Hard work, technology and sisterly love: NPB celebrates the keys to success at its 10th anniversary

As Perth based Security Company, NPB Security reaches its 10-year anniversary, and founding directors David Barrett and Scott Parry look back over the decade, they say it’s been a long ride and a roller coaster.

Both agree that COVID-aside, the first couple of years were probably the toughest.

2010: Going it alone

Says Scott: “We had been working at the same security company, we were sitting at the Queen’s Hotel having a few beers, and we decided to give it a crack.

“We were in for a bit of a rude awakening. We did a lot of cold calling, made up proposals which we’d drop on prospective clients and we were fortunate to get a couple of clients start us off. But we expected people to come flocking because we’d been in the business and knew a lot of people. That didn’t happen.”

Through patience and perseverance, however, they were able to push through.

Continues Scott: “Fortunately a few clients decided to take a punt – the Mount Henry Tavern, The Grosvenor, Adventure World – clients who are still with us today. Then we had our first real break when a venue called the Breakwater signed us up. Its owner was a very well-known guy who had a lot of sway around town and through his endorsement, we got a real foot in the business.”

“And a leg,” says Dave.

2013: Sister Act

By year two, NPB (an anagram of surnames) started to fly with the Company snaffling up the Little Creatures contract and winning the 2013 Telstra Business Award for Best Start-Up business.

Dave credits winning the highly coveted Business Awards to some deft work by his sister who was working part time at NPB after a stint overseas.

“We never thought we’d win but my sister filled out about 40 pages of paperwork, then the Judge came to interview us and she must have liked what she saw because we won!”

The company now employed about 200 people and the next milestone was winning the contract for the Subiaco Oval (then known as Patersons stadium).

Scott picks up: “It was still difficult to win these major events because we were still considered a new company. No-one wanted to take the risk. We tendered the first time and didn’t win, then it was tendered again the next year, with huge competition from the eastern states, and we got it second time around.”

2014: The technological touch

Dave says NPB’s adoption of new technology had a lot to do with this win and the traction that followed.

“We’ve always maintained a customized operations system, a digital system that a local programmer built for us. It allowed us to roster staff when other companies were still using Excel spreadsheets. We could also onboard staff in a few hours opposed to a few days.

“Then we became ISO-certified and we were able to get better at monitoring the efficiencies of the business. It was a bit tedious at first but we quickly found our form and used it to access government tenders and win wider business.”

2015-18: Winning the WACA (and everything else)

The ISO certification was an asset to winning the company’s first government tender with VenuesWest, says Dave.

“That win delivered us the Mobile Security contract for HBF Arena, and the AK Reserve precinct – incorporating HBF Stadium, WA Athletics Stadium and the Bendat Basketball Centre – as well as HBF Park, SpeedDome, Gold Netball Centre, Champion Lakes Regatta Centre and Motorplex.

“In simple terms we are securing their assets and responding to alarm activations after business hours at their sites around WA.”

Now on a roll, the mobile division quickly snapped up additional clients including real estate developer, Peet, and Christ Church Grammar.

By 2015, and with its reputation growing, NPB won the WACA security contract after another competitive and highly charged tender process giving it a hat trick of “Colosseums.”

“By then we were seen for what we are,” says Scott. “We were authentic and distinctive – especially with our orange branding – and we led from the front in everything we were doing.”

Over the past five years, NPB has gone from strength to strength winning the WA Hospitality Supplier Awards from 2015-18 and expanding its workforce to more than 1200 employees. It has contracts spanning a raft of sectors including retail, government, mining and construction, and the work continues to diversify.

2020: The changing of the guard

The company has ramped up work across the retail sector with teams working for clients including Woolworths, BWS and Rebel Sport, and contracts in construction and mining have evolved so the Company now oversees activities such as random drug and alcohol testing.

The work role of the security guard has definitely changed over the past decade, Scott says.

“It’s not just about providing a security presence anymore. These days, we play the role of a responsible host and the whole team are attuned to the value of customer experience. You have to offer more these days – and we do.”

Victory lap

With this sparkling track record, you would think that the duo would be out there celebrating NPB’s diamond anniversary.

Dave: “Look, we’ve been extremely busy with reopening of phase 3 and 4 COVID restrictions, and Optus, so we had a low key celebration. Scott and I went out to visit some of our original clients and give them gifts. It was fun catching up with clients we have grown up with and looking back over the last 10 years. Plus, there were a few sneaky drinks along the way.

