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The shortcomings of sub-contracted surveillance

Updated: Nov 30, 2023



Why it matters that CSI uses our people, not sub-contractors,

for your investigation.

Like all business ventures, surveillance and investigation companies merge or become acquired.  This is not necessarily a bad thing if it is the right fit.  In theory, the strategy is to leverage differentiating capabilities as well as expand market share.  Some of these mergers and acquisitions create organizations that offer many services.

Does a big firm provide high quality work? Yet, mega service organizations, often justified for their economies of scale, are not always the right solution.  It is well known that the size of the organization doesn’t necessarily translate to better performance.  And as organizations grow, have more service offerings and cover more geography, they must also manage greater complexity.  Some do it well, others do not. Your business could require a wide range of investigative and risk management services to meet your business, legal, and financial needs.  And at times, it is convenient that these services are under one roof.  But there comes a time when it is prudent to ask if the large organization can provide you with high quality work without compromise. Bigger, broader, by sub-contracting This is especially true when it comes to surveillance investigations.  The model for many big firms is to cover a large swath of geography, perhaps the entire country, by sub-contracting their investigations to small, independent operators.  Many “virtual” firms exist like this and not just in the surveillance game.  This is an era where companies sub-contract as much work as possible to save on overhead.  With brutal competition, any economic edge you can get, you take. Who, exactly, is working on your case? The larger firms who provide investigations by using sub-contractors have no way to oversee their training and development nor is there a way to gauge their overall effectiveness.  These sub-contractors work for whomever they want and often work for multiple firms who compete against each other.  Their reputation never reaches beyond their employer.  As a consumer, you have to trust the parent company that they are providing you with the best possible investigation because you will never know who, exactly, is working on your case. With professional services like investigations, there is a higher expectation to be exceptional.  Not only must you possess the right experience but you must also have a reputation for honesty, trust and talent.  Contrary to that thinking, surveillance investigations are often considered a commodity.  The logic is that it does not matter from whom you purchase the service.  This thinking is perpetuated by the larger firms who utilize virtual staff to provide you with a product.   If a vendor underperforms, they move onto the next one. Surveillance requires training, research and timing As a consumer, approaching surveillance investigations as a commodity can be an unacceptable risk.  Too often cases are based on timing and there are only one or two shots at getting the subject in an observable situation.  A substandard performance, much less a failure to capture video, is not an option.   Consumers must have confidence that their surveillance provider will not produce sub-standard outcomes.  Consumers should also expect transparency from their provider so they know who is out there representing their interests. Are you ready for a different surveillance experience? Ask an investigator about our full time field investigators who work directly for you. Call 1-866-587-4CSI or email him at info@csiinvestigators.com

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