The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is responsible for the protection and promotion of British interests across the world and is home to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
Looking for a robust security solution
The FCO required a company to provide a professional security guarding and front of house solution that would effectively represent the values of the organisation. The FCO team were looking for a company that would work in partnership with them to provide a static security guarding and front of house presence across the FCO’s UK sites. This included its headquarters at King Charles Street in London, as well as providing security services for State Visits and other events.
Servest was able to bid for the contract as it was part of the Crown Commercial Services framework. Impressed by the proposed solution and Servest’s open and honest approach throughout the tender process, Servest was awarded the contract in March 2016.
Taking proactive steps to enhance the service
On being awarded the contract, the team immediately started preparations to ensure a smooth transition, ensuring the existing security guarding team were ready for the change and that a significantly increased number of security officers were recruited. Being prepared allowed Servest to recognise early on in the mobilisation that the FCO’s security guarding requirements had developed from what was specified in the tender. The Servest team was quick to address the situation, with the dedicated account manager working with the FCO and Servest’s security experts to revamp the service delivery plan to ensure it met the jointly established requirements.
Having mobilised the contract successfully, Servest was able to focus on identifying key areas that could be enhanced, with the first of these being customer service. To ensure a consistent level of service, Servest invested in training for all security and reception team colleagues. To enhance the training of the team, Servest and the FCO invested in a new front-of-house reception manager and a full-time training manager. The impact of this investment was almost immediate, with FCO visitors and colleagues providing positive feedback and praise for the Servest team.
Being flexible and adapting to a changing landscape
Whilst improvements had been made in customer service, it had become increasingly evident that the existing operating procedures were no longer meeting the security requirements of the FCO. Since taking on the contract, the UK Threat Level had increased twice, while the daily footfall to FCO sites had dramatically increased, meaning the security solution needed to adapt. Utilising the specialist skills of the team and what was becoming a trusting partnership, Servest was able to work with the FCO to review the manned guarding operating procedures. The changes significantly improved the visibility of frontline security and response procedures, both of which stood up to the test during the London terrorist attacks in 2017.
Working in partnership to ensure an ongoing appropriate solution
The FCO has been impressed by Servest’s commitment to devoting resources to ensure standards are not only met but exceed expectations. Servest will continue to look for areas where it can make improvements, making use of the latest technology such as body cameras for front-line colleagues. The dedicated account manager will continue to work closely with the FCO to ensure the service is meeting its requirements and remaining flexible to ensure that Servest can deliver a solution that is right for the customer.
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