Maintaining accountability is one of the most difficult parts of running a security company. You can’t watch your officers 24/7, and when something goes wrong, the first question a property manager will ask is “where was your guy?”
If you don’t have an answer, you could be in danger of losing the contract.
To combat gaps in accountability, many companies turn to GPS systems to track officer movement and provide confirmation of an officer’s presence on the property. In some systems, both supervisors and clients can log into a security patrol software portal to view GPS maps, see where officers are on the property, and ensure they’re moving along their guard tours.
However, GPS security guard tracking doesn’t necessarily provide accountability. Let’s explore some pros and cons.
PRO: Always Know Where Your Officers Are
The most straightforward value GPS tracking offers is increasing officer accountability. GPS helps supervisors keep an eye on officers to ensure they’re doing their job. Is your officer ducking out to grab coffee or take a nap in their car? GPS can tell you. Some GPS-enabled guard management systems allow supervisors to set geo-fences around properties which trigger automatic alerts if guards aren’t in the right place at the right time.
PRO: Defend Against False Claims
If an angry client calls and says your officer wasn’t on site at some point during a shift, you can use GPS records to prove them wrong. GPS tracking systems can tell you where all of your officers are, ensure they’re performing their guard tours to completion, and even help track your service vehicles. Systems like Silvertrac record GPS location with each check-in and report, giving you a historical view of where your officers were and when.
PRO: Guarantee Safe Patrols
Beyond accountability, GPS can be used to make sure mobile patrols are conducted in a safe manner. Software designed to track vehicles can use GPS to keep track of speeding, hard stops, and fast acceleration in order to offer a comprehensive view into your officers’ driving habits.
GPS tracking can also give management an idea of how thoroughly a security vehicle patrol is being executed — after all, an officer won’t be able to perform a complete survey on a property at 35 MPH. Monitoring the way your team drives can help ensure the long life of your vehicles as well. Technology in this space is advancing quickly — Silvertrac recently launched a new feature to track the rate at which checkpoints are hit to ensure thorough and safe patrols and guard tours.
CON: GPS Can Lead to a False Sense of Security
Being there is only part of the equation. GPS can show that an officer was on site, but it can’t prove that their time was valuable to the customer. For many companies, the low level accountability that GPS provides can lead to a false sense of security that the job is being done right.
Full accountability involves more than just being there. It means more than even hitting basic checkpoints on a site walk. Officers should be providing a service for clients that goes above and beyond, covering everything from tracking hazards to documenting potential oversights that could lead to future incidents. In order to do this properly, they need the right tools, and GPS alone isn’t up to the task.
CON: GPS Doesn’t Provide Full Accountability
Guard management systems are designed to be communication and documentation tools that provide end-to-end coverage. Silvertrac can do everything that a GPS-only system does — tracking officers and their movements — and also provides a platform for documenting what they actually get done during a site walk or patrol.
And when something happens on a shift, guard management software provides the tools needed to report that incident and communicate with management, clients, and other stakeholders.
In addition, when putting together reports, GPS alone doesn’t provide you with all of the data you need to establish trends and illustrate the value your company is creating for the client. That can be a major oversight when it comes time to upsell a customer on additional services or ask for referrals.
GPS is a valuable tool, but it’s not the be-all and end-all for security companies. When you’re focused on selling quality of service, you need something beyond GPS tracking. Guard management software that incorporates GPS technology as well as photographic documentation, detailed notes, and other accountability features is more appropriate for your needs.
While GPS is part of any effective guard management software system, it doesn’t illustrate all the routine preventative measures that make your security team valuable. Choosing a guard system like Silvertrac, which incorporates GPS tracking and reporting along with other accountability features, will help your company prioritize communication and client success.