During the COVID 19 pandemic, the main challenges identified early were travel restrictions, movement restrictions that could vary according to country of operations, borders closing, interruption of customer’s operations in offices guarded by our staff.
Most of our European staff are deployed on a rotation system that allows them to alternate time in country and periods of leave and rest back to their home country. “Uncertainty and lack of reliable information about the virus have been my primary concerns at the beginning of the pandemic, explained Gabor Pocsmegyeri, one of our ASP International Security Manager (ISM). Additionally, the team followed best practices and recommendations from WHO, CDC and the Ministry of Health of the host country in order to remain healthy both physically and mentally. But the main challenge remained how to organize rotations as well as shifts in country in time of global movement restrictions, confinement and multiple country lockdowns over extended periods of time.”.
ASP strategic approach to adapt and respond to fast paced, constantly changing business environment as well as and our dynamic link between operation on the field and our HQ structure provided our company with the ability to go through this major crisis with reduced impact to all our stakeholders.
In the field first, ASP team has proved its flexibility, resilience, complete professionalism and competence to manage the crisis situation. At the early stages, business continuity and contingency plans were adapted to the situation at hand. Protocols and procedures were tailored for possible contagion of our staff and/or the client. With the support of our customers, we adapted shift rotations procedures on a regular basis to mitigate movement restrictions imposed by local authorities. “Preparations were made for extreme circumstances like if the full team had to remain on location beyond their regular shift over extended period of time. In terms of the rotation of European staff, members of the team were extremely flexible and cooperative, all of them offered their services to stay in country as long as needed, therefore the client has been protected at all times and business continuity has never been compromised or interrupted”, added Gabor Pocsmegyeri. In terms of communication in general as well as management of operations, the pandemic did not cause any major issues due to the fact that ASP has embraced digital transformation way before the crisis and we were using the various communication tools and platforms available on a weekly basis (skype, zoom, teams..).
“Since 2018, ASP has made drastic organizational changes in order to have a lean structure and create a high-performance working culture explained Helios Demange, ASP Director. Based on our experience Face-to-face work did not systematically mean work efficiency or commitment. Recruiting people that are competent, organized and result oriented is the first step. Then managing and leading teams that do not share the same office space is actually not complicated. We have been getting better results than with the previous organization of work and the atmosphere in the team is stimulating.
“During the Pandemic, going to the office everyday could become complicated with the numerous constraints like weekly PCR test, special movement authorization, and special hours of movement. Working remotely did not impact my daily office managers tasks. The digitalization of our suppliers and clients has facilitated a continuous communication process, explained the office manager.
The crisis highlighted that ASP trainings in HQ combined with a lean structure, yet efficient, have created a strong link between staff on the field and management which proved being crucial for the performance of our services to our customers.
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