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DSI Security Services – Saving a Client $150K “A Changing of the Guard”

The Dealer

Founded in 1969, DSI Security Services is one of the nation’s largest privately-held security service providers, with over 4500 employees and annual revenue of approximately $150 million. From its 28 offices nationwide, it supports customers in 33 states.

Eddie Sorrells, CPP, PSP, PC, DSI’s Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, explains, “Our goal at DSI is to provide the best possible security solution for the environment we’re working in. We don’t sell ‘products’ or ‘services.’ We create solutions that balance the use of security officers and electronic technology to deliver the most effective outcome for each client.”

The Challenge

One of DSI’s top clients, a high-end automobile manufacturer, stores new vehicles within a large fenced lot across the street from its main facility. The property was a target of repeated vandalism, trespassing, and theft. Two security officers, while performing their duties as well as possible, were not succeeding as visible deterrents. Surveillance cameras delivered evidence of incidents after the fact but were not stopping the intrusions. 

Sorrells recalls, “We had homeless people hopping the fence. They were timing their actions to evade our officers’ predictable patrol schedules, or distracting the officers in one area of the property while others attempted to break in elsewhere. They were sleeping in cars, tapping into the nearby water main to bathe and cook, and stealing things, including some bicycles. Our client was asking, ‘How do we solve this?’”

“Our team stays current on evolving technology and is always looking for ways it can fit into the security services sector. We had been looking at robotic solutions for several years but hadn’t yet found the perfect location to try them. This situation checked all the boxes.”

Here’s how three ROSAs (Responsive Observation Security Agent), manufactured by Robotic Assistance Devices (RAD), made DSI a hero.

The Requirements

From the client’s perspective, any technology solution would need to:

  • Deploy quickly and easily.
  • Work independently of the client’s Information Technology Infrastructure.
  • Provide real-time notifications when something happens. This can be to on-site or off-site remote monitoring resources.
  • Maintain functionality should the client’s relationship with DSI end.

The deployment of ROSA devices on-site met all these conditions, plus offered a surprising benefit. It would save the client about $150,000 per year!

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Simulation of a ROSA device deployed at an auto lot.

The Solution

After a complete site assessment, RAD and DSI jointly determined that three ROSA units strategically positioned on existing light poles could alert officers of any perimeter breaches in real-time. The ROSAs are plug-and-play devices featuring high-resolution cameras, two-way audio communications, attention-grabbing lights, and scrolling LED displays. They require only power to operate. Video streams and audio communications transmit via enhanced cellular connectivity.

Sorrells says the client was initially skeptical that the ROSAs could do what human officers could not. Plus, the site already had cameras that weren’t working as a deterrent. They doubted that these devices could proactively turn back intruders before crimes occurred.

DSI assured the client that a ROSA is not “just another camera.”

When someone breaches the fence, the event triggers an immediate, autonomous response. Lights flash, a siren blares, and the device issues visual and audio warnings that the property is under observation. Monitoring officers receive an alert and accompanying video on their phone, tablet, or computer. If the autonomous warnings are ineffective, the officers can open up live communication with the site through the ROSA device to issue more severe, direct threats. Sorrells says, “99.9% of the time, one of those two response levels is successful.”

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RAD’s technology notifies users, managers, or remote monitoring guards when the device detects activity

Furthermore, monitoring officers can observe the situation remotely and direct law enforcement to apprehend the perpetrator. The guards don’t risk their physical safety in executing a response.

Deploying three ROSAs would eliminate the need for a patrolling officer, saving the client $150,000 annually. Sorrells says, “We told the client we could fix their problem and reduce their spending significantly. How could they afford not to try it?”

The Results

After installing the ROSAs, the effect was immediate. Sorrells says, “When you have a human security force patrolling a large property, it can take up to 30 minutes for them to complete their route. People who are looking to break in time their actions accordingly. They can’t do that with ROSA. The technology is always watching, detecting any intrusions. We’ve positioned the devices so that their panoramic cameras provide an unobstructed view of the perimeter with no blind spots. Their activated responses are impossible to ignore, causing anyone thinking about intruding to realize they’re better off finding a different target. In the past year, there have been virtually zero criminal incidents at the lot.”

For DSI, the devices offer better margins than security officers, so reducing the client’s spend did not harm the contract’s profitability. And, should the client decide, one day, to take its security business elsewhere, the ROSA technology can go with them. “It’s not something only we can do,” says Sorrells. “RAD has a ton of dealers who would be happy to work with them.”

That’s not likely to happen any time soon. The innovative solution has strengthened DSI’s standing with the client as a dedicated security partner. Sorrells says, “Our contract with this client comes up for bid every few years. While we are not the cheapest security services provider, we have differentiated ourselves by demonstrating outside-the-box thinking and an ability to deliver superior results. As corny as it sounds, the biggest benefit of all has been our ability to tell our client that we have a solution to their problem and then exceeding their wildest expectations.”