“The girls from Artrage, the Fringe World Festival, asked us if we were enjoying our victory lap around town. That made us giggle.”

As for the next 10 years, Dave says he and the business are primed and well prepared.

“I’m only 39,” he laughs. “There’s plenty left in the tank.”

Perth patrons overjoyed as they flood back to venues

As hospitality patrons flood back to Perth venues, frontline security staff are reporting an increase in incidences caused by “over-exuberant” patrons.

Director of NPB Security, Scott Parry, whose firm oversees safety across more than 100 major venues, says that while most crowds are well behaved a few customers have had exhibited some over-exalted behaviour which was higher than pre-COVID levels.

“Although we expected people to be happy about returning to their favourite bars and restaurants, a few were a bit too overjoyed, that kept our teams busy. We had to spend a bit of time with a few patrons to get their blood pressure back down,” said Mr Parry.

Despite a few excitable customers, Mr Parry says NPB’S Security crowd controllers reported good vibes and happy people at venues such as Northbridge Brewing Company, Bar Lafayette, and The Rechabite.

The only other issue to emerge has been a delays caused by tracing requirements.

“Some venues have been trialing digital options, which from our experience have proven to be slower than having people hand-sanitise and fill out a form on a clipboard.”

Despite these few hiccups, venue operators are welcoming the resumption in trade.

Sandbar Owner, Ben Randall, says his Scarborough Beach business, which employees about 50 staff, couldn’t wait to start welcoming more patrons back.

“We are simply glad that we’re now getting back to somewhere near normal.”

Mr Randall joined the AHA (WA) CEO, Bradley Woods, in welcoming the news.

“WA’s hospitality industry has paid a heavy financial price to keep Western Australians safe and as they reopen, they do so in a way that prioritises patron safety.”

Mr Parry added that all of NPB’s employees have completed hygiene training, social distancing and contact tracing protocols, and they have also gone a step beyond what is traditionally expected of security staff.

“Our security team are 100 per cent focused on improving the customer experience at hospitality and entertainment venues like the Sandbar. We see our security teams a bit like concierges, with the responsibility to meet and greet and offer assistance wherever needed.”

Since the coronavirus started, Mr Parry says NPB Security has been highly sensitive to the role its hand-picked teams play in ensuring COVID-19 safety

“Our teams have been trained to prioritise safety at every level but they have also been taught to go out of their way to deliver a positive customer experience. We are, at the end of the day, the safety end of the hospitality service industry.”

Crowd control warning as hospitality sector reopens

As hospitality businesses prepare for a staged return to operations in coming months, security firms are urging them to consider how to control crowds and manage ongoing safety issues.

Perth-based NPB Security’s co-director, David Barrett, says it is welcome news for the hospitality sector, but managing social distancing requirements and number limits could be problematic.

“A lot of venues are just not designed in a way that allows patrons to maintain 1.5m between each other,” Mr Barrett said.

“If you look at some of the problems that occurred in the retail sector when restrictions started to be put into place, you can only assume there’ll be some challenges encouraging crowds to abide by new rules in bars and other venues designed for socialising at close quarters.”

Mr Barrett said during the early stages of COVID-19 restrictions, incident reports from security personnel at retail outlets increased exponentially.

“It was like nothing we’d ever experienced before,” he said.

“People were obviously in panic mode and that was leading to incidents like 16-year-old checkout operators being verbally abused and threatened.

“The number of incident reports we were receiving rose from less than 20 a week to hundreds a day.”

Mr Barrett said it was a similar story for most security firms around the country as restrictions came into force and continued to change over time with little notice.

With no standard procedures or training modules in place to deal with such unprecedented changes, many security firms had to implement their own.

“We had to come up with training for something that no one had ever experienced before and the general public was in a similar situation, having to adapt to a way of life that they were completely unfamiliar with,” he said.

“That was happening as we were all getting our heads around the seriousness of this virus and fear was growing all the time. People can behave quite irrationally when they’re being driven by fear and uncertainty.”

For Brendon Sim, director of CBD venues Bar Lafayette and W Churchill, while there is some optimism among hospitality business owners, there are still many unknowns ahead.

“As soon as the bars reopen, people will think the cabin fever is over and will come back with a vengeance expecting to enjoy an afternoon or evening out,” Mr Sim said.

“The problem is that bars, pubs and clubs are not designed for social distancing but to fulfil venue capacity, which will create ongoing challenges.

“Walk-ins and queues at the doors will be very hard to manage with number limits and social distancing requirements, let alone people inside venues when there are restrictions on where they can be, how long they can be there or who they can be with.

