According to Wackenhut Corporation (2005)” today, one of the most debilitating risks facing organizations is the vulnerability of information assets to threats from both internal and external perpetrators. Part of the process is to recognize the level of exposure, and vulnerability due to electronic malfeasance. Once identified, an organization must respond decisively, immediately, and discretely to fully protect their interests.
George Russell Wackenhut, a former FBI agent believed in customer-focused security solutions and started a small private investigation agency in Florida, with three former FBI colleagues. In 1955, Wackenhut was the sole owner and operator of the investigation agency, and turned into a global leader in security, and in 1958, expanded from private investigations to private security guard work.
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In the mid-1960s, Wackenhut Services, Inc. recognized for providing specialized services to the government. Wackenhut, believed in customer-focused security solutions within the small private investigation agency such as “Consulting and Investigations Division, which was the original service offering back in 1954. “Wackenhut provided quality choice, for multinationals, government agencies, and regulators” (g4s, 2009).
Moreover, in 1967, Wackenhut realized the need to combine security personnel and electronic equipment together to improve security services provided to companies, this concept referred to as “integrated security solutions,” and still offered by Wackenhut. Wackenhut’s revenue came from providing security services.
In the early 1980s, a new division called Wackenhut Nuclear Services, designed to provide nuclear powerplants with integrated security services, developed by Wackenhut when these plants starting popping up all over the country. This division provided security to more than half of the country’s nuclear powerplants. Group 4 Falck, a Danish company purchased Wackenhut’s shares in 2002, and the Corporation continued to operate as a U.S. subsidiary of Group 4 Falck. In “2004, Group 4 Falck and Securicor merged becoming Group 4 Securicor” (g4s, 2009). The name changed from Wackenhut Corporation to Wackenhut/G4S.
To date, Wackenhut Corporation is a multibillion-dollar company, which has 35,000 employees with 200 offices in the United States is the leading provider of uniformed officers, investigative services to businesses, government agencies in 54 countries, and global needs of 100+ countries. In addition, Wackenhut has several divisions and the company performs assessments of these divisions and changes business strategic plans to accommodate its customers.
For example, in 1995, Wackenhut Services Inc (WSI), reviewed its Fire and Emergency Services organization as a result, WSI developed a new vision. The vision was to unify the fire and emergency services organizations that WSI managed. WSI designed a single set of standard operation procedures, rules, regulations, and training that every fire department would be interchangeable.
To implement the new vision WFI had to meet all the Fire and Emergency Services professionals and identify the challenges. As a result, this evolved into the WSI's Fire and Emergency Service mission statement, standard operating procedures, and guidelines.
Presently, all WSI Fire departments wear the same uniform, badges, and operate under the same procedures and operational guidelines. Furthermore, personnel train under the same performance-based training and certification program and they respond favorably to the change because it allows them to train and educate him or her in fire and emergency services. The changes allow WES to develop leaders and create mobility for its personnel.
For example, in 2007 Wackenhut evaluated its Wackenhut Nuclear Services (WNS) division, it determined that the business plan “evolved into a staff-augmentation model, and this model could no longer support its customers efficiently” (CBS, 2007). According to CBS-News (2007), the assessment confirms that minimum requirements met but did not hold plant security to full nuclear model standards. Before 9/11, security programs were secondary; the security workforce represented a small part of staffing.
Today, Wackenhut must manage to higher standards and regulatory requirements. The security workforce represents a larger part in staffing, and needs aligned with operations. WNS division responded to its customers needs and changed is business strategy from a cost plus business mode to focus specifically on security solutions.
G4S Wackenhut, a division of London-based Group 4 Securicor (G4S) is a leader in providing security solutions in the United States. The Security Services division employs 40,000 employees, which makes up the majority of the company. “This division provides manned security services to various businesses such as banks, manufacturing facilities, shopping malls and nuclear plants, just to name a few” (Microsoft case studies, 2008).
In an effort to be different from the competition, Wackenhut decided to build SecureTrax, a new mobile solution developed upon the company’s existing manned security services business to deliver a new customer experience. Customers would be able to monitor security guards by enabling the GPS technology built into the mobile phones the officers carried. However, obtaining the GPS coordinates from each device, providing a visual of the GPS data and allowing clients to specify property boundaries and areas they wanted secured by guards was initially challenging.
However, Wackenhut met the challenge and improved SecureTrax by adding Microsoft Virtual Earth mapping software. Brian McCabe, Chief Information Officer at Wackenhut reported that the aforementioned software allowed customers to view GPS data collected and verify that security officers were patrolling the desired locations (Microsoft case studies, 2008).
By using Virtual Earth, the company allows customers the freedom to arrange virtual “geo-fences around each property. By “clinking points on the Virtual Earth image to specify boundaries were security guards should remain, with the area showing up as transparent, red polygon overlaid on the Virtual Earth satellite image” (Microsoft case studies, 2008, p. 2). However, an instant live notification sent to the clients if the GPS coordinates received fall outside the boundary.
Furthermore, SecureTrax is beneficial to the customer experience because it allows the client to confirm that security guards are appropriately making his or her rounds. SecureTrax allows Wackenhut to ensure their security guards are not spending too much time in one location and that all areas patrolled in a timely fashion.
In a 2008 Microsoft case study, Wackenhut Chief Information Officer McCabe disclosed that SecureTrax was helping them win new business and drive customer retention. He also pointed out that SecureTrax was cost-effective, giving them an advantage over the competition, improved security, and enabled them to see a strong return on his or her investment.
