Security screening is a fact of life – not only in airports, but in all sorts of venues open to the public including government and corporate buildings as well as major sporting and cultural events.
Allied Universal® Executive Protection & Intelligence Services provides tailor-made screening services for a number of clients both as standalone services and as integrated components of other protective services. These are usually planned far in advance. In this case, we had only four hours.
The challenge: International hotel and hospitality group requires rapid scalability of security screening.
Our client is an international group that manages hotels, conference centers and hospitality services worldwide.
The head of international group security had issued a new directive. Given that hotels have been targeted in several high-profile, violent attacks the world over, the group would now implement stringent risk mitigation methods in case of heightened alerts.
Among other things the new guidelines required that all staff, visitors, vendors and guests would have to pass through metal detectors. All hotel deliveries would also have to pass through x-ray screening.
Because of the urgent nature of such sudden changes in perceived threat, all screening equipment and personnel had to be onsite and operating within four hours upon notice of escalation.
The solution: A partnership that guarantees deployment of equipment and staff in four hours.
While Allied Universal® Executive Protection & Intelligence Services had the personnel and most of the necessary equipment available in the Northern European capital where the hotels and conference center were located, such rapid deployment was anything but business as usual. Plans for such activities are usually made weeks if not months in advance.
Allied Universal® Executive Protection & Intelligence Services partnered with the group and other stakeholders to ensure that the necessary resources could be deployed on time and implemented per agreed protocols. Additional equipment was purchased. SOPs were developed. Agreements were made with staff to be on call.
Short-notice transportation of the x-ray scanners was also arranged. Few logistics companies have the expertise necessary to move these sensitive apparatuses without disturbing them. Unless properly transported, they cannot be used immediately upon arrival and must settle for up to 24 hours. Even fewer logistics operators have the insurance to cover this costly equipment.
The results: Seamless screening of all guests, luggage and hotel deliveries.
The first heightened security alert came within three months of the partnership agreement.
One evening at 8pm the group’s international security management directed local managers to begin screening at all three of its hotels in the Northern European capital. In this case we were given until the following morning to have everything up and running.
After a busy night we were in place at all locations, screening all persons and deliveries entering the hotels as agreed.
Maintaining optimal guest experience despite such an obvious disruption in the normal flow is paramount in such situations. We were happy to learn that after thousands of personal screenings 24/7 for one week, the number of guest complaints to hotel management could be counted on less than five fingers. And these grumbles were about the screenings themselves – not about how they had been performed.
Behind the scenes there were other challenges. Chefs were less than happy that their precious ingredients had to pass through screening; service vendors were not satisfied that toolboxes went through the same machines. But all in all, hotel management was very satisfied with results of the rapid deployment, which fortunately ended without incident after one week.