Right size, Right fit
Technology in security is on the rise, and there are numerous emerging technologies and tools that are here to support the role. New developments are undoubtedly improving processes and performance, however, it doesn’t have to be a choice between man and machine. It’s more a choice to enhance the services being delivered, rather than to replace manned security guards and teams. Automated systems cannot match the knowledge, intuition and the all important human contact that is an integral part of the role of a security guard. They can however, improve visibility, reduce human error, save time and deliver many more benefits.
WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
A good workforce management system is imperative. A lot of the new systems now available are web based and there are a number of dedicated Apps designed for this purpose. Whilst FM has CAFM, security has a workforce management system.
These systems can be used to manage schedules, uniform requirements, provide a quick and easy way for guards to book on and off, and enable officers to send and receive important messages from anywhere, allowing them to be mobile and not tied to a desk. In addition, they can be used to make welfare checks or calls, which is especially vital for single crewed locations. Guards can also set their own reminders to check in, eliminating the need for them to be checked upon. Intelligent geo fencing around a building can also provide proof of presence within a certain distance.
Whilst the purpose of security is to protect assets, people and brands, the welfare of the security staff themselves is paramount. Because of this, proof of presence Apps are also on the rise and new technology can read Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags and work using smart phones and tablets. They have the ability to log presence and can be fully bespoke and programmable to suit individual requirements. These paperless systems can be used to provide the necessary welfare checks, providing peace of mind and saving time whilst reducing waste.
Not only can these types of systems be used to help manage staff, they can also empower teams by giving them control.
SECURITY MANAGEMENT/INCIDENT REPORT TOOLS
Security management tools which can be accessed across the web and mobile devices will help support increases in productivity and in the volume of reporting when compared to paper and web only solutions. In addition, they can help to save time, eliminate human error and provide traceability as all information and incidents are logged in the cloud rather than written by hand. This can also improve safety, is quicker and can provide a reliable trail of information for auditing purposes. Finally, they can help the control room to perform better and improve overall communication.
Utilising these Apps increases mobile capability and can be used to enhance incident reporting, allowing your security team to upload supporting images and real time comments, e.g. a broken window or leak can be logged, reported online and a message sent to helpdesk for a speedy resolution.
These capabilities can also be used to log any suspicious activity and allows the guard to photograph and circulate an image of any questionable individuals, raising an immediate alert to control the problem.
Another area where technology can support security management, is the use of electronic key presses in security control rooms. Manned guards are responsible for multiple sets of keys during a shift, and managing keys can be a slow and laborious task, as each key must be logged out and away before and after every use. The introduction of automated systems can reduce human error and save significant time, strengthening your security offering and streamlining daily operations.
LOG BOOK / DUTY OCCURANCE BOOK (DOB)
Used daily in control rooms to log time and critical steps, paper-based DOB’s detail all movements and provide a running log of all activity.
Designed to offer an alternative solution, cloud based electronic DOB software can be used across PC’s, smartphones and tablets. Once again, this technology can satisfy real time information reporting, improve communications with the control room and customers can deliver full traceability. It can be used to escalate incidents and eliminate human error. Systems can be used by multiple users, providing numerous benefits and a continuous feed of information. All entries are logged by date and cannot be altered or removed providing peace of mind.
The systems outlined above are now increasingly in use across the industry but a few which are still emerging and are ones to watch include; Facial recognition at barriers, – Auto Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), security bots and drones. Also virtual security is on the rise and remote response via technology is set to increase.
It goes without saying that technology should be embedded in all businesses and can significantly enhance service delivery, allowing security guards to focus and concentrate on the core business rather than ticking boxes. But whilst it comes with many benefits, nothing will ever replace real human interaction or service with a smile, a positive customer experience and a guided journey through the building.