The security guard industry is still predominantly a business where the people are still the main product. Clients that contract with physical security firms rely on guards that show up on time, fill a post and monitor the facilities for any potential risks. This is the value and promise of physical security; dedicated resources to be there to maintain order, provide the service of security and reduce and address potential threats.
However, as the industry continues to evolve, more and more companies are looking for ways to augment their promise to their clients with technology. This comes in the form of providing enhanced measure of protection – drones, cameras, sensors, etc – which all are designed to contribute to the monitoring capabilities of the guarding force.
In a similar vein, Security guard firms are seeking to leverage technology to operate smarter in their operations. This is where mobile technologies in time and labor management are becoming a standard method for gaining visibility and control in tracking not only time worked, but also the activities that are required during that shift. Developing an integrated mobile strategy for security guards is a major factor in creating a Time and Labor Management solution that gives you that visibility and control.
Mobile is a logical and cost-effective means for Workforce Management
When you think about the concept of which technology makes most sense to help build a technology driven operations strategy, mobile is the most logical option. First, mobile devices are the most commonplace technology used by your workforce. Recent statistics say that the majority of American own a mobile phone – 95% – and last year, 77% of Americans owned a movie smartphone*. This means that the technology of mobile is most likely already in your workforce’s hands.
Implementing a mobile strategy for workforce management not only helps to create a more real-time guarding operation, it effectively eliminates the need to purchase additional devices – they are already owned by your team.
The Key ways to leverage mobile for your Workforce Management Solution
Mobile for mobile’s sake is not a strategy; the mobile technology needed for security must be purpose-built. Too often, security firms will want to implement a mobile workforce management solution that is agnostic to guarding. The result is that you can get a generic mobile tracking solution that does not always serve the specific complexities and requirements for guarding. Here’s a few things to look for when adopting a mobile strategy for Time and Labor Management:
- Mobile Post Verification: Part of the promise to the client is that you are providing them with a resource that will arrive to a post on time and with the right skill set. There are many ways to verify a guard has clocked into a post; leverage mobile is becoming more and more effective. Leveraging mobile technology, such as check-in apps, or even GPS-enabled Geofencing will automatically determine when the guard has arrived at a post, either by using their device to clock in, or via scanning a checkpoint when they arrive.
- Real-Time Mobile Notifications: In the rare event of a guard failing to show up to a shift, an operator does not want to have the client calling them first. You want to be able to exhibit that you already have visibility into any issues and be able to respond in kind. Having the ability to receive real-time notifications if a clock-in is missed, you can get up-to-the-minute notification and can respond faster than waiting for the client to contact you.
- Touring Management with Mobile: Once at a post, guards are often required to do tours and verify that those tours were completed. Having a mobile touring solution that leverages mobile technology can not only verify that your guards are on a post, but also where they toured. Using bar codes, QR codes of NFC tags at various checkpoints, the guard can use their mobile touring app to scan each checkpoint and provide you with the visibility on where they tour, the checkpoints they reached, and how often they tour. This gives you the deepest level of tracking to ensure that your guards are working in the manner you want them to for the client.
Linking Mobile Technology to Time and Labor Management, Payroll Management and Billing
The operations of leveraging mobile gives your team the ability to validate their shifts, track tours, and any scheduled breaks. All this information is valuable to ensuring your field operations are running efficiently, but the additional value is being able to collect this information and integrating it with your Time and Labor Management, Payroll Management and Billing Management.
By integrating Touring Apps with your Workforce Management solution, you can apply the wage and labor rates to the time worked, and connect them with your schedule, and then use this data to process your payroll. Having a Time and Labor Management system integrated with Payroll Management helps to mitigate the risk of any payroll errors, and allows you to pay your employees for the time worked.
Similarly, the ability to demonstrate to your client how your team worked while they were on a shift is important to demonstrate the value you are billing them for. Leveraging a workforce management solutions that shows the time they worked, the patrol data and details on the shift – location, post, and tours – helps you to create an invoice that will demonstrate value to your clients.
A mobile strategy for shift management and touring is a logical way to leverage technology that your team already can consume, and provides you with tangible visibility into the data of how your workforce operates while in the field. Look for workforce management solutions that are tailored specifically to physical security, and can address the complexities and nuances of security, and you will be able to operate smarter and provide value to your clients.