Is Technology Reshaping the Security Guarding Industry?

Over the last two decades, the boom of technology has disrupted industries completely changing the way they operate. In the security industry, this story is becoming rapidly true and the change in operation is happening right before our eyes.
In the competitive security industry, having top-tier security guards are crucial to success. Ten years ago, once a security guard was trained there were few resources to ensure they were providing a quality service for you. Today, technology has allowed you to put this worry aside. Platform’s such as Guard Center provides real-time guard patrol, real-time reporting, and real-time information boards while recording guard performance data. Essentially it allows you to manage your mobile workforce, clients and various sites more efficiently, while in real time.
Leveraging your security services with technology will allow you to be more cost efficient while providing a better service. Your security guards are your most expensive tool, using technology will allow you to maximize your investment and ensure it’s paying off. Click here to read more regarding the effects of technology on the security.

Why is it Important to do Security Assessments and Audits?

This video talks about the importance of doing audits and assessments to security sites.

It is important to remember that property or facilities managers, hen hiring a 3rd party security company such as yours, are not only hiring men in uniform, they are hiring security expertise. Very often, clients have questions and concerns regarding the overall security of their property, not just about guards not doing what they’re supposed to.

So, you may be getting questions like:

“Hey, is my lighting out in the parking lot adequate”? or “Where should I place a new batch of security cameras?”

Many times, these questions are fielded to the most senior security staff member from your team at their site, but there is often a lack of in-depth industry knowledge by this staff member to give a qualified answer to questions such as these. And why would you want this person to answer anyway? You may be exposed to a liability lawsuit if the advice this person gave turned out to be harmful to the client.

So do you limit yourself to being the provider of men in uniform, and risk losing client confidence in your ability to provide THE FULL SPECTRUM of security services, or do you expand your capabilities?

Consider offering consulting services as part of your business strategy. This would involve sending a qualified, certified consultant to the site, wearing your company’s flags, and working closely with the client on all their non-guarding security needs.

Some examples of service offerings you should consider can include:

– Supervision of system integration and installation of security equipment

– Annual, semi-annual, or on-demand security assessment and report on EVERYTHING security-related in the property (so that would be your exterior lighting, security of storage rooms and common areas, review of access and physical controls, etc.)

– Suitability assessments – if your clients are looking to purchase or lease a new property, you may wish to offer them the services of a security expert coming in and assessing the risks of the new place

– Design input – If your clients are looking to build and develop a property, you can offer them a partner that would be mindful of security issues right at the design stage and can recommend security-conscious, crime-preventative design features.

Having a consultant, a phone call away can also help deflect some of the blame usually associated with security breaches – while it may be that a breach occurred due to the incompetence of a guard on site, there may be other factors that a consultant may be able to identify that would save your Public image, and smooth out a rocky relationship.

These can include:

– Inadequate security systems in place
– Outdated and inappropriate security procedures
– Equipment or hardware that is weak and vulnerable
– General facility operations that are not suitable (such as extra duties taking the guard away from core functions)

Guard Center offers on-demand consulting services suitable in price and in scope to any-sized security company, and I encourage you – if you have not already contacted us, talk to us today.

How to Use Security Workforce Management Software as A Sales Tool?

This video talks about using workforce management software as a Sales Tool.

 

When we talk about sales tools in security, we usually think of Proposals, PowerPoint Presentations, and maybe some promo videos.

In security, you can’t really bring samples of your product with you, unless you bring in a human being dressed up as a guard, and how many of your prospects would be impressed by this?

With proposals and presentations looking more and more similar to one another, can you really blame prospects and leads for looking at the price above all else?

Here is an interesting story. Our client, a small security guard company was bidding for a contract for guard services at a manufacturing plant. In addition to the standard proposal, he brought with him a tablet to the sales presentation, and demonstrated the software to the prospect, letting him enter information, and view some existing site templates.

The presentation lasted 15 minutes and it was fully based on tailoring the guards and security activities on site to the software, not the other way around. For the most part, it was the prospect detailed questions about the software and features available and playing with it. In the end, this small security company won the contract, unseating one of the largest security firms in the world from nearly 10 years of service delivery at this particular location.

When you sometimes ask yourself, what is the point of submitting another proposal to secure a site, when there will be 10 other companies competing for it?  You’re right, there is no point, because if it’s going to be a proposal and a presentation similar to the one your competitors are using, then the prospect’s decision will be based on one, or a combination of the following: your price and “magic” of your salesperson.

There is really nothing in your documents that helps you to look different and show your ability to deliver better service than your competitors.

However, presenting a slick new software and incorporating it into your operations, then presenting your operations in this way…now we’re talking,

Check out the next video in our educational series: Why is it Important to do Security Assessments and Audits?

How is the Security Industry Changing?

This video explains 3 important changes the security industry is going through.

1. Technological

Today we have mobile, cloud, NFC, drones, license-plate recognition cameras, integrated biometric access control systems, and even the first versions of robot-guards. The key in these changes is the concept of mobile, real-time – which is the ability to both deliver, track and prove the delivery of security services right now, in the click of a few buttons, on a smartphone, tablet or PC.

The smartphone, long regarded as a tool of distraction for security guards watching videos and playing games, has become the primary tool in security’s toolkit, with the ability to: Take photos; Create and send reports; Scan and verity patrol points; Record messages; Respond to alarms and more

2. Workforce

The workforce that is operating this technology – is getting younger and more tech-savvy. More and more millennials are entering the workforce, and this poses challenges to employers in getting them engaged, and be productive – millennials want and can use new technologies, and it is difficult to retain them if the systems they are forced to use are slow, incapable of fully solving problems, or worse – pen-and-paper based.

