Effective security makes sense

March 2009 Access Control & Identity Management

Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to crime, but the actual costs for larger firms can be disturbingly high.

An investment in an effective security solution is key to sustaining a good business. In South Africa, all businesses, and small businesses in particular, are important drivers of economic growth, job creation and black economic empowerment.

By protecting its people, property and assets, a company can reap positive results through a safer environment, increased employee productivity and better business efficiency. The impact of crime on business is a major concern in South Africa.

A number of surveys have found that South African enterprises of all sizes rate crime as one of the top four constraints to doing business. In one survey – 'The impact of crime on small businesses in South Africa' – a study commissioned by the South African Presidency, the executive report produced in July 2008 indicates crime can have a devastating effect on the profitability and viability of many small enterprises. The smallest businesses may be particularly vulnerable; but the actual costs for larger firms can be disturbingly high.

The survey also suggested that:

* 70% of respondents said that they felt vulnerable to crime while at work.

* Over half (54%) of the businesses in the survey had experienced at least one incident of crime in the past year.

* 31% of businesses had been victimised twice or more, and almost 20% of businesses had been victimised three or more times.

* Burglary and robbery accounted for over 60% of these crimes.

The right security solution in place makes employees feel safer and raises levels of employee satisfaction and motivation by providing a safer work environment. Taking a responsible approach to security and protecting your employees will ultimately make businesses a more desirable place to work and a preferred choice for customers.

In South Africa, companies using remote monitoring security applications have fewer incidents than those that do not. An alarm without a response is just a noise – ensure your alarm is monitored.

An investment in armed response can improve efficiencies by lowering the rate of incidents and thereby avoiding steep increases in insurance premiums. While there are positive long term business benefits associated with a good security system, the peace of mind that comes with a reliable security solution has a value that is priceless.

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