Understanding Your Guard Management Needs
There’s a lot more to technology when shopping around for a guard activity management system. And sometimes, a “one size fits all” approach isn’t the right one for your needs.
If you’ve been keeping up with the changing technology space, you’ll soon discover that having all of the “bells and whistles” doesn’t mean your operations will run as smoothly as possible.
That’s why when it comes to managing guard activity, physical security professionals look for solutions that work like a partnership. This partnership must bring together your people and processes, alongside technology, to improve your operations – however is best for you.
In a comprehensive system, you gain the technology, the dedicated customer support to your business’s needs, and access to best practices in using technology to gain results. Any other system that claims otherwise simply doesn’t know the business.
In this guide, we break down the key areas that security professionals need to hone to make the right decision for their operations.
- The KPIs of Guard Activity Management:
- Tracking and Reporting
- Managing Operations
- Factor in Cost, Ease-of-Use, and Training
The Two KPIs: Guard Tour Tracking and Reporting
Guard tour tracking involves managing a guard or officer’s tasks – while in progress, when completed, and if any checkpoints have been missed. To track a guard’s activity right, you have to have real-time visibility to actually see what your team is doing.
Real-time visibility ensures your team works as one unit and that sites are properly secured at all times.
Measuring your team’s activities in relation to tasks completed goes only so far. That’s why it’s essential for supervisors to know and measure not only the number of times your guards complete their tours, but the amount of tours that were incomplete or ended early due to an emergency.
This data serves as the missing KPI in delivering an accurate assessment of your security team’s efforts. When your team has this insight, you’ll be able to make better business decisions that can lead to better operations.
Incomplete tours can lead to insights on potential tour management, errors in guard communication, even a reevaluation of guards on schedule for specific tours for better guard placement. By gaining actionable insights, you also provide trust and transparency to your clients by having accurate information about their property.
Insufficient reporting impacts not only your bottom line, but the ability to provide your clients with real transparency. If clients don’t feel like they’re getting their money’s worth, that can signal distrust — leading to contract termination.
It’s important to make sure your team’s reporting is never at fault. This can mean preventing reports from being misfiled or having inaccurateinformation. An easy way to prevent this is to have your guards follow a fool-proof step-by-step process that figuratively anyone can do. This is where standardized reporting kicks in.
Standardized reporting does what it says it is – it standardizes your team’s reporting process. The best thing about it is that you can recreate just about any format your reporting requires with easy drag and drop form fields. When your guards are on tour, they can access reporting features from their phone.
Easy prompts make it easy for guards to fill out the report because the hard work is basically done for them. Plus, your supervisors get digital notifications whenever a report is incomplete or requires a follow-up.
Guard Activity Management: Factoring in Cost, Ease of Use, and Training
Guard activity management must factor in cost, ease of use, and training. A cheap company can promise easability and low operational costs – but are you really paying for these services or just air?
When evaluating your needs, you might run into a company that offers a “freemium” plan. So, it’s important to understand the differences between “freemium” and cheap.
When good companies know their services are the best, they often offer you much more than a limited time trial so that you can try it fully. That’s why if you choose to start out with a free version of a premium product, it’s definitely not a gimmick.
Here are a few questions to think about whenever a company offers a “freemium” product:
- Do they offer true support for all that your clients would need now and in the future?
- What about onboarding or customer support?
- Is this a limited time trial? Can it help me do everything I need to do?
- Is it simple to “upgrade” when ready?
For those that think “freemium” products are bad apples, get to know what you’re paying for. Just because a system says that it’s “cheaper” or “more affordable” doesn’t mean it will end up being the best move for your needs.
“Put your money where your mouth is” is the best phrase in this case. Don’t risk wasting money on a product that doesn’t have a track record of success.
Ease of Use
It’s one thing if a product is cheap; it’s another when it’s a free version of a professional system. Cheap products from the get-go won’t offer you an experience that’s worth your time using, let alone learning.
With a “freemium” version of a professional product, you won’t be getting an entirely different system. That’s because it costs time to develop systems from the ground up. If a professional solution already offers a state-of-the-art usability experience, it stands to reason that the “freemium” version will offer just the same.
Simple but powerful experiences are what make or break a customer’s first impression — so you can rest assured that a well-performing user experience will be a top priority for those who are currently shopping for a great guard activity management system.
It shouldn’t take a degree in rocket science to understand how to use guard activity management software. When your team is fully trained, steep learning curves are non-existent because they’ll “get it” the first time around. That means total support that will always be there for when you have additional questions.
In addition to support, the system as a whole should be intuitive and easy to use. Just think for a moment about the standard of all standard reports: the daily activity report, or DAR.
If reporting has to be top-notch, then all aspects of guard reporting, including DARs, have to be easily accessible and understandable.
So, when using the reporting aspects of a guard management system when managing your guard’s activities, your team will have access to training modules that can help make sure they’re properly trained. This includes knowing if:
- Guards are interacting with the public
- They’re trained on reporting critical incidents
- They’re trained on communication and listening skills to gain appropriate information
- They will be prepared to uphold any COVID-19 guidelines and related reporting
Know What Your Spending Your Money On So You Can Spend Better
At the end of the day, when a good company is offering you a free version of their proprietary software, don’t hesitate to take up that offer. Ultimately, a good guard management system will be one that can provide you with as many resources and connections as possible and that’ll help you provide the best service for the best outcome for your clients.
This means full transparency in all guard activities, proper handling of KPIs for business intelligence and actionable insights, comprehensive reporting, and top-notch support from a company that knows what they’re doing.