“It’s a situation that will require very careful and visible crowd control, but we’re all bleeding from the loss of revenue after being closed, we will have limited turnover for a long time to come, and many in the sector will struggle with the costs of adequately managing these new restrictions.”

Mr Sim says he has the option to operate as reservation-only venues, but many operators would need more information before they could make informed decisions.

“Commercial kitchens and bars are not designed to operate at 50 per cent capacity – it’s an expensive and time consuming process to get them functional so we need a lot more certainty before we decide to open at all,” he said.

“While it is a good thing that we can start to open our doors again, it’s going to be a long and costly exercise to do so, and there are so many unknowns ahead.

“We’re going to need a lot of ongoing government support to cover the costs of crowd control while turnover remains limited.”
Mr Barrett believes that while there will no doubt be challenges as restrictions are relaxed, business operators, security personnel and the general public will be far better placed to adapt.

“The experiences gained in going into this thing will be valuable to help us come out of it,” he said.

“We’ve mandated that all our staff need to complete the AHA’s COVID-19 course that’s been put into place, and everyone now has some experience in dealing with staged changes, so I’m predicting a more seamless transition back to some sense of normality.

“But people are going to get excited about pubs and clubs reopening, and when excitement and alcohol are combined, security issues can arise.

“However, just like we’ve seen in the retail sector, most customers will adjust to the changes and settle into a new way of doing things.”

“Spirit of the Fringe Award”

NPB Security are proud to announce one of our crowd control team members, Brigitte, last night won the “Spirit of the Fringe Award” at this years FRINGE WORLD Awards Ceremony.

Check out the video to see what the award encompasses and why she won.

Brigitte, as the presenter, Amber said you are “awesome, the best and someone who will always make sure you are ok” you deserve the recognition! So glad to have people like you representing us, we are proud of you here at NPB Security!

To read more about the FRINGE WORLD Awards Ceremony and its winners please visit the offical media release from the festival at this link

#SafeWithUs

Fringe world festival is here!

Well it’s that time of year again… FRINGE WORLD!

This years FRINGE WORLD festival starts this week and runs all the way to the end of February… non stop!

NPB Security has secured FRINGE WORLD since its beginnings. We love it so much we now sponsor the event.

As most of you know who have worked there in previous years, it’s great to be part of such a unique, fun event.

We will be looking for team members to work either crowd control or static guard shifts at a number of different venues around Perth and Western Australia.

If you are interested in registering your interest to work at FRINGE WORLD please email
fringe@npbsecurity.com
Please be very clear with your availability including: dates and times (Be aware most shifts are in the evening) Preference will go team members who are willing to work on the weekends or already work for NPB on the weekends.

If you currently are not part of the NPB Security team and want to join please register your interest at the below link
www.npbsecurity.com/employment

The below maps are for those who have been booked to assist with finding the venues they are working at.

FRINGE WORLD 2017 is

#SafeWithUs

NPB Security spreading some Christmas cheer in Perth

NPB Security donated a boot full of turkey, ham and bacon to ensure those in tough circumstances can celebrate Christmas with a decent meal.

Our client provides support for the homeless people as well as those at risk of becoming homeless and struggling families. They provide a safe environment in which support, advocacy and referral can be provided.

Meals are provided free of charge with light refreshments. People do not require a referral to access the service and can also see the community centre link team, mobile GP, street lawyer and individual disability advocate service – All free of charge.

It’s an amazing initiative to help those in need.

Merry Christmas!

NPB Security

#SafeWithUs

NPB Security Family Christmas Party

Well it’s that time of the year again!

To celebrate the end of a successful year we would like to invite our NPB Team Members and their partners + children to our yearly NPB Security Family Christmas Party

This will be a child friendly event!

You should have already received instructions with how to RSVP.

Guests will be sent their tickets from EVENTBRITE so please ensure you bring the tickets to gain entry.

EVENT DETAILS:

Where: Adventure World – www.adventureworld.net.au
351 Progress Drive, BIBRA LAKE

When: Monday – December 12

14:00 – 17:00: Adventure World Fun! (We will have an area to chill out with some snacks and drinks to fuel your amusement park fun)

17:00 Onwards: Dinner and drinks (The park is closed at 1700 but you are more than welcome to just come for dinner if you wish

Please ensure you RSVP by Friday 9th 15:00

ENTRY TO ADVENTURE WORLD, FOOD AND DRINKS WILL BE PROVIDED BY NPB SECURITY

MERRY CHRISTMAS!