If you told someone in the 80s that, in 30 years, most people would own portable phones the size of a wallet with a computer in it more powerful than the ones that took us to the moon, they’d probably put you in an insane asylum.
Obviously, that situation came true - along with so many other technologies we could never have imagined. Technology is fully integrated into people’s lives and business processes.
In fact, if you’re running a modern business, staying up-to-date with emerging technologies in your industry is necessary for you to be taken seriously and keep up with the competition.
In the physical security industry, there are some hot topics in technology you’ve probably heard about. Everyone has something to say about artificial intelligence, drones, and remote guarding services.
All of these things are becoming important technologies to consider using in any size physical security operation. But with all the excitement for those new, complicated things, the basics can easily be forgotten.
Every security company, no matter its size or stage, needs to have three basic technologies as a part of their operation to see real success:
How you use these different security technologies depends on many factors, and there are tons of options for all of them. Let’s look at what options are available.
Security Incident Reporting Software
In 2020, security incident reporting software is pretty much a requirement for a modern security company. We won’t spend too much time telling you what you stand to gain by implementing reporting software. You can read more about that here.
Instead, it’s important to know what to look for when you do decide to buy software. Any incident reporting software you use should have these four basic features: incident reporting, GPS-tracking, guard tours, and a client portal.
From there, you have basically two options for the kind of software you can get: simple and straightforward, or fully customizable.
Simple Incident Reporting Software
Simple reporting software gives you all the basic tools you need to get rid of pen & paper reporting and get more data and insight into what’s happening in your operation. It’s typically geared towards small business security companies, but larger organizations have used it successfully as well.
There are tons of benefits to using simple software. Because there’s nothing complicated about it, you can get it set up in no time. Even your less tech-savvy security officers can get trained quickly and start using it in the field.
Bottom line: if you need to update your reporting processes or want a no-nonsense reporting solution, this is for you.
If you run a large operation in multiple cities or states across a wide range of industries, this is probably the solution for you. Of course, smaller security teams can use this type of software, too.
This type of software is made to change. If you have specific needs at a certain site, you can change it to meet those needs.
The biggest benefit is that more customized software will usually collect more information that helps you make better decisions. If you’re willing to spend a little more time and money, that information can make a big difference in your operation.
That being said, using smartphones in your security contracts can take two different routes: company phones or “bring your own device” (BYOD). There are pretty clear pros and cons of each.
Company phones have one major benefit. You have the most control over what security officers can and can’t do with the phone. Even though an officer can still bring their personal phone to a site and get distracted, company phones will help with that problem.
On the downside, company phones mean that the company has to purchase, repair, update, and maintain the phones. If an officer loses or damages a phone, that’s a new cost that takes away from your bottom line. Costs associated with smartphones can add up quickly and be hard to maintain for smaller security companies
“Bring Your Own Device”
A bring your own device (BYOD) strategy’s biggest benefit is around cost. Especially for small security companies, there is no added overhead to purchase phones. If the phones break or need updating, it’s not the company’s responsibility to fix them.
But allowing security officers to use their own phones on the job means a few negatives. First, not every officer will have a reliable phone or phone carrier.
And, while company phones give you control over what an officer uses the phone for, you cannot regulate their personal phone usage. That means officers can keep games on their phone and call or text friends on the job a lot easier.
One way to keep the negatives of both options to a minimum is to use site phones. Site phones still give you all the control as far as apps on the phone and usage, and costs are kept to a minimum because you don’t need one for every officer.
Time and Labor Management Software
The last technology every physical security company needs to consider using helps organize the back office - this is time and labor management (TLM) software.
Scheduling errors can really hurt your business. If a post goes unfilled, clients get upset. Or if a security officer is accidentally scheduled for overtime, you get stuck with unnecessary increases to payroll.
Manual payroll processes make a security operation very inefficient. They can delay pay schedules which will make officers unhappy. Errors in timesheets can mean underpaying or overpaying employees. Plus, the longer it takes for you to finish payroll, the more you waste your own valuable time.
Using TLM software helps with all of these scheduling and payroll problems. It will speed up the process and keep mistakes to a minimum.
There are many options out there for TLM software, but Valiant is geared towards the security industry.
Having the right technologies in place can make a huge difference in the success and growth in physical security operations of all sizes. Reporting software, high-quality smartphones, and TLM software are essential technologies in security.