A comprehensive security and investigative company, Recon Security Limited provides services to residential, government, and commercial sectors throughout New Zealand’s greater Wellington region. Founded by Managing Director Blair Malcolm in 1995, Recon has experienced consistent growth with every year, building from its first customer in Wellington to its present form as the largest Wellington-owned security company in New Zealand, employing over 100 personnel.
Recon’s service offerings are divided into 3 categories; guard services, security products, and investigations. The guard services category includes general uniform security, concierge-style officers for sectors such as film and various government departments, event security for large concerts and general events, 24-hour mobile patrols, and control room operators. Unique to Recon is its NZ Marshall branch, an executive guard service comprised of the company’s most qualified and experienced officers. One of a very small number of Bosch certified partners throughout New Zealand, Recon’s range of security products is comprised of high-quality intruder alarm systems, smoke alarm systems, digital and analogue security cameras, and access control systems. Operating as a one-stop shop, Recon employs its own technicians rather than subcontracting to other organisations, and carries out the complete installation of its products. Finally, the company’s investigations services cover commercial and domestic surveillance, document service, personal protection services with several ex-police and army personnel on staff, and a VIP transport service.
While primarily working within the commercial sector, Recon also has numerous contracts with industrial groups, as well as local and central government. Though the company’s services are not geared towards the residential sector, Recon provides residential security services as well upon request.
This year, Recon is rolling out a new customer service training module to the entirety of its staff. “There is nothing in the security field or in the national training organisation that covers customer service training,” says Blair, “so we have had to build it ourselves.” Recon also consistently releases software packages and systems that support its staff in the field and enhance its customer service capabilities, including an electronic, cloud-based guard logbook system called iGuard, which can be reviewed at any time by the client at no charge, and a tracking system that monitors security staff as they patrol properties, providing Recon with a variety of personnel evaluation indicators. As well, Recon’s proprietary electronic dispatching system provides a streamlined method of personnel delegation, and automatically updates the client when an assigned task is completed. “In the old days, you would call a guard on a cell phone or radio;” Blair explains, “we have computers installed in all of our vehicles, so with just a few clicks of a mouse, we can send the job to our patrol staff. It’s a lot quicker and there’s less room for error.”
Contrary to the practices of many of its industry competitors, whose guards are paid the minimum wage, Recon strives to pay their personnel the living wage wherever possible. “It means you have to charge a bit more, or lose a bit of profit on the job, but we believe in the practice,” says Blair. “We also have a rewards initiative program for all of our staff, and simple practices like doing staff reviews and assessments for frontline staff is something that we’ve always done. The largest security companies in the world don’t even do that.”
In addition to its partnership with Bosch Security, Recon has also established mutually beneficial relationships with several of its competitors throughout the country. “When they need resources, they come to us and we help them out,” Blair says. “Likewise, we subcontract to them as well.”
Blair feels that the government’s recent changes to the licencing process for new security guards has resulted in a significant slowdown in the sector. “It now requires a lot more work on behalf of the employee to claim the accreditation that he needs to become a security guard,” he says. “It’s already become a lot more difficult to bring new people into the security field, and find enough guards to meet customer needs.”
With 25 years of practical security and security experience, Blair Malcolm possesses a comprehensive understanding of all levels of security operations. Responsible for Recon’s client relationships and commercial management of contracts, he treats every significant tender as a personal achievement. “I still remember the first customer that Recon ever had, back in 1995,” he says. “When we pick up large government or private industry contracts, they’re probably the greatest milestones that I have personally.”