend that a Safety and, or Security Assessment be conducted as the first step in developing a program for your company. This assessment will identify your company’s safety and security risks and help establish priorities for how safety and security will be managed as your company continues to grow.
A formal Safety and, or Security Assessment will help you to answer these questions and more. The assessment can be thought of as being similar to the annual physical “check-up” that many people get from their doctor. During the assessment, all aspects of the safety, and or security program are examined, any weaknesses are identified, and suggestions for improvements are made. In addition, opportunities where costs can be reduced or where safety and, or security operations can be made more efficient are identified.
Yes. Different safety and, or security practitioners sometimes have different names for this process. These names may include “Survey”, “Audit”, “Risk Analysis”, “Threat Assessment”, “Threat and Vulnerability Assessment”, “Risk Assessment” , “Gap Analysis”, and many others.
The assessment process used by SicherHeit is one of the most comprehensive in the industry. Our assessment report is where we really differentiate ourselves from most of our competitors.
First, the report is intended to be read by a non-technical reader who may not be familiar with most technical safety and, or security terms. We keep the use of acronyms and “buzz words” to a minimum, and use simple, easy to understand language whenever possible.
Second, we offer practical, proven safety and, or security recommendations that can easily be understood and implemented. Unlike some consultants, we avoid making broad, generalized recommendations that are difficult to understand and nearly impossible to implement. We also carefully consider the operational and cultural impacts of what we recommend, and avoid suggesting things that would be impractical to implement at your establishment or facility.
Some consultants like to “bulk-up” their assessment report with lots of unnecessary photos, copies of articles from trade magazines, and other filler material. Our reports are very detailed, yet concise and to the point. The majority of the report will have been specifically developed for your project, and we use a minimum of “canned” or “boilerplate” material. When we include photos, they are directly related to specific findings or recommendations and are not just used to fill up space.
Finally, we provide a prioritized action plan with each report. This plan provides a summary of recommendations and costs and groups them in order of priority. This allows you to do the most important things first, and implement the remaining recommendations later if desired.
Yes. Every report contains a one to three page executive summary, as well as a summarized listing of all recommendations. Either or both of these can be given to your senior executives and others who don’t wish to read the entire report.
There are numerous formal methods used to conduct security assessments. These include the CARVER Method, the RAM methodologies, and other systems developed by the government agencies. All told, there are probably at least several dozen different risk assessment methodologies in common use.
SicherHeit has studied most of the assessment methodologies described above and continues to keep track of the latest developments in security and risk assessment. However, we do not strictly follow any of the established methodologies; we take the best techniques from each methodology and combine them to provide an assessment specifically designed to provide realistic and practical guidance to the different sector. Our assessment methods are constantly being refined to keep up with the latest trends.
Our fees are calculated on a cost-not-to-exceed basis and are all inclusive. Depending on the size of the facility and complexity of operations, the cost for a formal assessment usually ranges between Rupees 1 Lakh and Rupees 1 Crore
The assessment process that we follow is very comprehensive and takes many hours of professional time to perform. The investment made in the assessment can pay many dividends, especially in terms of savings in ongoing operating costs.
In addition, the focused and prioritized recommendations made in the assessment can often keep the client from making unwise investments in expensive security technology (cameras, alarm systems, etc.) that won’t do the job. Often these systems seem like a good idea, but don’t really address the client’s specific security problems.
Finally, a well-designed safety and, or security program can help cut losses and reduce liability claims. While it is often difficult to precisely quantify these types of savings, the cost of the assessment can pale in comparison to the cost of just one major loss or liability claim.
The ultimate goal of an assessment is risk reduction. For every money spent on identifying gaps in safety and, or security, a corresponding measure of risk should be reduced. Otherwise, your money are not being effectively spent, and may even be wasted.
It typically takes about thirty days from the time we formalize our agreement, start the assessment process and deliver the first draft of the Assessment Report. We are often able to provide a preliminary report, either verbally or as a brief written outline, at the Exit Briefing or within just a few days after we have completed our field work.
