General FAQ

Where is Next Step Solutions located and what areas do you serve?

Next Step Solutions is located in Huntington Beach, California, about 30 miles south of Los Angeles.
We are willing to consider projects in any location in the US where we feel we can provide good service to the client in a cost effective manner.

Does it matter where the consultant is located?

Work on projects away from the consultant’s home base always increases costs due to travel time and travel expenses. A consultant located in your area also probably has a better understanding of local business conditions and has better contacts in the local community. So, when considering two equally qualified consultants, you are generally better off hiring someone local rather than bringing in someone from out of town.

Why Use Consultants?

The benefits provided by an outside security consultant include:

  1. The ability to provide a fresh, unbiased opinion.
  2. Experience with similar security problems and conditions at many other companies and organizations.
  3. Current knowledge of security best practices and the latest security technology.
  4. Ability to work full-time on your project.
  5. Experience in conducting formal consulting assignments, report writing, and presentations.
  6. No need to moderate opinions for political reasons—can “tell it like it is” without fear of retribution.
  7. Sometimes you don’t have enough time to think an issue through.
  8. Sometimes you don’t have the expertise and would like assistance.

Security FAQ

What do you mean by “Running Security Like a Business”?
  • Support of Business Goals
  • Support of other department goals (HR, Facilities, Operations, Finance, IT, etc)
What business goals should Security normally help achieve?

The same goals that other departments in the company must achieve:

  1. Increasing revenue
  2. Increasing productivity
  3. Decreasing operating costs
  4. Improving quality and safety
  5. Enhancing customer or patient satisfaction
  6. Sparking innovation
  7. Compliance (Regulatory)
What do you mean by” Alignment” in a Security Context?

We mean how effectively are we aligned with the goals of the businesses we serve.

What is an Independent Security Consultant?

An independent security consultant is a professional who makes his or her living selling security advice. Like your accountant, doctor, or attorney, the independent security consultant charges a fee for his or her services and derives no revenue from the sale of products that he or she recommends.

Most independent security consultants have many years of specialized training and experience that make them uniquely qualified to act as professional security advisors. Many independent security consultants have professional credentials such as the Certified Protection Professional (CPP), Physical Security Professional (PSP), or Certified Security Consultant (CSC) designation.

In addition to having technical expertise in security matters, a good independent security consultant also has the skills necessary to successfully complete a consulting assignment: project management skills, interviewing skills, research skills, report writing skills, and presentation skills – just to name a few.

Most importantly, independent security consultants don’t sell security equipment, products, or guard services. This means that when the consultant gives advice, it is based on the client’s best interests rather than on the consultant’s desire to sell a specific product or service.

Independent security consultants also go out of the way to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest. This means that the independent security consultant is not employed by or affiliated with companies that manufacture, sell, or install security products or guard services, and does not have any type of financial stake in such companies.

Many independent security consultants belong to the International Association of Professional Security Consultants (IAPSC). This organization has strict guidelines on who may join and generally limits its membership to only “independent security consultants” as we have defined them above.

How many types of security consultants are there?

There are four primary categories or types of security consultants:

  • Security Management Consultants
  • Forensic Security Consultants
  • Technical Security Consultants
  • Cybersecurity Consultants.
What is a Security Management Consultant?

Security Management Consultants are “general practitioners” of the security consulting field. Security Management Consultants provide generalized advice on managing a client’s overall security and loss prevention program. Security Management Consultants typically conduct security assessments, write policy and procedures, provide security training, assist in recruiting and developing security personnel, and provide assistance in the procurement of security products and services.

How Do Security Management Consultants get paid?

Security Management Consultants (like your doctor, attorney, or accountant, charge a fee for his services, and derives no revenue from the sale of products that he recommends. The terms typically call for some type of advance payment at the start of the project, with payment of the remaining balance at the conclusion of the project or shortly thereafter.

What is a Forensic Consultant?

Forensic security consultants provide advice and testimony related to litigation and legal matters. Forensic security consultants are typically retained by attorneys to serve as Expert Witnesses is a court of law or other legal proceedings. Forensic security consultants review evidence, conduct site surveys, perform threat and risk assessments and provide analysis opinions and testimony concerning specific legal cases.

What is a Technical Security Consultant?

Technical security consultants, sometimes called “security engineers”, provide advice related to physical and electronic security systems. Technical security consultants design security systems for new and existing buildings, develop specifications for security equipment, assist with the procurement of security systems and provide oversight of the security system installation process.

What is a Cybersecurity Consultant?

Cybersecurity consultants, sometimes called “IT security consultants” or “information security consultants”, provide advice related to the security of computers, networks, and communications systems. Cybersecurity consultants conduct risk and vulnerability assessments, perform penetration tests, develop security policies and procedures, and design and specify measures to protect the integrity of the client’s information technology systems.

What is a Security Risk Assessment?

Security Assessments are an excellent way to evaluate your existing security program and a great first step to take prior to making security improvements at your facility or when trying to solve a specific security problem.

During a Security Assessment, all aspects of your security program are examined, any weaknesses are identified, and suggestions for security improvements are made. In addition, opportunities where costs can be reduced or where security operations can be made more efficient are identified.

