Guardforce Group Limited has already secured its reputation as a cash-in-transit pioneer, but is now looking to capitalise on the most contemporary of technologies to tackle the next frontier of business security
Writer: Matthew Staff
Project Manager: Callam Waller
Hong Kong-based Guardforce Group has spent the past 40 years expanding and diversifying its operational capabilities to become experts in the field of security. For a Company that has always placed customer satisfaction at the head of its ethos however, the job is never done, and Guardforce is now striving to affirm the same recognition as a one-stop solutions provider.
Previously and primarily renowned for its cash-in-transit astuteness, this current turnkey approach reflects upon a motto which has driven Guardforce forward since day one: “securing the present, innovating the future”.
“We are the leader in providing a full range of security-related services, including security manpower, cash-in-transit and cash management, security storage and courier, international high-value cargoes dispatch, and electronic security,” introduces Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Terence Yap. “Our one-stop security solutions are trusted by banks, large corporations and major retailers across Asia; and with this motto - throughout our 40-year history - Guardforce has always strived to better meet customers’ evolving needs.”
Guardforce believes that the need to protect is an ever-constant, but the ‘how’ fluctuates, and this is where the Company has showcased its niche over the years; progressing to its recent development of innovative technologies and cutting-edge solutions that include Mobile Safe, Guardforce Cash Deposit Machine, retail analytics solutions, a smart-guard anti-wandering solution for elderly care using facial recognition technology, robotics solutions, and many other state-of-art technologies.
“We structure our services based on three main focuses to serve our customers better,” Yap continues. “The first is security personnel and facilities management which require manpower, such as guarding, aviation, cleaning, abd building maintenance. Secure logistics services then require more physical movement of valuables such as cash-in-transit, cash management, cash processing, ATM management, deposit machines, secure courier and our Mobile Safe service.”
The third element entails security technology which not only embraces surveillance systems and CCTV but also more refined and innovative solutions across retail analytics, video analytics, cyber security and robotics.
“Cash-in-transit and cash management are our major services at the moment, therefore the majority of our clientele emanates from the banking, finance and retail industries,” Yap elaborates. “However we see there will be a change in the future with the shifting focus to the new innovative solutions rather than our traditional business.”
Guardforce’s flexibility and willingness to move with - and ahead of - the times is indicative of its success over the decades and is further compounded by its international diversification. Based in Hong Kong, the Company also enjoys a strong presence in Macau and Thailand, with further migration across Asia-Pacific a clear goal looking forward.
“Our latest acquisition of SECUREcorp in Australia last year has further expanded our footprint in Asia-Pacific and added synergy to the business in terms of clientele and talents,” Yap adds. Additionally, “we believe the “One Belt One Road” initiative will further drive investment, trade and commerce and thus will create lots of opportunities in the region”.
The CEO adds: “The demand for security is expected to rise in this region and we will continue to expand our footprint to fill the gaps in these markets.”
While partly a result of market research and trend anticipation, the skill behind keeping ahead of the industry curve actually resorts back to Guardforce’s overarching principle of listening to and understanding customers, and their needs, ahead of time.
Especially prevalent in the present day virtue of the reliance on new and ever-changing technologies, the Company has happily diversified its portfolio and service remit to ensure this adherence; basing more and more of its solutions around technological application.
“At present, we place our focus on developing solutions and integrating cutting-edge, intelligent technology expertise with diverse security services; ensuring not only that security is enhanced, but also to help our clients manage their business and resources more efficiently and effectively,” Yap affirms. “Importantly it also adds value and creates long-term benefits for their business.
“Our Smart Cash deposit machine, (GCM) for example, helps save manpower, reduce risks and improve operational efficiency for retailers. Electronic security deploying the latest facial recognition and intelligent retail analytics solutions helps to provide instant marketing insights for retailers. Cyber security enhances a company’s data protection from hackers. And robotics solutions provide multi-function, fully automated, manpower saving and consistent performance solutions through labour optimisation.”
A real partnership
These select examples represent just a small sample of the services that Guardforce is marketing at present while a plethora of additional solutions are also under development. And the ultimate consequence is that the Company delivers on its own core principles and reputation of being an enterprise that listens and delivers on its promises.
“We believe that technology is the future. We are helping our clients to secure the present by protecting their assets and people,” Yap says. “We believe that innovation is key to any business and therefore, we will continue to innovate to meet the ever-changing needs of our clients and to strive for service excellence.”
The dedication to wider client enrichment can’t be a solo pursuit however, and Guardforce has long recognised the need to partner with likeminded organisations if it is to truly live up to its philosophy. Forming relationships with leading technological enablers has subsequently facilitated much of its final portfolio, but will always be complimentary to the Company’s primary relationship, which is with its own people.
Yap notes: “We are in the service business and therefore, people are our number one priority. We place significant investment on training and developing our people. We encourage internal promotion, so staff will be rewarded and recognised through their hard work and loyalty.
“We also care about their offspring and family and a few years ago we set up an annual awards aim to encourage the children with outstanding school achievements to participate.”
Guardforce has been awarded the Family-Friendly Employers Award by the Family Council as a result, once again reassuring staff - just like it does its customers - that the Company is a committed and responsible operator across the entire value chain.
“There are three main characteristics that set Guardforce apart from its competitors,” Yap says. “One and two are our ability to listen to customers and our innovation, but the third is our people and the retention of a steady work team.
“Customers know they can communicate with the same contact person, who knows them, their needs and the history that exists between the two organisations in order to create a real partnership and a lasting relationship.”
Harness the power of connectivity
‘Long-lasting’ is an apt description for Guardforce Group in general, having overseen numerous milestones in recent years to become an award-winning operator of widespread repute.
The Belt and Road initiative will now open further doors for the business from an international perspective, all the while making sure that the final service isn’t diluted and that the customers continue to receive the same market-leading, turnkey and innovative security solutions.
“In the future Guardforce will continue to be a recognisable brand delivering professional services to our clients in the region,” Yap emphasises. “Increasingly, we will combine the right technology with our vast industry experience to deliver the right solutions to our clients.”
Various research reports have indicated that there could be as many as 50 billion connected devices by 2020, highlighting the reliance that businesses will have on things like IoT in the future. And it is down to Guardforce to prepare for this revolution, and to capitalise on the clear opportunities it will bring to the best providers.
“Guardforce will continue to look into this opportunity to harness the power of connectivity,” Yap concludes. “In our relentless strive to remain relevant to our clients we will focus to be the pioneer in offering innovative solutions.
“We have the determination to enhance our service offerings to secure our customers’ present needs. Equally importantly though, we will continuously innovate and develop new solutions to meet their future needs too.
“This vision is reflected in our slogan: “securing the present, innovating the future”.