Technology – supports the security sector in crisis
The global pandemic has reinforced the fact that drastic economic shifts can happen with little or no warning. How can technology solutions keep your business operations stable, efficient and streamlined as your company weathers the impact of change?
New challenges present different needs
As the security industry continues to face the evolving repercussions of an ongoing global pandemic, it’s important to make sure you’re using every available resource at your disposal, including your technology, to help you weather the storm.
It’s likely over the course of the past year, your operating procedures, workflows and reporting requirements have shifted.
Even with vaccination strategies underway across the globe, chances are these changes will persist in the security industry, perhaps even as long-term expectations in service-level agreements (SLAs). Your guards are operating in potentially hazardous conditions in the field and you need to stay connected to everyone while keeping them safe. Your processes are flexing to address new demands for public safety and virus-spread prevention.
Changes that have already been experienced over the course of the pandemic include:
- Additional shifts being added to existing service-level agreements (SLAs) to help maintain order, meet a higher volume of schedule changes and retain patrols.
- Equipping guards with increased resources, including personal protection equipment.
- New requirements of your guards, including visitor screening and illness risk assessments.
- Staffing issues resulting from COVID-19 infection, secondary exposure and precautions.
These are challenges security companies are expected to overcome, while still managing regular industry challenges, such as thin profit margins and workforce retention. And, you’re still responsible for ensuring your contracts remain profitable and your customers’ expectations are met. Flexible technology including workforce management solutions that put a focus on mobile operations, guard touring features and easy-to-use messaging tools can help mitigate some of these challenges.
Promoting guard health and safety
Mobile tools can help your office stay in communication with field-based guards to collect information, and in some cases, track the history of responses to health questions, ensuring they’re as safe as possible while on the job, while also minimizing the risk of transmission of illness to your workforce or the public at large. Mobile workforce management platforms can employ simple digital forms as a quick way to collect information on employee symptoms.
Messaging capabilities within these technology solutions record a history of responses from an employee that can be especially useful during times of crisis, like a global pandemic, including responses such as whether your guards have a temperature or other symptoms that day.
If there’s a need for employees to take a leave of absence to manage their health or the health of a loved one, you could also implement a procedure for submitting an attestation prior to returning to work in a mobile solution. Forms help capture acknowledgement and understanding of safety requirements to protect your workforce at large and mitigate risk.
Patrols and visitor screenings
Customers across the globe are asking their security contractors to be their eyes and ears across more functions, resulting in increased volume of patrols.
Security officers monitoring building entrances are being tasked with screening visitors and entrants to a building for viral exposure in addition to their regular responsibilities.
Mobile forms collected through workforce management solutions can help streamline the visitor screening process, ensuring standardised processes for your officers to follow and providing crucial reporting to your customers. Visitor details like name, contact information and purpose of visit, along with temperature and exposure risk assessments can be included on the screening forms.
Guard touring software and other location tracking technologies help establish a trail of work activity that your guards complete. Not only do these supply proof of work to your customers, they also help identify areas that may have been frequented if a guard does prove to experience COVID-19 symptoms. This serves as a type of contact tracing should your security company need to recommend further testing of workers, decontamination of sites, or reporting to local health officials.
Streamlining processes for business continuity
Even when times are good, security companies face thin profit margins. So, when times are tough and security companies are forced to handle unexpected challenges and crisis, streamlining and connecting your core business functions — financial, operations and workforce management — is even more important. With incoming data via mobile technologies from your contractors in the field, your business has a seamless flow of information that can be viewed and analysed in real-time, allowing for pivots in operating procedure if a changing work environment demands it. This gives you complete visibility over your security business and ensures consistency with the data all departments are working with at any given time, whether remote or onsite.
Although everything can’t be anticipated or controlled, technology solutions can be used to proactively address and mitigate some of the side effects that accompany them. Your services are essential to keeping the world safe and secure. Technology can assist in that endeavour by providing flexible solutions to problems and challenges, no matter the circumstances the security industry is facing.
Vice President Global Marketing & Sales