New Security Industry Association (SIA) member LARGO Consulting Services, LLC, provides physical security, school safety, social branding and business services. The company is headquartered in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, with a national portfolio including high-rise office buildings in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; and San Francisco, California; numerous K-12 schools, colleges and universities; and social media marketing clients across the United States.
SIA spoke with Rita LaRue, president and senior business consultant at LARGO Consulting Services, about the company, the security industry and working with SIA.
Tell us the story of your company.
RL: LARGO Consulting Services was founded by Bernard Gollotti in 2014 to assist clients in creating safe and secure environments wherever people live, learn, work, shop and play. Bernard has over 30 years of experience across multiple public safety market verticals, and his career includes a variety of roles that give him a 360-degree perspective, including service as a guard force provider, security integrator, emergency preparedness specialist, business development manager, end user and client. I joined the company as president in 2019 to expand social media marketing services. Known as LARGO Connect, our team uses the latest strategies to amplify our clients’ messages across social media networks, engage current customers and target audiences, help create maximum impact and generate sales.
What solutions/services does your business offer in the security industry? And what makes your offerings/company unique?
RL: Physical security assessment services include risk assessments, electronic security systems, security personnel, leadership development and team building, emergency preparedness and crisis management, contract negotiations and project management. Many consultants tend to hold their observations until the final report. The client might then open that report to find items called out in alarming language – what LARGO calls the “gotcha” moment. At LARGO, our practice is to share the “gotcha” when we discover it so our clients can take corrective action immediately to reduce risk and help keep people safe.
Social media marketing services include working with our clients to create campaigns that drive revenue and positive customer satisfaction metrics via establishing a subject matter expert presence that delivers the company message, developing inbound and outbound strategies that engage current customers and attract potential customers, providing a combination of original and curated content that is audience-specific, creating narratives that address customer pain points and suggests solutions and designing website landing pages to capture and deliver visitor information. LARGO has a rare combination of public safety, marketing and social media expertise that makes our team an ideal one to craft campaigns for the security industry.
What’s something we might not know about your company – or something new you’re doing in security?
RL: Your Security Space, a social networking platform dedicated solely to public safety professionals, will be launching in 2020. This platform will be a place where security specialists, law enforcement officials and armed service members can share industry insight, voice their opinion, share best practices and learn from one another without the distractions found on other social networking platforms.
What does SIA offer that is most important to you/your company? And what do you most hope to get out of your membership with SIA?
RL: LARGO has had great experiences at ISC West and ISC East, where we were able to meet industry leaders, connect with colleagues, learn about new technologies and have a great time while doing it!
LARGO plans to join SIA’s Women in Security Forum and continue to attend ISC West and ISC East. We’re also looking forward to exploring member resources like reports, publications and studies and getting to know other SIA members.
What is your company’s vision, and what are your goals for the security industry?
RL: LARGO’s goal is to disrupt the typical consulting model by embedding our team within the client’s business so that we can best support our client’s ability to be very responsive to their markets and then move with speed and agility. LARGO keeps our overhead low and customizes services to meet the client’s needs and budget.
Our goal for the security industry specifically is to employ a complete team approach that leverages subject matter expertise in providing a comprehensive security solution for clients. For example, VIZION20XX, our physical security assessment process, follows a road map that includes bringing our relationships with asset managers, security integrators, manufacturers, service providers, software developers and app developers to the table with client team members to evaluate and future-proof our client’s security and safety programs, electronic security systems and security force management practices.
What are the biggest challenges facing your company and/or others in the security industry?
RL: With a pandemic that has been sweeping across the globe, there’s no such thing as business as usual; ”business as unusual” is more accurate. As we practice social distancing, staying connected is more important than ever before. Ask your customers and clients what they need from you and find out what they’re going through. Now more than ever, your audience could use a positive approach that connects, inspires and offers hope. Tell your own work from home stories, share your best mask tips and look for bright spots in our uncertain landscape and share them.
Building owners, company leaders and university presidents have been preparing for the time when shelter-in-place orders are lifted and people start heading back to the office and to campus. Plans need to be flexible and cover a variety of circumstances that may change overnight. LARGO is helping clients develop plans that might include work and school days in staggered shifts, zoning catered food deliveries and plexiglass – lots of plexiglass. Surveys to check in and develop targeted strategies for preparing to bring employees and students back to work and campus in a safe, productive and inclusive way is also very important to a successful re-entry.
What do you think are the biggest opportunities in the security industry right now?
RL: True “touchless” security solutions. The security industry is learning a valuable lesson as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many solutions being called “touchless” that are not truly touchless because you have to touch a door handle or push a door-opening paddle. A truly “touchless” solution requires seamless integration from the point of access all the way to the individual reaching their final destination within a building or school.
What do you enjoy most about being at your company – and in the security industry?
RL: Every day we help our clients create safe and secure environments wherever people live, learn, work, shop and play. It’s our way of making the world a better place.
The views and opinions expressed in guest posts and/or profiles are those of the authors or sources and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Security Industry Association.