Last month, we did our first customer spotlight with Gregg Woodbury of G. Woodbury and Associates. Today, we continue the feature by interviewing Richard Sparks of Global Security Management Agency (GSMA). Richard is a longtime customer who we’ve had numerous great conversations with off the air, so we enjoyed getting to the chance to talk to him about how Silvertrac impacted his business.
Consider yourself fairly warned.. Now, back to busines...
Before Using Incident Reporting Software
GSMA has been in business since 1993 and services accounts throughout California and the northwest. With such a large geographic spread, they found managing activity on the branch level extremely difficult until they got all their accounts on the Silvertrac system.
GSMA’s old reporting procedure consisted of officers calling in reports over the radio, supervisors entering the information into a template, and then editing them later to make them presentable and faxing them to clients. Not only was the system cumbersome and time-consuming, it also made it difficult for the company to expand to different types of accounts and clients.
“As we continued to branch out into different segments of the security industry, we found that we needed something we could customize to a client’s needs and provide them with reports real-time,” said Richard.
Choosing the Right Software
“I don’t even know who your competitor would be because what you guys are doing is so unique and so robust,” said Richard.
In the end, he found that the choice was between Silvertrac and using their in-house system described above. The other options simply didn’t offer the level of customization and ease of use that they needed.
He took a great deal of time to learn the ins and outs of the software and utilize it in the most effective way for his customers. Then, he rolled it out across all accounts and worked hard to show customers the value they could realize from Silvertrac and how he could use the software to save them time and money.
What he’s found is that, not only does Silvertrac help him on the operations side, it’s become useful for attracting new customers. The improved communication and improved communication has generated so many referrals that GSMA doesn’t even have a dedicated salesperson.
One of the big struggles companies face in using security guard management software effectively is the difficulty in getting clients to use the system, and Richard admits that some customers still demand a paper daily activity report. However, he’s developed a step-by-step process that helps both GSMA and its clients get the most out of the system.
- Conduct an initial site survey to figure out the necessary tasks, ideal checkpoint locations, potential issue lists, etc.
- Program in all that information, as well as resident information. Do that in concert with the client to create a buy-in and help them understand the system.
- Train the officers on the particulars of the account (most of his officers have used Silvertrac before).
- Program the device and send the guards into the field.
- Meet with the client once a month to go over an issue summary report.
Following this process helps GSMA form more meaningful relationships with customers, help with issues that are not strictly security related, and ultimately make the transition from being a vendor to a partner.
When we asked Richard whether Silvertrac had improved his customer retention, he replied, “That’s really a simple conversation. We haven’t lost any clients since we started Silvertrac.”
Richard Answers FAQ’s
Just as we did with Gregg, we asked Richard to weigh in on some of the questions of we’ve addressed in the past. First, we asked whether he uses Silvertrac as an upsell or a value-add.
“If you have to categorize it, I would say value-add,” he replied, “but we don’t treat it that way. We treat it as ‘this is the standard’.”
GSMA has made the software their own to the extent they consider it inextricable from their business. Every officer on every account uses the software, and it impacts the entire operation.
As for company phones versus a bring your own device (BYOD) solution, GSMA uses a mix. For smaller accounts, he finds that it’s not worth it to buy an expensive device when all his guards have their own smartphones.
On the other hand, for bigger accounts they tend to provide guards with a device to ensure quality. He prefers the Galaxy Note 4, which has a large screen size and a much better camera quality than a tablet.
When it comes to the decision to buy security guard software, Richard’s advice is simply: “1. Do it, and 2. Prepare to do it.” GSMA’s success is a testament to the hard work and preparation Richard did to get the most out of Silvertrac and tailor the solution to the needs of his customers.
At Silvertrac we'd love to help make experiences like Richard's a reality for you and your security company. Click here to book a demo with our product specialists today!