Many organizations choose to have assessments done at only a representative number of their facilities. These are often picked by size; the company will select examples of their typical “small”, “medium”, and “large” facilities. Other organizations may choose examples of facilities based on geographic region.
In addition to conducting assessments at these representative facilities, separate assessments would almost always be conducted at specialized facilities, such as the corporate headquarters facility, data centers, and other unique facilities.
At least every three years. However, there may be changes in your business that require you to reevaluate your safety and, or security program sooner.
This is a legal question that should be answered by your attorney. Most reasonable people look favorably upon an organization that tries to do the right thing by periodically reviewing the way that it provides for safety and security. However, if you have blatant safety and, or security problems and have no intention of correcting them, you probably aren't going to be well served by having us prepare a written assessment report.
The majority of our clients have asked that we perform our work though their attorney with the expectation that our report would be treated as “attorney-client work product” and kept confidential. Other clients have asked that we provide only a verbal presentation of our findings and recommendations. Again, this is really a legal issue and your attorney should be consulted if you have concerns in this area.
We can provide as much as assistance as you desire. Some of our clients have extensive in-house resources and are able to implement most recommendations on their own. Other clients feel that their in-house staff lacks the time and/or expertise necessary to implement the recommendations and choose to hire us to provide additional assistance.
We are turnkey solution providers, we can help you in writing RFPs and preparing bid specifications, assisting with the selection of vendors and products, the development of policies and procedures, conducting training for employees and managers till everything is in place.
Many people selling security equipment or other services often call themselves “security consultants” or “security advisors”. While well-intentioned and probably knowledgeable of their own particular discipline, most “consultants” of this type do not possess the wide range of technical skills necessary to be a true security consultant. For example, it is unlikely that a person selling alarm systems is knowledgeable about the protection of confidential information, the prevention of workplace violence, and the myriad of other complex security issues that need to be addressed in today’s world.
Further, the solutions offered by this type of “consultant” generally involve the use of the specific type of products that he or she sells; i.e. the person selling electronic security systems will recommend the installation of electronic systems, the person selling guard services will recommend the use of guards, etc. This does not imply dishonesty on the part of the person offering the advice - but is only a reflection of this person’s limited scope of knowledge and the natural tendency to want to sell his or her own product.
Most police departments are “reactive” rather than “proactive” organizations. While most police departments can provide some crime prevention advice, their emphasis will usually be on simple measures that help to prevent common street crimes.
With few exceptions, police agencies are not equipped to provide advice on preventing internal theft, matters involving the protection of confidential information or trade secrets, and other complicated security issues that must be faced by businesses. In addition, police agencies are generally not well versed in physical security and the latest in security technology.
We encourage you to take full advantage of whatever free security consulting your local police department offers. However, in most cases, you will find that the advice provided by police departments will fall far short of addressing all of your security needs.
The security and safety audits provided by most insurance organizations usually consist of conducting a physical inspection using a prepared checklist. The inspector notes compliance or non-compliance in each area on the checklist and prepares a summary report of his findings.
It is our opinion that this type of audit is useful in identifying obvious deficiencies (holes in fencing, burned out lights, etc.). However, this simple type of audit only looks at a small subset of the total safety and. or security program, and is nowhere near as comprehensive as a formal SicherHeit Assessment.
To the contrary, most practitioners in every profession use consultants to provide specialized expertise or to render an outside opinion. Think of your physician, who never hesitates to bring in other professionals (radiologists, hematologists, etc.) when conditions warrant it. Undoubtedly, the senior management team at your company (and probably your boss) regularly call in consultants of various types to assist with certain projects.
The benefits provided by an outside consultant include:
• The ability to provide a fresh, unbiased opinion.
• Experience with similar safety and, or security problems and conditions at many other facilities and organizations.
• Current knowledge of safety and, or security best practices and the latest technology.
• Ability to work full-time on your project.
• Experience in conducting formal consulting assignments, report writing, and presentations.
• No need to moderate opinions for political reasons - can “tell it like it is” without fear of retribution.
