New Riskonet partner in the US
10 June 2020
The recent accession of US company, Global Fire Protection Group, to the Riskonet network will offer benefits across the board. Seen from both sides as a great fit, the move will fuel the parties’ growth, expand resources and broaden perspectives.
Global Fire Protection Group is a foremost expert in the US in the area of fire protection, says Mark Mangels, who is responsible for business development at Global. The company sits on several codes, standards and testing committees and provides fire and life safety-engineering and consulting services in all 50 US States and across Canada. He is convinced the move will be mutually beneficial. “Our business model, work ethic and the way we treat and serve our clients are all very much aligned so it was a natural progression for us to become part of the Riskonet network.”
Riskonet CEO Ron de Bruijn couldn't agree more. “Having spoken to the people at Global several times, it’s clear to me that the way we serve our clients is very similar. Global is exactly what we want in a US partner. The organisation is small enough to ensure that its people are easily approachable, but its footprint is large enough to offer multiple consultants all over North America. They also have a similar philosophy in that they prefer to serve clients as locally as possible, as opposed to flying in manpower. It’s a win-win-win situation for Riskonet, Global and, most importantly, our clients.”
Mark says that teaming up with Riskonet will offer several benefits. “First and foremost is the potential for the growth of our company, both domestically and internationally. We have worked in some 20 countries around the world; partnering with such a trusted network will enable us to expand the reach for our service offerings.”
Global’s role will be to provide services to Riskonet clients throughout the US and Canada, continues Mark. And once better acquainted with Riskonet’s extensive partnerships worldwide, they will be able to leverage those resources for their clients. “We implement projects around the world on behalf of US-based companies and the Riskonet network will expand our potential resources. We’ve always had some resources to help implement projects in Europe and South America, for example, but this new collaboration will far exceed what we were previously capable of doing alone.”
Picking up the thread, Ron says there was a clear need to add US representation to the network. “We’ve received several requests from clients with subsidiaries in the US and clients in the EMEA region who need support in the US. Having worked with them in the past, we already know the people at Global and we’re now formalising our collaboration. Now, when we need support in North America we can approach Global to provide the necessary capacity. Conversely, when Global’s US clients need support in parts of the world covered by the network we can provide it.”
Providing services for US-based customers that have locations around the world is a way for Global to fuel growth, says Mark. “I really like the Riskonet model of having partners in other countries that can provide localised services, thus reducing costs and improving the timeliness of deliverables. “We have already enjoyed much success in this area, but being part of the Riskonet network will enable us to service our existing US-based clients more efficiently.”
"An advantage that should not be underestimated is the different perspectives that colleagues in different countries have for solving problems"
EVP of Sales for Global FPG
And, of course, the network can also help when it comes to foreign languages, adds Ron. “In the US, English is the universal language, but if Global needs to support a client in Italy, for example, we can offer the services of an Italian colleague.”
Initial fruits of the partnership are already being harvested, says Mark, in the form of a project that Global is currently scheduling. “We are very excited at being given this opportunity to prove our worth and demonstrate what we can do. So from a work perspective we are already reaping the benefits of being part of the Riskonet network and we’re looking forward to more of the same in future.”
Global will be helping to implement a gap-assessment asset-safety project for Royal Cosun, which has a subsidiary in the US, confirms Ron. “We need to provide aspects such as legal compliance and this is where Global’s local expertise will be invaluable. We have a few similar opportunities in the pipeline, which we hope will now bear even more fruit. As we become better acquainted with one another our collaboration will become more efficient and we’ll be able to show our clients and prospects that we really are a global organisation.”
An advantage that Mark feels should not be underestimated is the different perspectives that colleagues in different countries have for solving problems. “In the US, for example, as one country that is largely geographically isolated, we don't often have the luxury of taking different approaches to solve a problem. Being part of the Riskonet network will therefore broaden our perspective and the potential solutions to a problem. I think that’s going to be fantastic for our company.”
Lessons to be learned
Here too, Ron agrees. “In our industry the US places a stronger focus on physical safety and protection while Europe leans more towards organisational aspects. That’s not to say that the one is better or worse than the other, but it’s certainly an area in which there are lessons to be learned. Serving US clients in Europe will be easier if we have a better understanding of their mindset.”
In conclusion, Ron explains that for reasons that range from having a key partner in a strategic market to an increasing need to minimise travel, Riskonet partners throughout Europe, Africa and Asia are very enthusiastic about Global’s accession to the network. And Mark is very appreciative of the many messages welcoming them into the fold. “It has emphasised the warmth and atmosphere that’s prevalent in the network and made us even more excited to become a part of it.”
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