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Manufacturing a secure partnership.

MANUFACTURING ORGANIZATIONS around the world have undergone a metamorphosis in recent years. More change was introduced in the 1980s than in the first half of the century.

These changes affect security managers and how security services are delivered to the manufacturing environment. Gone are the days when security consisted of a night watchman making the rounds and assuring management that no one had left a hot plate or coffeepot turned on. For a security program to be effective today, a functioning and proven partnership must be established between manufacturing management and security management.

To effect the necessary changes and adjustments in the manufacturing process, plant managers have formed a number of alliances, or partnerships. These alliances include union and management, vendor and customer, manufacturing and marketing, manufacturing and engineering, and research and engineering.

Security management acted as a spectator as these alliances were formed. Products were developed without security involvement. Manufacturing selected plant locations and constructed buildings without input from the security manager.

Competition was the factor that drove security managers to seriously evaluate their bottom-line performance, and they began looking at security as an organization that could contribute to that bottom line. Security managers have been too reactive and not preventive enough.

Effective and productive manufacturing organizations in the 21st century will include security in all planning discussions. The need for a professional approach to security must assume the same level of importance as discussions on plant, equipment, capital, human resources, and other staffing and equipping decisions. The ability of the security manager to form the proper partnership with the manufacturing plant manager will facilitate this process.

What's in this for the senior manufacturing executive? Why does he or she need a relationship with security? Simply put, the security function is the means by which the senior manager can provide the greatest protection of assets and resources for the minimum investment. Note that the emphasis is on management to provide protection; a security program is no more or less effective than senior management wants it to be.

Once the manufacturing and security partnership is well established, the overall responsibility for providing a secure environment rests on the shoulders of the senior executive in manufacturing. The organization's security manager assumes the position of the major security resource available to the executive responsible for the overall success of the manufacturing operation.

THE INFLUX OF MANUFACTURING COMPETITION from Europe and the Far East in recent years has caused many near monopolies of the past to take a hard look at production costs and competitiveness. This has created unprecedented opportunities and challenges for the progressive security manager.

Being primarily a service organization, security has related to its internal customers, or recipients of that service. The world is moving into an environment where the word "customer" should be replaced by the word "partner." Along with his or her manufacturing counterparts, the security manager must eagerly embrace these new partnerships.

The security manager should not abdicate any of his or her current responsibilities, but the success of a security program should be attributed to the individual responsible for the success, or failure, of the entire program. The mission and objectives of the security manager should then closely parallel the mission and objectives of the manufacturing executive.

The image of the security organization then shifts from a "they" environment to a "we" environment. Once senior ownership and responsibility for the security of the manufacturing environment, security resources may increase.

This increase is a direct result of the ownership mentality by the senior management which, when conveyed throughout the organization, results in a far more effective awareness program than could be brought about by the security department acting independently.

Security must be viewed as a necessary component that contributes to the effectiveness, quality, and profitability of the manufacturing organization. It must be viewed as part of the business process. It must be sold from the top of the organization down, not from the bottom up or the center outward.

An important side benefit of the security and manufacturing partnership and the ownership of the security program by senior management is that every employee becomes a security officer. Every employee accepts some responsibility for security in his or her own work area, office, or department.

The individual who wishes to cause harm by violating security policies has no safe haven. The would--be thief, saboteur, or disgruntled employee now has to fool everyone, not just the security officer at the door.

Security managers are reasonably conversant in the department's economic impact on the corporation. They are schooled in determining the effectiveness of improving return on assets or return on investments. They are accustomed to comparing the department's return on capital investments with an established corporate hurdle rate.

As a profession, security managers are not particularly good at defending their actual contributions to the corporation. How can a dollar value be placed on thefts prevented, for example?

By making formation of partnerships a primary objective, security managers immediately shift to another means of measurement. This does not mean that thefts committed or dollars stolen are not useful measurements. However, a company with a return on assets (ROA) of 16 percent can withstand a larger theft problem than one with a ROA of 7 percent.

Shifting the ownership, and responsibility, of security to senior management creates an environment where a risk to corporate assets through theft is considered as any other risk to assets, such as declining sales, increased competition, work stoppage, natural disaster, or absenteeism.

If manufacturing and security form an effective partnership, many of the drains on security resources can be avoided. This frees valuable security managers to provide the services that they are uniquely qualified to perform, such as investigations, risk analyses, criticality assessments, and surveys.

The security manager must work toward the creation of the kinds of partnerships that have evolved in other organizational environments.

Once security managers have established partnerships and ensured a senior management level of visibility for security, they will find they have the time and resources to accomplish their mission. When security is viewed as a part of the business, rather than something that is done for the business, security managers will begin to see measurable improvement in the security department's productivity.

Security managers are in a transitional stage. In the span of one lifetime, security has moved from the era of making rounds at night around a facility to securing space-age technology. Security has changed. It has changed by choice, it has changed by direction, and it has changed by necessity. And it will change more.

The successful security manager of the future will minimize risk, maximize effectiveness, and optimize human and capital resources. The establishment and maintenance of effective partnerships are key to achieving this success.

Charles W. Scroger, CPP, is group manager of security, development and manufacturing, for Xerox Corporation in Webster, NY. He is a member of ASIS.
COPYRIGHT 1992 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Manufacturing
Author:Scroger, Charles W.
Publication:Security Management
Date:Aug 1, 1992
Words:1149
Previous Article:Security circles.
Next Article:Four steps to success.
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