Facilities Management Advisor: Rethinking Facility Security Budget Funding

August 29, 2023

We are syndicating the original article from Facilities Management Advisor.

By Kevin Tart

The notorious cliché holds true: Security budgets are often chronically underfunded, until a tragic event or substantial loss triggers a scramble for solutions. In a climate of a volatile economy, escalating crime rates, and rising workplace violence, the need to rethink our approach to facility security funding has never been more pronounced.

As experts in the physical security space, we must strive to shift from reactive responses to proactive strategies. Too often, organizations “put locks on the barn door after the horses have gotten out,” focusing on the status quo instead of envisioning and preparing for potential future risks.

The Power of Data: Strategies for Funding

But what happens when the common refrain echoes, “I have no budget and not a lot of buy-in from executive leadership?” This is where the power of data comes into play. We already collect billions of data points daily but often struggle to use this data to secure funding. In other words, how do we sell valuable data to different departments to obtain buy-in for security initiatives?

Nine Steps to Revolutionize Security Funding

Here are nine steps to revolutionize your approach to facility security budget funding:

1. Find Your Coach: Identify an experienced professional genuinely interested in your unique challenges. This individual should be trustworthy and eager to understand your facility’s particular issues.

2. Gather the Stakeholders: Together with your chosen coach, bring together all stakeholders. Critical decisions that impact the company’s future require the specific input of everyone involved.

3. Set Meeting Goals: The goal isn’t to find unused money but to assess potential savings and risk mitigation through simple security solutions, in the presence of the CFO and CEO.

4. Fund Solutions with Savings: Once potential savings are identified, these can be used to fund the necessary solutions.

5. Identify Key Departments: Departments like Environmental Services, Personnel Safety, Compliance, IT, Product Line, and Loading Dock areas might be crucial in identifying areas for savings. The heads of these departments should be present at the stakeholder meetings.

6. Facilitate Dialogue: Start the conversation, but then let the stakeholders do the talking. Keep the focus on “finding savings” through probing questions.

7. Show How Savings Fund Solutions: Highlight how the identified savings can fund most, if not all, the necessary security solutions.

8. Involve the CFO: Collaborate with the CFO to tabulate the savings over the next five years. The CEO must be privy to these projections.

9. Award Business to Your Coach: After achieving the necessary funding and buy-in, stay loyal to your coach. They’ve earned your business by guiding you through this process. It would be a disservice to undercut them for the lowest bidder.

With this proactive strategy, your facility’s security can be adequately funded, despite budgetary constraints, through smart use of data and collaboration across departments. This approach encourages organizations to fix their eyes on potential future challenges, rather than remaining shackled to the status quo.

Kevin Tart is a key account manager at Identiv and a vital member of the business development team. Kevin has 40 years of sales leadership within the security industry, having held roles with such companies as Milestone Systems, Pivot 3, Siemens, Stanley Security, and most recently, Digital Barriers.