But how is a synagogue, school, or social agency to make the best use of its limited funds when it comes to buying security services?
Now, the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey has an answer.
Its Kehillah Partnership program has added security to the list of products and services for which it provides group purchasing rates for its 93 member organizations.
“So far, there’s very good feedback,” said David Matthew, community purchasing manager for the Kehillah Cooperative. Working with security consultant Joshua Gleis, Matthew came up with a menu of items for eight major security categories – and negotiated with a dozen vendors to find which provided the best price for each item.
Categories on the menu include operational training services, security guard services, blastproof film for windows, security cameras and alarms, fencing, different types of bollards, and even speed bumps. And the detailed listing allows organizations to compare the price and performance trade-offs of 4 millimeter blast-proof film versus 12 millimeter, or part”“time armed security guards versus full”“time unarmed guards.
This will help the eight synagogues that recently received federal homeland security grants get the most for their money.
For synagogues that haven’t started yet thinking about security, “We’re going to provide a free service, a free mini”“risk assessment,” Matthew said.
And for all participating organizations, a spreadsheet Matthew prepared showing a variety of different options will enable groups to start discussing the possibilities of upgrading their security with real price tags attached.
Using the principle of group purchasing, Matthew was able to get special prices from manufacturers who don’t usually deal directly with purchasers.
On Wednesday, Matthew will host a presentation at the federation for Kehillah member organizations, with all the vendors describing their products.
Meanwhile, the Kehillah Partnership continues with the group purchasing opportunities it already has offered, allowing its members to save money on such staples as office and cleaning supplies. Matthew noted the importance of the savings it has brought through contracts for electricity.
“For most of these organizations, there’s just not enough staff to stay on top of things. I’ve seen that as soon as the contract ends on the electricity deals, the provider will skyrocket the rates before the customer even knows,” he said.
All told, the Kehillah Partnership has saved just short of $2 million for the northern New Jersey Jewish community since it launched in early 2010.
Before coming to the Kehillah Partnership, Matthew was an entrepreneur. He owned three different businesses. He’s pleased to be using his experience in sales and negotiating on behalf of the Jewish community.
“It isn’t just negotiating with the vendors,” he said. “There’s a lot of sales and public relations aspects for getting organizations to buy in to what we’re trying to do.”