As we start to see businesses ask for security services, a question remains – will the physical security industry get back to the same level of operations as they were before the pandemic?
Our team has released a new benchmark study that seeks to answer that question and more. We’re calling it “The Physical Security Outlook Report”. This report is the result of a survey we sent out to 400 security guard firms all over the United States. Our main objective? To find out whether the industry will be able to bounce back amidst the chaos of the past 18-20 months.
Here’s What Billable Hours Can Tell Us About the Tale of Success (or not)
Whether the outlook on security is measured by the number of officers employed or by the number of clients, everything is moot against the main metric that security lives by – Billable Hours. When a security company can bill a client for the time their officer sits at a post, that automatically becomes money in the bank. In order to assess where the market has been and is headed – past, present and future – our team measured billable hours and asked respondents three things:
- How many billable hours (weekly) did you average before the pandemic?
- How many billable hours (weekly) do you average now?
- How many billable hours (weekly) do you to expect have by the end of 2021?
Looking ahead, it’s a good outlook for small to mid-sized guard firms. 71% guard firms that employ between 50-250 employees said they would be gaining hours by the end of this year.
Plenty of Hours with Not Enough Resources
Hiring remains the bottleneck to success. Despite our respondents having shown that they are seeing a large uptick in new clients and new opportunities, they are constrained by the number of officers they can put on post at any given time. On average, respondents have had to reduce their on-site resources by 67% due to many factors - whether it was technology, smaller operations, or as many had been facing, simply not hiring fast enough.
As another respondent put it:
“There is a significantly lower new guard pool. We could easily double our billable hours, but we simply cannot find licensed guards wanting to work….and while I have more officers than before, I still am losing money because I cannot afford to staff against the demand for services.”
What Does the Future Hold for Manned Guarding?
The report is very comprehensive in addressing not only the story of billable hours, resources, and hiring, but also how technology has impacted the future. Perhaps the most important question we asked in the study was:
“Do you believe that manned security billable hours will increase, stay the same, or decrease over the next 2 to 3 years?”
It’s the burning question that all security professionals want to know - and it’s something we delve into during the report. To find out more, download your free copy. We’d love to get your take on the issues we cover throughout the study.