Increasingly, security is a key factor in regard to the management and marketability of commercial property as well as ensuring the preservation of property values – whether it relates to retail, office or industrial property, says Marna van der Walt, chief executive officer of Excellerate Property Services (EPS).
EPS (which incorporates a broad range of companies such as JHI Properties, JHI Project Management, Excellerate Facilities Management, Sterikleen and Interpark, among others) has acquired a strategic interest in Enforce Security Services, which is the largest privately-owned security services company in South Africa, with a strong national footprint.
“This strategic partnership sees Enforce Security Services effectively become a member of EPS group, thereby providing considerable benefits for both organisations as well as for our existing clients and property owners in the marketplace,” she says.
Van der Walt says there are significant synergies between the two companies, which will enable the group to further enhance its bundled service offering which provides one-stop delivery of a broad spectrum of property-related services, all of which are now readily available to Enforce’s clients.
These include property management, leasing and sales broking, cleaning, parking, repairs and maintenance, utility, development and project management, pest control and landscaping, among others.
Enforce shares EPS’s vision of providing a holistic range of complementary property services while achieving one standard of excellence and accountability, and has sought out EPS as the best possible partner as they move forward into a new growth phase.
“In turn, a key benefit to EPS is that we now have a credible security offering within the group to complete the bundle, enabling us to offer landlords a fully integrated and comprehensive range of professional security services which include guarding services, investigation, polygraphs, alarms, remote video monitoring, CCTV and access control, fire and voice evacuation as well as independent custom-designed solutions to suit individual requirements,” says Van der Walt.
With offices throughout all major centres in South Africa, Enforce was established in 1989 and employs over 8 000 staff.
Key executive management, who remain significantly invested as shareholders in Enforce include executive chairman Sibusiso Ncube and chief executive officer Clinton Phipps.
Other directors are Derek Lategan, Anthony Feuilherade, Dave Birkett, Laura Moodley, Glenn Allen, Elliot Makhaye, Peter Main, Mark Carter, Darryn Johnston and Thoko Mdluli. Birkett, who is currently business development director and one of the founding shareholders, has opted to retire.
“The merger with EPS is extremely exciting as well as being an important strategic decision for Enforce Security, as we firmly believe that there is a growing trend towards bundled service delivery among our current and prospective customer base,” says Phipps.
Furthermore, he says, in this regard the group’s approach really appeals to them as they offer niche, industry-specific, focused brands to the market.
This enables clients to receive specialised industry specific service delivery, coupled with bundled service management benefits and cost effectiveness.
“We are excited to introduce our new group’s broad range of services to our customer base and vice versa.”
Five major expenses in running a building
Van der Walt says today, property owners and tenants across all sectors of the market, place a high priority on security in terms of their premises and businesses.
Internationally, the five major expenses incurred by a commercial property owner in running a building are firstly security, followed by parking, maintenance and repairs, cleaning, and marketing/advertising.
Historically, the owner would normally negotiate and contract individually with each provider, with each of these providers requiring a supervisor to oversee their employees at site.
Global companies have turned this approach on its head and pioneered the one-stop approach, which enables all the above services to be provided at a generally reduced price.
She says this is mainly done by multi-skilling employees and managers on site who perform more than just one of these services, for example, a security guard performing a cleaning function.
“In addition, instead of supporting multiple back office functions, these can be combined into one, thereby allowing the service to be provided at a reduced cost.”
Naturally, the cost saving is of key relevance to the property owner, however, being able to have one point of contact to manage is becoming more appealing.
In South Africa, property yields are increasingly coming under pressure, with lower rental rate increases and more vacancies, so landlords are looking to service providers to reduce pricing, making the bundled services approach beneficial.
Van der Walt emphasises that as a result, in today’s challenging economic trading conditions and highly competitive environment, cost efficiencies are critical in terms of reducing operating costs for property owners.
“Our partnership with Enforce enables us to now offer a complete and seamless bundled service offering which conveniently caters for all property management and property related requirements, while balancing the need for cost-effectiveness without compromising on quality.
“The benefits to the existing Enforce clients include, among others, the fresh approach and value stemming from the application of our bundled services, coupled with continued service excellence.”