We spoke with Jakub Dzik – Vice President of Impel Group about the challenges faced by the security industry in Poland, key market trends, prospects for international development and the future of his company.
Impel Group is the biggest FM provider and one of the biggest security companies on the Polish market. What is Impel’s competitive position on the Polish security market today?
Indeed, Impel Group is the biggest FM services provider in Poland and one of biggest manned guarding companies. We also hold second place in cash handling and we are an important player in the event and monitoring security services. Additionally, Impel has strong competences in designing and implementing complex technical security systems.
Currently, Impel is at the forefront of security companies that use advanced software solutions to improve the quality of their services. Our software allows us to follow the individual guards performing their tasks, reduce manual labour, improve management and control processes and, as a result, demonstrate higher overall efficiency. Concurrently, our IT solutions deliver a comprehensive knowledge about security company’s performance to our clients and enable them to organize security functions more effectively and make better informed decisions.
The Security market is facing a lot of changes. The main focus is on moving to the technological solutions. Protection from cyberattacks is increasingly important, etc. In your opinion, what will the security market look like in the next five years and how does Impel adapt its offer to the described changes?
Technology will have a huge impact on the shape of the security market in years to come. It will drive changes in the organization of security services, in terms of the competencies required from security guards, recruitment and training processes as well as in the approach to management and control of services delivered.
In the next years, the common use of advanced technologies based on algorithms and data analysis will become more and more popular. Hence, the technology will cease to fulfill only the basic function related to detecting threats and will become a tool that provides a comprehensive information management for making better decisions. Security guards, on the other hand, will have to constantly improve their competences to effectively use IT tools. Companies that will be able to combine the latest technology gains with competent employees will gain the competitive advantage on the market.
Impel Group invests a lot of effort in the mentioned software solutions. Our engineer teams are proficient in the designing and implementation of complex security systems as well as training programs. Based on their work and our software solutions we are able to improve organizational efficiency and service delivery processes.
Poland is facing very rapid increase in wages and at the same time historically low unemployment rates. How do these factors affect the security market in Poland and how is Impel responding to the changes?
First of all, we have to acknowledge, that there is a significant wage pressure in many market segments in Poland right now. There are two main reasons for this situation. Firstly, the current unemployment rates are the lowest in the last 30 years (5th lowest in the EU) at the level of 3.8% according to Eurostat. This value is only an average and in many places in Poland the unemployment level is even lower. As the result, we are dealing with a permanent lack of hands for work.
Secondly, the key factor that drives the increase in wages is the rapidly changing statutory regulation of minimum hourly rates caused by the fact that for many years wages were at a very low level.
For instance, today’s salaries of security guards in Poland (despite their 30% plus increase in recent years) are still much lower than in Western Europe (four times lower than in Germany and three times lower than in Italy). It means that the remuneration of security guards will continue the upward trend in the coming years.
In order to maintain our competitive edge, Impel Group is undertaking a number of actions targeted at implementing more technology-based solutions in our services, developing more effective management and control methods and increasing the automation of processes. Nevertheless, we also hold honest discussions with our clients about allocating appropriate budgets for security.
Except for the aforementioned challenges what other factors are crucial today in the Polish security market?
One of the most significant problems of the Polish security market is its very large fragmentation (a few thousand entities providing security services) and the lack of a consistent assessment system for the quality of security providers (e.g. similar to NSI Guarding Gold in the UK). The implementation of such a scheme would not only contribute to the overall increase in the quality of security services, but it would also make it easier for clients to make decisions regarding the choice of a supplier who meets the highest industry standards.
Another important issue is the lack of even the most basic training requirements for non-qualified security guards who represent about 75% of all employees working in the profession. Such a basic training program for all security employees should be a market standard. Currently this is a practice implemented only by a small percentage of companies such as Impel.
You are one of the founders of the Global Securalliance. What kind of role do you see for the Global Securalliance in the international security market?
In the international security market, customers can choose today between two main solutions. They can contract the security services from a fully international supplier which means, at least in Europe, choosing from just two multinational security companies. Alternatively, they can use independent suppliers in different countries. Thus receiving more tailored solutions to their local needs, but losing the ability to coordinate the whole process maintaining effective communication between individual providers.
Global Securalliance (GSA) was established as another alternative in the described choices. As an organization compiled from the top private security companies successfully operating in their respective countries, the GSA can provide optimal solutions for local requirements, ensuring common standards in many countries. The GSA guarantees the implementation of an effective contract management structure at the international level while maintaining a high level of competitiveness.
I therefore think that the Global Securalliance has a huge role to play in the European and global security market in the years to come.