NBCS are delighted to welcome our newest Associate Members Lodge Service to our network of recommended suppliers and partners.

To get an insight into what Lodge is all about and what they can offer our members, our Membership Development Manager Sarah Bird caught up with the Group Strategy Director Darren Conway and this is what he had to say…


Lodge have been trading successfully for over 100 years, what’s the key to your success?

This is an easy one to answer Sarah, Honesty, and integrity. We are loyal to our customers and that is returned. We have customers that have been with us for over 30 years, and staff over 45, that’s unheard of in the security sector.

How is the strategy going to ensure Lodge are still here for another 100 years?

Up until now we have predominantly been a very good manned guarding provider, this will continue, however times and needs change.

For me the Lodge strategy is about thinking like a D.A.D – Differentiate, Attract & Direct. We will think and be different (more than I usually am!), we will attract new market sectors and we will be direct, that means be honest open and transparent for us.

What you will see from Lodge is us moving into new market sectors, from fire systems to Health & Safety compliance, through to virtual guarding. We truly will be a one stop shop for our customers.

What makes Lodge different from other service providers? Why should our members come to you?

Our core strategy of honesty and integrity remains and will be at the heart of all we do and makes us very different from our competitors. Sadly, as an end user and purchaser of security products and services I have experienced first-hand poor service and disproportionate pricing. However, the biggest frustration I have faced, and our customers still do, is security providers chasing the next contract and forgetting you. As alluded to early, we have longevity in our customer portfolio and that speaks volumes. We aren’t the biggest, we don’t want to be, we don’t provide all the services and scatter gun our offerings, we just deliver what we do well. And the main attraction is, we are honest. If we can’t do it, we won’t say we can. If the engineers 2 hours away, we will say that, we won’t say she’s stuck in traffic or just round the corner. If customers know, they can manage the situation and expectations.

Our operational team are the backbone of what we do, they have years of service dedicated to Lodge, if you cut Andy (Ops Director) and his team in half, it would be Blue with Lodge written in. They are committed and dedicated to deliver, that you can’t buy, passionate to the core. That’s what customers and us as a wider team need and love.


What is the Core service offering from Lodge to NBCS Members?

The LP world is changing, so our services are to match, we can now offer LP teams on demand, whether a store detective or uniformed officer through to that WZ interview that needs completing, or that physical security audit outstanding, through to test purchase issues, an extension to the members current teams.

Away from the frontline LP services, as I say we are now delivering full technical security and fire solutions, from data mining, rapid deployment CCTV, through to virtual officers with remote intervention.


What is the future of the security industry?

 The future rests on people. With the shortage of quality labour in the UK and ROI, it’s increasingly harder to find staff. This is meaning the switch to technical intervention for frontline LP is even greater. We will see Security Avatars; we will see more central monitoring and intervention and we will see tech take over. However, our customers staff need reassurance, therefore I believe that the security officer, street warden and detectives will remain. We pay well and we look after the teams, I’m not scared to give away contracts if the customer won’t pay the right wage for the officer.  So, although tech will become more prominent, good old fashioned bobbies on the beat will remain.


Why did Lodge join the NBCS?

Oversized suit, on minimum wage that can’t communicate well and is subcontracted 3 times! Not an officer at Lodge, that’s why I joined Sarah. Stuart (Lodge) is honourable, he follows the rule book and respects his team and customer. This is a great foundation for me to drive a business with all I have learnt over the 30 years as a retailer, from security guard through to heading up LP.


The last 2 years have been particularly challenging for anyone working in a retail environment, we have seen a significant increase in violence and abuse against front line staff including your own operators. Strategically, what is the key to reducing this type of behaviour?

You are so right, what a bumpy 2 years, for all. There is no excuse for the violence and intimidation being experienced. However, is it that much different to years ago? Controversial I know, but I’ve been stabbed with a needle, spat at, punched, gun pulled on and abused on a number of occasions. The difference is now, we know about it, social media, human rights, and PR has changed. We report electronically, we have more cameras and exposure, personally, I believe it’s awareness driven. More people know about it, more people report it, the press then focus on it and those that commit the offences thrive and feed off it. In turn, those that wouldn’t normally have offended, offend. If we look back over the last few years, we had syringes filled with urine, then moped enabled, onto acid, then knives. There is always a theme, a story, and a go to. The under arching issue however remains – lack of consequence. Criminals are not caught and if so, aren’t dealt with.

The key to reducing this behaviour has to be collaboration and consequence. As a retail and security sector, we still work in silo, this needs to change. People seem to chase the commercial or personal advantage or hide behind GDPR and the politics. The only way we can beat this, is as communities and as one. Our strategy at Lodge is clear, to work with all partners, whomever they are, competitors or not. I have started reaching out, but its hard to get through to them without them thinking there is an ulterior motive. But I wont stop, we can and will be better as an industry.


What are your key focuses for 2022?

Fill the voids! Due to the lack of service provision in key elements of our sector, we are driven more than ever before to support our customers in these areas, offering the same honesty and integrity as we do to our manned guarding clients. We are actively now targeting and delivering in the technical security, Fire, physical security and compliance arena. The reason we can deliver is recruitment, through our ‘Eclipse’ recruitment arm, we are able to source quality engineers and managers both locally and via our South African division through a visa sponsorship scheme.

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