In addition, Wackenhut has made additional improvements to their HR/payroll process, due to their expansion to hundreds of locations in the past few years. Wackenhut had outgrown the in-house application because it had difficulty transferring benefits with the many providers they worked with. As a result they sought, a new system that could meet there present and future needs.
The company turned to UltiPro, a human capital management system solution that could manage their complex HR/payroll practices for a global labor force that easily integrated with other internal business applications (“Experiencing Business Benefits with UltiPro for Human Capital Management“, n.d.).
Moreover, Wackenhut has approximately 9000 workers in Iraq and Afghanistan who is thousands of miles away can view their payroll details over the Internet. UltiPro has also helped to reduce paper consumption by quickly delivering information to its U.S and global employees/associates over the Internet saving significant time, and providing better data integrity because they have eliminated manual retyping and manipulation of information.
“Furthermore, according to Repps Galusha, Director of Wackenhut’s Information Technology, UltiPro had resulted in $150,000 per year in hard cost savings and even more in soft-cost savings” (Experiencing Business Benefits with UltiPro for Human Capital Management,“ n.d.).
Wackenhut/G4S, although being a global company, does have its flaws, like many other companies, but employees’ see more of those flaws. Most companies seem to try, and improve upon the “problems” and issues within their company or corporation; however, I do not see that kind of improvement within Wackenhut/G4S. The company seems to want the “truth” or I should say their version of the truth, what they want to hear is what they view as the truth. Issues within the company are vast; some improvements can make a positive change in the right direction.
Training for employees, currently consist of 48 hours, they learn about Wackenhut’s standards, policies, and includes 8 hours on defensive training on all Wackenhut’s T3 and trucks, using an obstacle course with a T3 and a truck that all students must drive. due to the excessive amount of accidents in Wackenhut vehicles and with equipment. However, some areas need improvements such as
- Training should pertain to specific rules and regulations dealt with daily NOT policies and standards.
- Training should be more than 40 hours and defensive driving on terrain NOT in the back of the building.
- Experienced personnel NOT office workers on using vehicles who handle equipment on a daily basis should do training.
Equipment at sites is contract specific, meaning not all sites have the same equipment, if they do, may not be for same purposes. There are plenty of issues with the equipment, for example:
- No training or improper training on equipment (also pertains to training above)
- Equipment failure or not properly working or “glitches”
- Equipment not fitting for that specific site (protection from heat or cold, no shocks on bumpy roads, standing for 10 hour shifts instead of sitting)
Solutions to these problems include
- Better equipment
- Repairing of equipment more rapidly (sometimes equipment isn’t even fixed until it’s unable to be used)
- Equipment modifications made per site.
However, uniforms are the biggest complaint because uniforms are suited for men, and do not fit properly on women. Women security guards have to purchase men’s clothes which causes bunching in the back making the uniform look sloppy. The company expresses “professionalism” and yet does not order uniforms made for women. A solution would be to buy women’s clothes or allow women to have uniforms altered to fit properly (they used to allow this freely, however employees must obtain a slip from the warehouse, and sometimes cannot receive one).
Women of Wackenhut need an immediate solution to their uniform dilemma. As a part of a reasonable solution the company can find a retailer for the type of uniforms, they require the employees to have. The company can establish a favorable relationship in which the retailer agrees to present the company with competitive uniform prices, and in turn, the company will promote the retailer as the only approved uniform source. Employees will have the option to purchase uniforms designed for their sex, and their body type at no expense to the company, and in turn, employees will have a more personal comfort and pride in wearing a well-fitted uniform.
The alterations to uniforms will not affect the regulations and standards of Wackenhut’s uniform policy. If employees cannot make the initial purchase, the company, needs to issue a temporary clothing allowance with advancement deducted from their first paycheck.
Another major issue is how Superiors treat employees’, some Superiors believe whatever they say goes because they are the boss. However, security guards know how everything operates, what shifts work best, how many officers should work certain sites at one time. Most supervisors do not care nor do clients, and if a complaint is made against an officer, he or she is removed (unless it is something excusable, language barrier.), without the officer’s side of the story. Liability is also a factor; if security guards receive a weapon from the company, and use that weapon on duty (reasonable force or not), he or she is terminated by the company.
To improve training for everyone, the company needs to engage in preparing local instructions pertaining to a specific department, the line of work, rules, and regulations that would not cause any additional expenses because knowledgeable professionals within the company will handle the task. Training should be recurring on monthly bases so new employees’ receive a thorough introduction to the company, and higher tenure employees can receive a refresher.
By choosing adequate sources for reliable equipment, the company could gain advantage in areas of performance, and save money on repairs, upgrades, and training of personnel. Providing customers and employees with consistent service is what drives Wackenhut. Its employees could definitely use improvements to alleviate difficulties of every day, and continue to support their company with more enthusiasm.
Wackenhut provides security services to businesses worldwide therefore, considered a “global security services provider” with offices in both the United States and other countries. Wackenhut can meet client’s requirements for consulting services through a combination of trained, and experienced personnel, and strategic alliance partners.
In conclusion, from the results of the business impact analysis, Wackenhut needs to make some improvements such as improve training to be more suitable for everyone, the company needs to prepare instructions pertaining to a specific department, and its line of work, rules, and regulations, the training should be recurring on monthly bases.
Newly hired personnel, needs thorough introduction to the company, and higher tenure employees should receive refresher training regularly. Moreover, providing customers and employees with consistent service is what drives Wackenhut. Its employees and customers could definitely benefit from using improvements to alleviate difficulties, which can and do occur daily, and continue to support their company with more enthusiasm according to the rule that one hand washes the other.
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