The Silvertrac Extra: A Blog & Podcast for the Security Guard Industry

031: Why You Have To Go Paperless with Your Daily Activity Report

Jul 8, 2015 11:03:00 AM / by Chris Anderson

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On today’s episode, we dig into the many, many reasons why every security company needs to go paperless with their daily activity reports. 80% of all companies are pursuing strategies to cut back on paper use, but too often we still see security companies resistant to change. At this point, the costs of using paper are too high not to switch to a digital solution.

Paper Wastes Time

Using paper reports creates a number of inefficiencies that waste a significant amount of time. For starters, rather than sending and receiving the report at the touch of a button, the supervisor has to actually collect the report from the guard. That means either the guard is coming by the office, or the supervisor makes a round to pick them up.

From there, the supervisor has to decipher the report, negotiating possible sloppy handwriting or poor spelling. Then, once the report is presentable, they’ll usually have to scan it to send it the customer. Don’t think you can just have the guards take the report directly to the customer either.

“It’s still probably happening,” I tell Johnny, “but not for any more than 90 days, because they’ll have another company there.” Handwritten guard reports tend to be sloppy, and most customers at this point prefer a digital copy and don’t want a piece of paper slipped under the door. 

Once we get the reports in the right place, paper still wastes massive amounts of time. It’s not searchable if you’re looking for specific instances. You have to manually insert values into a database if you want to analyze incident patterns. It’s much more difficult to edit, undo, or spellcheck.

Paper Wastes Money

Sure, a single sheet of paper costs very little, but all those sheets add up very quickly. In addition to their regular, necessary paper uses, employees will often take paper for themselves. Surveys have shown that over half of American workers have stolen office supplies, with paper near the top of the most-stolen list.

Add in guards using copy paper as napkins or to wipe up spills, or simply just putting it in their car or in the guard shack and forgetting about it, and that’s a lot of paper getting used. Plus, all those reports mean using a lot of pens, another item that gets stolen a shocking amount.

Paper Isn’t Accountable

Using paper reports makes it easy for officers to be lazy by rounding off timestamps or even making them up altogether. Accountability is important and your reports need to reflect that. 

“If you really want to slack off as an officer, you just prewrite your report, or you write it at the end of the shift. You’re rounding off all of these times, there’s no proof as to when it was actually written, it’s super easy to falsify the report,” says Johnny.

Plus, “writing my report” is a classic officer excuse for slacking off in the car. With Silvertrac, features such as Checkpoints that generate precise timestamps at specified locations, your guards are automatically held accountable and create more accurate reports with less effort. You can also use the software to take pictures, adding more value to reports.

Paper Is Messy And Unprofessional

Here’s a short list of sloppy, unprofessional things we’ve seen on paper daily activity reports:

  • Coffee spills
  • Food smears
  • Wrinkled up paper
  • Multiple colors used, even crayons
  • Tons and tons of spelling and grammar errors.

Keeping Up With The Competition

Your competitors are going paperless. Sticking with paper will differentiate you in a bad way. Customers don’t like the clutter or the lack of accountability, and that wasted time and money will hold you back from being competitive. It’s time to change if you haven’t already.

Silvertrac has an amazing software solution that will help you make the leap to digital (and real-time) reports. Click below to schedule a demo and learn more!

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Topics: Best Practices, Security Guard Management, Product

Chris Anderson

Written by Chris Anderson

Chris is the Founder of Silvertrac Software and has been working in the security industry for more than 25 years. He enjoys working with our clients everyday to help them grow their businesses and really enjoy what they are doing.

Chris currently lives and works in Seal Beach, CA.

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