3. Client Expectations

The third change is Client Expectations – and this change is really based on the previous two. As the workforce and the systems, it operates are getting more and more sophisticated, so do the expectations of the clients – who demand real-time solutions to their security needs right now, preferably through an accessible client portal, making PIPE and other legacy systems, paper-based reports, and unmonitored patrols, obsolete.

The major market shifts we are seeing in the industry are definitely towards real-time mobile workforce management systems, and having these systems in place will definitely impact your ability to continue delivering services to a demanding client, with techy millennials, today, especially in the face of competition some of which is looking at innovative ways expand.

Check out the next video in our educational series: How to Use Security Workforce Management Software as A Sales Tool?

Why the good guards leave and how to keep them on just a little longer?

It’s Wednesday morning. So far you’ve had a calm weekend and a steady week-start. No client issues, no “no-show-no-calls”, you’re all up-to-date on your invoices, and you even got a temp. request for an event in a few months. Excellent! Time to start vacation-planning…Portugal sounds like fun…

And then….

An email from your security supervisor at the office tower on Bloor St.

With a 2-weeks’ notice attached.

Ouch… but..but…Portugal….

This great guard, employed for 3 years, is quitting. “Oh god, here we go again – replacing, training someone else, dealing with site dynamics, alerting the client…do we have anyone as good as him? We’ll probably need to hire someone. This time the client will comment on turnover. How can this industry go on like this…”

You’re right, it cannot. To provide clients with stable, reliable, and knowledgeable guarding service, your field workforce needs to be managed well. Here are a few reasons of why the GOOD (not just any) guards quit, and how to promote the “no, I’ll stay here, it’s alright” attitude in them.

Approached and Poached

This happens far more than you can imagine. Mobile supervisors in shopping malls staking out good security personnel, approach them, and strike up conversations. Many top and middle managers, when changing companies, try and bring with them their best few.

Many of the reasons guards agree to go are compensation-related – better pay, or benefits. If you find that they are moving to a competitor that promises better pay, you may be able to do something. Check your contract profitability reports and budgets, and see if you can squeeze some coins out to match, or better yet, do better, than the enemy.

Remember – competition in tough security markets is not only for clients, it is also for good guards. Be prepared and be ready to invest.

Post Orders? What Post Orders?

In many cases, especially with the 168 sites (1 guard x 24 hours/day x 7 days/week), it is almost impossible to provide good site supervision to all 5 or 6 staff members. Supervisors or team leads cannot be expected to performance-manage, task-direct, and coach & counsel guards with whom they have almost no interaction except for shift changes.

This results in:

GC-Blog-Why-good-guards

 

You can resolve all this through Workforce Management software platform like Guard Center

What do I tell the client?

Clients should be able to utilize the good guards/supervisors on their sites as subject-matter experts. It is much easier to interact with security folks on site than to call the branch or client-service manager – who most often do not understand the site at the level in which the client requires guidance.

However, on-site security teams often lack actionable data or business intelligence to consult the client properly. For example: A security supervisor’s request to have the client authorize wearing of bullet-proof vests may not be approved, because to the question of “why do we need them? Has the Risk level changed? Show me some numbers”, the supervisor will have no easy-to-present answer.

Many suggestions for site security improvement put forward by responsible guards and supervisors fall by the wayside – which becomes only more difficult to bear as the months and years of service at the site drag on. Frustration turns into indifference and indifference pushes people away.

COMMENT:  We might need here a transition sentence/section from the main part of the article to the software/tech part.

Workforce Management software like Guard Center can help….

This isn’t working!

With many industries having made the switch to smart information management technology, it is almost unacceptable that security services should operate archaic, paper-based, word-of-mouth, analog, unsupported systems.

And yet surveys of site operations show lack of technological capability, and worse – lack of desire by industry veterans to even present the concept of advancement.

The problem is not that paper-based and old-tech can’t do it. They can, and can probably continue performing the limited tasks they were initially brought into performing. But client and user needs, demands, and expectations change fast, and if these are not catered to in an agile, slick manner, the vendor risks losing both.

How many times have you been stuck with a system that:

  1. Is buggy
  2. Is too complicated – involving counter-intuitive processes and way too many keystrokes
  3. Is slow
  4. Does not quite do what you need it to

You are increasingly employing tech-savvy and tech-dependent millennials – they’re numbers are growing in the workforce. They are the future of the industry. If they don’t like you’re systems, they will not just “suck it up, buttercup”; they’re gone. Just like that.

So – once you’ve convinced your guard to stay for a while longer and are have implemented some changes on site (and have hopefully upped his pay), consider bringing in suitable force management technology, so that you enable your sites to manage better, increase job satisfaction, and vacate to Portugal!!!

COMMENT:  We might need here a transition section from the article to the Guard Center promotion/ad part.

How we help:

As a business owner, executive and manager you must be ahead of the curve to make sure long term growth and longevity of your business.

Our world is changing quickly and the main catalyst is new technologies and products being introduced to the marketplace. As a business owner / business executive / manager you must be proactive in order to improve business efficiency and customer service if you don’t take action today the results will not be positive and could cost your company a lot of money for not staying ahead of the game or in some cases you one day you will find your self out of business for being reactive instead of proactive.

The good news is that we have the right a solution for your business pain points when it comes to mobile workforce management.

Guard Centre provides the best technology and software to manage your guards so you provide the best security to your clients.

We help security companies to fully automate, optimize and improve the performance of their mobile workforce.  With Guard Center you can create a completely new added value to your customers and get way ahead of your competitors. Guard Center helps you to retain existing clients and get new ones easier. As you start using our software you immediately benefit from lower cost of operations, higher quality of service, real time security and real-time control of your business.