Security efforts, investment or extra expense?

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People have a different attitude towards security since the series of riots and bomb blasts that have rocked the country in recent years. Wealthy Jakarta residents are now more concerned about their own security when they are in a public places.

Many now expect to be inspected by guards when entering a hotel or nightclub. It was not so before the bold headlines of the bomb attack in front of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta or in JW Marriott Hotel.

Most Jakartans used to believe that security matters were the sole business of the police. They often did not want to participate in self defense exercises and ignored civil defense teams and secu rity guards.

However, these days, security has become an integral part of the lives of both individuals and companies.

Former Jakarta police chief Insp. Gen. Makbul Padmanagara believes to best protect their business, every company should have their own security consultant. He does not think security products are too costly.

“In this modern age, you can easily check the prices. What needs to be understood is that security efforts are not a cost but an investment,” he said.

Security firms with their mix of consultants, security personnel, training staff and systems are now well-established in the capital and many are often specialized for different kinds of business.

PT Environmental Indokarya, also called Arla Service Co. concentrates on supplying security staff to more than 10 embassies in Jakarta, in addition to providing guards to other institutions like banks and cultural institutions. Since 1999, this company, based in Gedung Lina, Kuningan, has trained and employed 900 security guards.

Shield Indonesia, meanwhile, specializes in oil companies. In peak production periods they provide more than 5,000 security guards to these companies.

In the guards business there are four big players; PT Group 4 Falk, (also known as Securicor), Security 911, PT Shield Indonesia and PT Gardatama Nusantara.

“Some of these companies have shown a downturn in their business but the cause is mismanagement, rather than a small market potential,” an industry observer said.

Meanwhile, small security companies that provide more customized services to smaller companies are no less aggressive in offering their services. CV Laras Indo Makmur, for example, claims to provide security services using a sophisticated security system technology.

This company provides all kinds of security services for residences, hotels, villas, laboratories, offices, factories, swallows’ nests and so forth.

Using the latest technology, this company guards clients’ asset without deploying many stand-by guards. Monitoring is done through the internet and wireless devices. Cameras and alarm systems are connected to police stations so police are on call when a crime is committed.

There are an increasing number of companies selling these kinds of security products and there were a large array of devices on show in an exhibition held at the Jakarta Convention Center recently.

PT Anugrah Teknik Abadi, is a company that sells level-2 bulletproof vests, and X-ray glasses that allow the wearer to see the contents of a bag or find concealed weapons. It also sells various kinds of cell-phone bugging devices (GSM 800/900 Mhz or CDMA) and mini-telephone bugging devices to guard against industrial espionage.

The business is booming, especially for monitoring devices like CCTVs (closed circuit television). Jesselindo Electronics Security System last year posted Rp 1 billion in sales for a Malaysian CCTV system.

It hopes to increase its turnover this year with its cutting edge IT fastdoom CCTV sets, with quick surveillance and cameras that can turn up to 300-degrees.

Meanwhile, PT Mega Matrix System says things are good for its DVR (disc video recording) CCTV set that can be connected to the internet, currently selling well at US$5,800 a unit. “Last year we sold 60 units. This year we have a set our target at 100,” the company’s sales manager said.

PT Indolok Bakti Utama, with its international certification, and many divisions — Chubbsafes, Fire Products, Electronic Security Systems, Fire Systems , Locking Products, Integrator and Contracting and Banking Automations — is another important security business.

PT Intisar Primula, which specializes in an automated data collection, has also seen a continued increase in the demand for its security-related products such as its access control equipment and security guard tour and monitoring systems.

“Taking a security approach has become a necessity in today’s business world,” marketing manager Minik Rinayanti said.

The company began to design and manufacture some of the devices it used to import following the financial crisis that hit Indonesia in late 1997. “This has made our products more (cost) competitive not only at home but also overseas,” she said.

The demand shown by Indolok’s large clients, such as embassies, multinational corporations, state-owned enterprises, banks proved this. “We do not just sell products but we also provide integrated services, from product design to after-sales services,” Bakti Utama branch marketing manager Lea K. Indra said.

With the establishment of new hotels and apartments, and the opening of new banks, hospitals, ATMs, all businesses that need tailored security products, the business is likely to continue to thrive.

While systems are not cheap they are generally tailored and priced for he size of your business.

Be thankful you are not the organizers of last year’s Athens Olympics who spent about US$1.2 billion all up on security. (Burhanuddin Abe)

The Jakarta Post
April 26, 2005