Today, we’re thrilled to have Gary Kuty of Guardian 8 on the show. Gary is an industry legend that started out in law enforcement before moving into private security, and he has over 30 years of experience in the security industry.
On top of his experience, Gary brings an interesting perspective because of his marketing and sales knowledge. He studied marketing in college and brings a wealth of expertise on the business development side in addition to his incredible operations knowledge. We met him at CALSAGA this year and are excited for the opportunity to share his knowledge with our listeners and readers.
What Are The Biggest Challenges Facing The Security Industry?
When we asked Gary about the issues facing the industry today, he highlighted a couple of different areas. First of all, he noted how technology is widening the gap between the big national and international companies and the smaller, regional operations.
“Many of the small regional and local companies are really falling behind in a hurry on adopting technology to help their businesses,” he said. “There’s a variety of technology out there now… for almost any task that a security officer can perform.”
The big companies already have advantages of scale, and with their growing advantage in technology, it’s getting harder for smaller companies to keep up. Gary believes that every company needs to start integrating technology into its operations or at least associating itself with a tech provider if it doesn’t have the resources to do it in-house.
In addition, he listed a few other big concerns, including:
Officer safetyThe security industry hasn’t done much to improve its safety procedures for officers over the past 30 years even though the threats they face are changing rapidly.
CompetitionHe says competition in the industry is as fierce as it has ever been, which brings him back to the importance of technology and differentiation.
RecruitingA security officer position continues to be seen as a stopgap job rather than a career, and without the technology to differentiate their services, pay higher wages, and protect their officers, small companies will continue to struggle to find quality officers.
How Should A Company Implement Technology?
One of the big problems facing security companies that want to implement a new technology solution is just the overwhelming number of options out there today. We’ve covered just how hard this problem can be in our “Guide To Buying Guard Management Software” eBook, so we decided to get Gary’s input on the issue.
He says that companies, especially small companies, need to start small. Don’t try to overhaul your business overnight, just identify the most pressing areas of need to improve their efficiency and streamline their services.
Still, he says companies need to get started on implementing technology sooner rather than later, as that’s quickly becoming the industry norm.
“I think prospective end users are looking for companies that are technology savvy,” he said, “because most of the larger companies that guard companies are servicing have the technology internally, and they expect their vendors to have that same technology.”
Wolves Around Every Corner
Gary also agrees that there are lots of owners out there today that are afraid to grow their business. Lots of companies reach that 100 officer, $4-$5 million in revenue point, and then they just stop growing. The owners get comfortable and stop putting in the extra effort to improve their services and bring in new customers.
This is not a sustainable model, and he says that any owner not willing to put in the effort to grow should consider selling the business. Just standing still will put them in a position where they’ll lose 20% of their customers by next year.
“There’s wolves around every corner trying to take everything you have, every minute of the day,” he said.
You can have the same client for 20-30 years, but if someone comes in with lower rates or better technology, that client is going to leave. That’s why the technology is so key. It can improve your services, and it can take care of administrative tasks so that you, the owner, have more time to work on growing your business rather than constantly reacting to problems.
To wrap up our conversation, we asked Gary about some of the things he’s been working on at Guardian 8, and we got a very interesting answer. Proving that technology and innovation is not just confined to software, he told us about the Pro V2 Enhanced Non-Lethal Device, which offers several layers of response depending on the threat. It sounds like an amazing tool to help protect security officers and create a responsible chain of escalation.
We were blown away by Gary’s insightfulness and the way he confirmed a lot of what we’ve been seeing in the security industry while also highlighting some other issues and solutions we haven’t thought about as much .