Patrol monitoring, from wands to apps
The traditional image of a security officer, alone on site with their patrol monitoring wand to capture evidence of their patrols, is no longer good enough.
Today’s security officer needs to be informed, connected and professional to deliver on the expectations of your increasingly tech-savvy customers.
Technology has rapidly overtaken the traditional wands, which are often costly with limited capabilities, often relying on the security officer to dock them in to a PC or return them to the control room for reports to be produced.
Those with experience of these devices will know that you only find out that they aren’t being used properly when an incident happens at the client’s premises, often leading to a loss of client confidence and potential loss of the contract.
The evolution of the security officer
With the advent of affordable smartphone-based Near Field Communication (NFC) patrol monitoring solutions, it is now possible to view patrol monitoring data in real time with activity immediately compared against a plan and without requiring the device to be docked in to a PC. As a result, your ability to detect and manage the quality of patrols is significantly enhanced – allowing companies to choose which exceptions are escalated so they can be dealt with before they become an issue.
In addition, automated check calls can ensure officers are safe on patrol no matter where they are, capturing GPS coordinates so they can be found should a problem occur.
Meanwhile, there are numerous value-added services that can be offered to your clients, such as inspections, audits and equipment checks, all within the single solution. This is allowing security companies to sell value- added services on top of guard patrols, helping to create unique propositions that differentiate your company from the competition. It can also help to run a manned security business more effectively, reducing admin cost and saving time by simplifying the management of rosters, monitoring staff attendance, coordinating holiday accrual and calculating staff pay.
To help transform the security officer into a client ambassador, a solution like this can help engage these often far-flung and isolated parts of your business into a cohesive and joined up team. By incorporating features to keep them safe and providing them with immediate access to all the information required to do their job, you can improve staff retention and keep your clients happy.
In today’s climate it’s no longer sufficient to say that a contract has been complied with; companies need to up their game and prove compliance by being more transparent and in control of the quality of the services they deliver.
Rise of the rugged smartphone
The challenge previously has been to decide between a patrol wand, rugged but with limited capability, or opt for a more powerful smartphone-based solution with the worry that the security officer might damage the device. However, by combining the power of such a solution with newly available rugged Android devices, it is now possible to have the best of both worlds.
The introduction of these rugged devices means that the equipment can withstand the knocks and bumps of a tough security patrol environment. They will operate in challenging weather conditions, even when it is raining, snowing or has been dropped in a puddle, so possess the same durability as a dedicated patrol monitoring device but with all the additional functions and capabilities.
In fact, by backing the device up with an enterprise class support contract, it is possible to ensure the lifetime cost of the device is managed, even covering the repair of accidently damaged devices.
One very helpful feature of these devices is that they are inherently multi-purpose. Now it is entirely feasible to run your favourite Sat Nav app – or even a Walkie-Talkie app – alongside a patrol monitoring solution and do away with that portable Sat Nav and the PMR radio.
This means security companies can now have a single solution to run their businesses and manage patrols with the confidence to sell enhanced services that help drive growth.
Sales Director, Smart Task Ltd