If you suspect an internal theft problem, we will appoint a qualified private investigator to try and identify the culprits. The investigator may choose to employ covert video surveillance and/or place undercover operatives within the organization in an attempt to identify the thief. Making sudden changes to the security program in advance of the investigation might jeopardize the operation and make the criminals temporarily discontinue their activities.
Once the initial investigation has been concluded, a security consultant should be brought in to conduct a Security Assessment and make recommendations on how to keep the situation from occurring again.
A consultant who specializes in safety and, or security should be brought in at the earliest phases of the project. The input provided by the consultant can have a major impact on site layout and general building design. Things such as the location of building entrances, physical separation of public and non-public areas, and the placement of stairs and elevators all can greatly affect the way that the building can be secured.
For example, a good security consultant can provide guidance on the effective use of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principals in the design of the building and site. These principals can allow good security to be achieved through use of natural design elements, greatly reducing the need to rely on physical and electronic security systems.
A common mistake is to wait until the design has been fully developed before bringing in a security professional. At this point, there is a strong reluctance to alter the design in any significant way and it may be costly to make the changes necessary to provide good security.
No. It serves to all types of industries.
Yes. A specialist is generally already up to speed on your specific industry or profession and already speaks your language. A specialist should also be very familiar with security problems common in your business and safety / security best practices used at other similar facilities. A specialist may also have more credibility when presenting recommendations to your senior management team or other employees.
We do not take a "cookie-cutter" approach when recommending safety and, or security solutions to clients. When conducting an assessment, we recognize the uniqueness of the property and special needs of the owner and examine each location individually.
Contrary to what people might think, the quality of service provided by a large national or international firm is usually no better than that provided by a smaller independent firm, and in many cases, may actually be worse.
Consulting projects are performed by people, not companies. If the large consulting firm assigns competent people to your project, you will probably get excellent results. However, it is very common for large consulting firms to win a contract using the resumes of their most senior people during the proposal process. Once the project is won, the vast majority of the actual work may be assigned to junior people who are considerable less qualified.
The managers of some large consulting firms are usually under constant pressure to generate lots of "billable hours" and to maximize revenue. Sometimes, the need to meet revenue targets gets in the way of doing what's right for the client or project. It's hard to think long-term when you are trying to meet this month's quotas.
As a "boutique" independent consulting practice, the Principals of SicherHeit are personally involved in every project. You get a higher level of personal service and your project is treated with greater importance. While the smaller firm needs to generate profits to stay in business, there is generally less emphasis on short term results and a greater emphasis on developing a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship with the client.
Where larger firms do have an advantage is when dealing with large scale projects that must be completed within a short time frame. Large firms can generally assemble a large team of people that can quickly begin working on your project almost immediately. A larger firm will probably also have offices in multiple cities. This can be an advantage when a project is spread across multiple states or continents, as consultants can be assigned from local offices, reducing costs of travel.
To offset these advantages, many smaller consulting firms often collaborate with other similar-sized firms when working on large projects, or when working on projects that have multiple locations. We regularly collaborate on large projects and take advantage of the many types of specialized expertise these individuals provide. When one of these specialist is brought in to consult on a project, SicherHeit requires them to provide evidence of adequate insurance coverage, plus a current license and, or certification specific to the needs of the project.
The following is a brief sampling of the safety and, or security initiatives the Principals of SicherHeit have developed, designed and, or implemented.
• CCTV Surveillance System.
• Fire Detection and Alarm System.
• Fire Suppression System.
• Public Addressing System.
• Intrusion / Burglar Alarm System.
• Biometric and Access Control System.
• Video Door Phone System.
• Fire Extinguishers.
No. SicherHeit will not use your business name or identity in our sales and marketing program. If a potential client requests a professional reference, we will contact you and request permission to use your company as a referral. As previously stated, the majority of our clients have asked that we perform our work though their attorney.
Plus, due to the sensitive nature of our work, we maintain the highest degree of confidentiality possible. All data collected, analysis, and recommendations to our clients are held in strict confidence to the extent permitted by law.
We are happy to assist, please contact us to discuss your question.