Here’s what an advanced security firm looks like
AETOS offers training courses on security, technology, and facilities management.
Some security firms only offer armed and unarmed security expertise to clients but AETOS’ can provide support in facilities management (FM). This means that an AETOS officer can detect FM-related faults in the building he/she is assigned to whilst doing his/her rounds. AETOS does this by upskilling its workforce.
From January 2022 to November 2022, the AETOS Training Academy trained over 7,000 participants, including in-service officers and new trainees, officers under other security agencies, and corporate clients.
The academy has 30 workforce skills qualifications (WSQ) accredited security-related courses and five non-WSQ courses, which include customer service, first aid, facilities management, and mental resilience. These courses can be conducted online, blended, and through classroom learning.
“We spend a lot of effort and time curating relevant courses that can aid our people in their career progression. When I say relevant, it means it must apply to where they would be posted or it would be something that remains in theory. We also want to make our courses easy to understand and learn, so e-learning, even blended learning, is a big part of our training curriculum,” said AETOS CEO Alfred Fox in an interview with Singapore Business Review.
One of the training courses posted on their academy’s website is the unarmed aircraft basic training course, which provides learners with modules on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and practical lessons to get certified as an unmanned aircraft pilot.
Alfred underscored the need to help upgrade skills for the whole security industry, not just AETOS’ staff. To do this, AETOS is partnering with institutions of higher learning such as Temasek Polytechnic. In a recent collaboration, both parties jointly customised a security training programme for Brunei Darussalam’s security firm, Setia Protective Security Services Sdn Bhd.
Addressing upskilling hesitation
There will be a point where an employee can be hesitant to learn future-ready skills. Even Alfred admitted that he had difficulty developing new skills and knowledge in unfamiliar areas at the beginning, such as data analytics.
“I was quite happy in my comfort zone. We always say the older you are, the more entrenched you are in your mindset. When I look at the team, everyone is learning every day so learning must be deliberate and growth must be deliberate,” said Fox.
“As you get older, you tend to want to learn less. But I was determined. I tried to understand analytics by learning from experts and asking questions. In time, I soon managed to overcome this hurdle,” he added. “Change is necessary for growth for any individual and organisation. This is also why AETOS strongly supports lifelong learning and developing a multi-skilled workforce.”
So far, AETOS is “on track” when pushing for sustainability goals, which is Singapore's National Green Plan. Coincidentally, after the interview was conducted, the Singapore government modified its green goal to achieve net zero emissions in 2050.
AETOS initiated sustainability efforts aligned with the government’s green ambitions. One of them was to make the first shift to more eco-friendly mobility options with the use of electric vehicles (EV) for its operations.
Alfred said that AETOS aims to convert its entire fleet of 200 internal combustion engine vehicles by 2030. Currently, the firm has three EVs and is progressively making the shift to reduce its carbon footprint.
Balancing sustainability with costs
The latest DBS study showed that 61% of small and medium-sized enterprises are having difficulty balancing cost pressures when investing in ESG even though they find it necessary for their business.
Despite being a large company, AETOS is also having the same problems as these SMEs when striking a balance between offsetting inflation and continuing spending for ESG solutions.
Alfred said it is expensive to be sustainable but it is necessary. That is why they are balancing their costs whilst ensuring business growth.
AETOS is also working on the other factors under the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) core metrics, such as developing a diverse and inclusive workforce. It launched the next-generation Integrated Command Centre (ICC), which helps businesses to track security, safety, facilities management, and even sustainability targets.
“The more you can track, the easier it becomes to understand your goals and to reach them. Sustainability is more than just changing a petrol-fuel car to an EV. It requires a more holistic ESG framework,” said Alfred.
Together with Yale-NUS College students, AETOS also provides sustainable physical training (PT) attire that is made of bamboo and PET bottles, and it saves up to ‘over 40 washes, 4,000 litres of water, three square metres of savings in cotton crop area, and 11 PET bottles. This effectively reduces the carbon footprint by 40% compared to a cotton-based PT kit.
Whilst the PT kit is more expensive than the cotton one due to the higher labour costs involved, Alfred shared that by taking a “total cost of ownership approach,” they found that eco-friendly clothing actually accrued savings over time.
“The whole total cost view is something that people must start looking at if they want to overcome these cost challenges. Otherwise, you will never get started on your sustainable journey,” said Alfred.
In its sustainable growth roadmap, AETOS seeks to expand its series of sustainable apparel to the rest of the operational uniforms for staff, who are often exposed to harsh weather.
Agile digital ecosystem
Amongst AETOS’ partners is UnaBiz, an Internet of Things service provider, helping the firm with data monitoring and integration into their ICC.
“We call this a digital ecosystem of partners that can support a unified ops-tech approach of sense, analyse, visualise, and act. Collectively, we can then effectively support clients to solve their problems very quickly and achieve data-driven outcomes,” said Alfred when asked about the UnaBiz partnership.
Another partnership cited was with Singtel, a government telecommunications company, which provided 5G services to enhance AETOS’ remote monitoring and analytics capabilities.
“With 5G connectivity, it enables video analytics and opens up a wider range of business use cases. If you can network splice, you can perform multiple analytics on this same image, and derive meaningful insights for different stakeholders,” explained Alfred.
AI-modelling and visualization firm, Vizzio, is also one of AETOS’ recent partners which is helping the security firm to implement digital twin solutions; virtual replicas of physical entities such as a manufacturing site or building. The digital twin models are incorporated in the AETOS ICC, and it enables operators to remotely monitor real-time operations in a 3D immersive environment.
“Vizzio conducts 3D scanning and renders a digital twin model in a matter of days. AETOS works very closely with them to provide such solutions as-a-service to any client who needs it for internal or external purposes,” explained Alfred.
By having the ability to offer security services, track sustainability goals, and offer facilities management, AETOS “changes the game” of how security services should be.