Gavin McGuinness, Subject Matter Expert (SME) on security for Engie’s Facilities Management Operations, describes how working with Ashridge Group Security has brought both peace of mind and professional support to his work.
Engie’s operations activities mean that the scope of its security requirements is broad and the nature of the work varied.
The task for Gavin McGuinness was to identify an organisation able and willing to provide genuine 24/7 support, from the routine of site manned guarding to ensuring the personal security of its client’s Chief Executives and from front-of-house reception to covering site breaches.
With a background in military intelligence and corporate security, he is highly qualified to make such judgements and to identify the right provider.
Working with Ashridge Group since 2012, while part of the Balfour Beatty Group, he was ideally placed to recommend the company when its Workplace Facilities division was acquired by ENGIE in 2015.
“I had formed my positive impression about the co-founders of Ashridge Group, Emma and Mark Walker, even before they launched the business in 2012, through ad hoc work they had done for me. Their philosophy is not just “can do” it’s “will do” to the extent that in order to provide the necessary resilience cover, Emma has on at least one occasion stepped back into her previous life as part of a manned guarding team. Whilst much bigger operators have, in theory, very large resources to draw on, in practice they simply don’t offer the close involvement and responsibility-taking that we see with Ashridge”.
Delivering on the promise
Since 2012, Ashridge Group has been retained to manage and deliver security across a wide range of sectors:-
In total the company has carried out a large number of discrete operations in addition to its ongoing responsibilities across 40 sites.
Gavin McGuinness says one of the reasons for Ashridge Group’s high-performance levels is the investment it makes in its staff.
“They are probably 10% – 15% more expensive than the cheapest providers but their value to us exceeds that many times over. I’ve seen the amount of investment they make in their staff recruitment and training. They only take on the crème-de-la-crème. They also have a training and development regime which has been developed specifically for the security sector. No expense is spared. When you see their uniformed staff in three-piece suits that are well tailored and immaculately turned out, you understand that here is a company which sees itself as ambassadors for its clients’ business, not just a provider of services”.
“Nothing is ever too much trouble for them, they will always find a solution”.