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

092: The Dangers of Slipping Security Reports Under the Customer Door

Dec 28, 2015 12:43:34 PM / by Chris Anderson

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Slipping security reports under the customer’s door is an incredibly common practice in the security industry. The process looks something like this: the officer writes the report onsite, maybe on two-part carbonless paper so the customer and supervisor bot get copies; then the copy is given to customer before the supervisor even sees it. I’ve seen this in companies up to 500 officers.

#1 Danger in Slipping Security Reports Under Customer’s Door: Low Accountability

The first danger when guards leave reports directly for the customer is low accountability. We’ve all seen some of the unprofessional reports this produces. You get reports with …

  • Poor handwriting
  • Poor grammar
  • Times rounded off
  • Incorrect spelling

Sometimes these reports can be …

  • So badly written you can’t understand them
  • On whatever paper is handy instead of company forms

This danger has a lot to do with why we came out with the first real-time reporting on the market. If reports aren’t written as the officer goes through the shift, you get inaccuracies. In the worst case, the officer saves himself time by writing reports before the shift.

#2 Danger: Low Quality Reports Get Slipped Under the Door

Customers may recognize that the reports are pretty rough and accept it, because they know that if they wait for your supervisors to review reports, there will be a time lag. Your supervisors shouldn't be editing reports anyway -- it gives the wrong impression no matter what.

But if the customers always see the reports before you do, that puts the burden of quality assurance for officer performance on the customers vs. on your management staff.

The majority of guys are still doing paper. But the majority of those guys are owners. And they have no room to grow. They are going to have a very small security business.

#3 Danger: Owners Miss the Data in Reports Slipped Under the Door

Here’s the third danger. When reports are slipped under the customer’s door, you miss out on all the data those reports might contain. You might get some information by word of mouth or a supervisor who is really familiar with that site. But you can’t track how many times a certain kind of incident has happened on that site or even be able to summarize your productivity to the customer, so you can prove the value of your operation.

The hand-written report says, “We’re just here to do the bare minimum.” It doesn’t tell the customer that you’re their partner, looking for ways to improve the security program or contribute more value to their overall operation. You’re not tracking data; you’re just functioning as a vendor.

So at that point you’d better have the lowest price. Because someone’s going to come through the door who has good reporting, good accountability, and makes a real contribution to their business … and at that point, you lose the contract.

The company that uses paper usually has a good relationship with the existing onsite management. But then some major incident happens and corporate management asks for the reports and they go ballistic because there’s no information. Where do you even save your reports? Boxes in a storage facility? Or is the customer scanning it and emailing it to you?

A tool like Silvertrac can help you resolve and avoid the kinds of dangers we’re talking about. Look at some of our customer spotlights to see how they experienced the process of transitioning.

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Topics: Best Practices, Security Guard Management, Report Writing

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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