Coronavirus Impact on the Security Industry and Our Clients
Unless you’ve been living in a vacuum ― in which case you will be immune to the matter at hand ― it would be hard to miss all that is surrounding COVID-19. Especially in terms of the coronavirus impact on the security industry and our clients.
The fallout is far-reaching and not just isolated to clinical space. Misinformation coupled with 24/7 news cycles and social media have made this the perfect storm. Doomsday preppers are buying up bottled water, hand sanitiser, and toilet paper like it’s a commodity.
Incidents are turning violent, including assaults, and ― in one case ― somebody flashed a knife in what the news described as a communication issue. Further, there are reports of strain on supplies of PPE for health care workers due to panic buying and hoarding by companies, suppliers, and the everyday public.
At the time of writing this article, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicted a 19% loss in worldwide passenger revenues. As we know, this has a flow-on effect on many other industries.
However, now in hindsight, it appears the figure is far greater given that QANTAS has laid off over 30% of its workforce and reduced its fleet. Additionally, Virgin Australia is cutting 90% of its flights temporarily. In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic hit hard many industries, including hospitality, liquor, gaming, and travel industries, to name a few.
Weathering the Storm
So what is the actual coronavirus impact on the security industry and our clients?
We spoke to a friend, author, travel designer, anthropologist, and one of Forbes List of 25 most influential women in travel, the esteemed Lisa Lindblad of Lisa Lindblad Travel Design. She states that the luxury travel industry has been impacted across the board with “cancellations or deferments.” This left concerns that only the “large corporate players” will remain and that the “specialists will struggle.”
Roger Hyde of the high-end luxury sustainable travel company, Dulabab Travel, believes that there will be several phases to this crisis. But only with an end in sight for those who can weather the storm.
He suggests that the final phase will be when this crisis is on the wane. In fact, principals are again turning to re-booking their spring/summer 2020 postponed trip or to use the 2020 travel budget and embarking on a more extensive journey for 2021.
There could be significant opportunities for companies that are happy and capable of playing the long game and with the capacity to hold out for this anticipated longer-term boost.
He adds: “Finally, as with SARS in the 2000s, there will be a future when the direct and indirect threat presented by COVID-19 has passed… Our business approach is to see beyond this exceptionally challenging period and plan in good time for extraordinary journeys later this year or 2021.”
Rethinking the Modus Operandi
The security industry is not exempt from the uncertainty and volatility that is occurring with the COVID-19 virus. The coronavirus impact on the security industry is vividly real. Venues and major sporting events have been cancelled, leading to large-scale layoffs of security guards.
Corporate and office personnel are now working from home. As such, corporate security officers find themselves on an indefinite leave period. In other words: coronavirus impact on the security industry in action.
Furthermore, with concerts cancelled, entertainers no longer travelling, Olympics rescheduled, families and VIPs no longer vacationing or travelling for business, executive protection and close protection companies have also been forced to rethink their modus operandi.
Secure travel has now evolved to include a greater emphasis on health and hygiene. All the while, drivers and executive protection personnel are focussing even more on cleanliness. This includes:
- Following strict handwashing regimes,
- Cleaning vehicles with antibacterial wipes, and
- Donning protective equipment such as masks and respirators.
Traditional executive protection and close protection have also evolved to meet clients’ needs in this current isolation environment. The procedures now include running logistics and creating a “sanitised” and healthy ecosystem for them to wait this period out.
Accommodating Our Clients 24/7
Since its inception, Panoptic Solutions has taken a holistic approach to our clients’ safety and security to incorporate a strong focus on medical and health and their physical security needs. For us, there is no change here, just an added layer of planning.
As with other companies and industries within the security and risk management sector, we need to do what we often do best:
- Conduct an assessment of the situation,
- Identify the weaknesses, and
- Find ways to mitigate them.
Consider how we can best provide a safe environment for our clients. Think outside the box. It’s not all physical.
With all this social distancing, it is likely clients are going to be spending more time online. As such, the client’s digital footprint will increase. Do they have a cybersecurity plan? Is this something that you can offer or partner with others who do? Direct some of the physical security protocols towards the health aspect of what we do.
Apparently, the coronavirus impact on the security industry is diverse and expanding.
Therefore, identify safe areas for our clients and be diligent about what goes in:
- Sanitise as the requirements suggest,
- Conduct thermal temperature checks at venue entrances,
- Provide supportive measures through logistics, tailor ops and medical evacuation plans to consider COVID-19, and
- Prepare for actions you need to take if it all goes south.
What medical capability will you and those around you require? Is basic first aid going to cut it? Will that two-week medical course be enough, or will the client need more advanced support such as Paramedics or Doctors? Can we offer up risk assessments or crisis management plans (pending your know-how)?
As a matter of fact, each client’s risk factors will be different.
We are fighting the war on two fronts here; medical and economic. Both are devastating. Many people are hurting, and no doubt more pain is to come.
However, for those of us who can, let’s take a deep breath and try to see through the misinformation. Let’s adapt to the crisis and provide a professional solution to the problem at hand. Who knows, in the process, we may even be able to engage our security colleagues who require some assistance.
One thing is for sure, the coronavirus impact on the security industry won’t go away quickly.
Panoptic Solutions delivers tailored security and risk management services with a holistic view on health and safety. This unique approach allows us to provide you with a bespoke plan that meets your specific needs.
Our team of professionals has backgrounds within specialized law enforcement, paramedic, and military services. We provide unparalleled experience and ensure your peace of mind.
Our services are ideal for corporate clients, events, high-profile personnel, celebrity, and family offices. To learn more about our service offerings, give us a call or email us.