Global Travel Security Manager - Mohammed Al-Qudsi
This article is from the “Cummins: All Access” series, a compilation of unique, reality-based stories featuring Cummins employees. The series is designed to give a behind-the-scenes perspective of Cummins employees as they develop their careers.
International travel is an integral part of daily operations at Cummins. As we continue to grow in existing markets, and expands into new ones, it is crucial to understand and address risk that could impact our travellers and expats. To this end, having employees on the road is necessary to ensure our Company meets the needs of the customer. As a result, Cummins Global Security has implemented a travel security program to ensure employees are provided the tools they need prior and during their journey.
Mohammed Al-Qudsi, an International Relations graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, manages the communication strategy for the global security team and oversees the Travel & Expat Security program. The program is responsible for evaluating risk and threats that range from socio-political instability, exposure to diseases, or even natural disasters. In his role, Mohammed ensures security vulnerabilities faced by travellers and expats are effectively communicated and addressed in a timely, meaningful and accurate manner.
“Every day there is something happening somewhere that might put our travellers and expats at risk. It is my job is to ensure we are evaluating risk comprehensively and providing critical resources to business travellers and expatriate assignees around the globe.”
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Today, Mohammed leads a meeting that includes a group of analysts to assess risk in a particular region. The risk was initially identified by the Regional Security Director, Europe/Asia Pacific, who asked Mohammed and his team to develop specific security guidelines to address potential threats to travellers and expats in the region.
“If an emergency were to occur, a delay in communication could have a negative impact on our employees. Thorough planning, including travel arrangements, housing and vehicle choices, should occur before each employee trip, even if the trip is short or involves a low-risk destination. This allows us to track traveller whereabouts and provide them with real-time situational alerts around the clock.”
Once developed, key stakeholders are brought into the mix to assess and verify accuracy of content. This includes a comprehensive background of the risk in the region, preventative measures, and emergency contact details to include the 24/7 virtual operations system known as the Cummins Response Centre. Once approved, the product is delivered to employees and expats traveling to, or residing in the region. Ultimately, travellers are asked to stay alert and participate in planning, follow the laws and regulations of their travel destinations, and use common sense to avoid unnecessary risk while traveling or on assignment.
“As a global Company, we have customers located in approximately 190 countries, some of which are positioned in high risk regions. In order for Cummins to meet customer support excellence, employees must travel abroad to satisfy the needs of the client. To this end, we have to be proactive in how we assess risk where our employees and expats will be assigned or will visit most frequently.”
Mid-morning, Mohammed attends a cross-functional meeting to determine next steps for implementing a global communication campaign in India. The campaign, known as Safe.Sure.Secure., seeks to foster a new security culture around the importance of protecting people, information, and physical assets. During the meeting, Mohammed works with the regional conduit for communication in India to identify communication channels in the region, cultural preferences for communication, and a strategic implementation plan.
“Having an effective communication plan ensures we are systematically interacting with our employees, while avoiding any saturation of communication. The success of the campaign is heavily dependent on active participation of regional stakeholders around the globe.”
Mohammed has a lunchtime meeting with his Supervisor to catch up on several unique Security projects. They grab a quick bite to eat outside of the office and discuss everything in motion. It’s a chance to enjoy the camaraderie with his supervisor, who has been a business mentor and personal friend during Mohammed’s career development
“Sometimes it’s good to slow down over lunch and gain feedback from someone I respect and trust. Every employee has a great opportunity for bonding relationships here at Cummins. We’re always laughing about something— it’s always entertaining to share and hear different experiences that help create lasting friendships.”
After lunch, Mohammed gives a quick update to his team regarding an upcoming project that will need greater collaboration. He and his team will be part of a project to evaluate the way in which travellers receive security information upon booking their trips. Global Security is a very proactive function, and Mohammed stays ahead of the game by identifying efficiencies and building security processes and strategies to ensure travellers and expats around the globe are engaged quickly and efficiently.
“I love my job because of the people I work with and the global experience I gain on a daily basis. I get to interface with members of different functions, regions, and departments to learn best practices and improve the way in which we protect our travellers and expats around the globe. It has been an absolute privilege to work for a company that allows me the freedom to think outside the box and apply my creative skillset to my every day work.”