Metrics for Success: Showing the ROI of Contract Security Forces

It is great to get feedback on my metrics columns. Let me share some thoughts on a recent e-mail I received from a thoughtful security manager in Arizona: “I can’t think of a more relevant issue for physical security than a series of metrics...

5. Service-Level Agreements. SLAs are fairly common in outsourced service contracts and deserve consideration for their ability to establish clear performance standards. Common elements for contract security are supervision, first call resolution, response times to emergency events, incumbent qualifications and levels of training, tour and staffing of specific posts. These may include both penalties for non-conformance and potential rewards for exceeding standards.

These are a few measures to consider when you are determining whether your contract or proprietary security force is delivering value for the cost. Clearly, much of the focus is on “what if.” But that question is at the heart of management’s obligation to manage risk on behalf of the shareholders’ or the public’s safety.

George Campbell is emeritus faculty of the Security Executive Council (SEC) and former CSO of Fidelity Investments. His book, “Measures and Metrics in Corporate Security,” may be purchased through the SEC Web site. The SEC is a member organization for senior security and risk executives from corporations and government agencies responsible for corporate and/or IT security programs. In partnership with its research arm, the Security Leadership Research Institute, the Council is dedicated to developing tools that help lower the cost of members’ programs, making program development more efficient and establishing security as a recognized value center. For more information and inquiries on membership requirements, visit The information in this article is copyrighted by the SEC and reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.