What does it cost to have a Security Assessment performed?

Costs for a formal security assessment usually range between $5,000 and $50,000 depending on the size of the facility, number of employees, and complexity of operations. Please contact us for a free, no-obligation quotation on the specific cost to conduct a security assessment for your facility.

How long does it take to have a Security Assessment performed?

It typically takes about 3 weeks from the time we start the security assessment process until the time that we deliver the first draft of the Security Assessment Report. Larger and more complicated facilities may require more time.

What is a Multi-Family Security Assessment?

Next Step Solutions provides comprehensive physical security assessments for multi-family residential complexes including apartment buildings, condominiums, and gated and planned communities. We work closely with property managers and homeowners associations to help solve security problems and to create effective security programs for residential communities of all sizes.

Security assessments for multi-family residential properties typically include:

  1. Review of local crime statistics and crime trends.
  2. Review of the losses, thefts and other security incidents that have occurred at your property for the past two years.
  3. Review of the unique security risks that may exist in your neighborhood or be caused by adjacent properties.
  4. Review of security policies and procedures and resident security awareness.
  5. Review the use of security guards and security patrol services.
  6. Examination of site perimeter including fencing, landscaping, and security signage during and after operating hours.
  7. Examination of security lighting in parking garages and at building exteriors.
  8. Examination of building perimeter including pedestrian doors, overhead doors, gates, and windows.
  9. Examination of security at building common areas, including lobby, mail center, parking garages, storage areas, and recreational areas.
  10. Examinations of building lock hardware and keying systems.
  11. Examination of electronic security systems including access control systems, alarm systems, security intercom systems, and video surveillance systems.
  12. Examination of security policies and procedures, security training for residents, and security incident reporting procedures.
  13. Preparation of written Security Assessment Report that states consultant’s opinion of existing security program and provides specific recommendations for security improvements at the property.
  14. Presentation of Security Assessment Reportat Homeowners Association Meeting to present findings of report and to answer homeowner questions.

Let us help your department implement the “Security Best Practices” and become one of the leading security organizations in the world!

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Training FAQ

Why Does L&D Exists?

The purpose of L&D should be to help the organization achieve its goals.

What do you mean by “Running Training Like a Business”?
  • Support of Business Goals
  • Support of L&D and HR Goals
What business goals should L&D normally help achieve?

The same goals that other departments in the company must achieve:

  1. Increasing revenue
  2. Increasing productivity
  3. Decreasing operating costs
  4. Improving quality and safety
  5. Enhancing customer or patient satisfaction
  6. Sparking innovation
  7. Compliance (Regulatory)
What do you mean by” Alignment” in the L&D Context?

The proactive, strategic process of identifying the right learning with the right measures to support the right goals of the organization.

How do we know if we are out of alignment?

Leaders don’t:

  1. Appreciate what we do
  2. Value the contribution of L&D
  3. Support the program
  4. Show any ownership
  5. Receive regular reports of L&D’s impact on organizational goals
  6. Consider L&D a strategic, valued business partner
  7. L&D is underfunded and under staffed
  8. L&D is not brought in early enough
What is the current state of the industry regarding alignment?
  • “Alignment is critical for L&D success, but it is not a given – many aspire to it, but not many achieve it”
  • “Only 55% analyze the business problem before recommending a solution”
  • “Only 36% of organizations work with business leaders to identify business performance indicators that they want to improve”
  • Only 16% report back on the actual improvement

*From Aligning Learning to Business, special report by Towards Maturity (2014)

Are there any current alignment myths?

We “are aligned” myths include:

  1. We only do what senior leaders ask us
  2. We are aligned to HR’s goals
  3. We can connect everything we do to some organizational goal
  4. My CEO, CFO, SVPHR are happy with what we are doing
  5. Everyone is happy with what we are doing
  6. We win awards
  7. We develop people, and people are responsible for accomplishing our organization’s goals. Therefore, we are aligned!
What is a Learner Centric Approach?

There are 2 definitions for Learning Centric approach, sometimes referred to as “Unaligned Learning” or “Self-Directed Learning”-

Definition 1- Unaligned Learning- Find out what the employees want and offer more of it. The focus is on:

  1. Leadership Courses
  2. Team Building
  3. Negotiation skills

Definition 2- Self Directed Learning is personal and learners want control to:

  1. Access learning from anywhere (Mobile phone, iPad, etc)
  2. Curate content relevant to their success
  3. Leverage social sharing to help colleagues
  4. Experience intelligent content based on individual needs, interests, and learning history
  5. Have customizable user experiences
What is a Business Centric Approach?
  • Understanding that every department exists to help the company make money
  • Understanding the goals of the company (See What business goals should L&D normally help achieve?)
  • Speak the language of business
What should we be measuring?

There are 3 Measures to “Run Training Like a Business!”

  1. Efficiency measures: Measures the extent to which time or effort is well used for the intended task or purpose (e.g. output relative to the input)
  2. Effectiveness measures: Measures how well a task/process/function is performed
  3. Outcome measures: Measures the relationship and/or value of a program or activity to strategic business goals

Let us help your department implement the “L&D Best Practices” and become one of the leading L&D organizations in the world!

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