The security guard/officer industry is rapidly changing due to technological innovation. The shift to new security guard technology is leading to changes at the workforce level as well as on customer expectations. This blog will look at some of the technological changes that are taking place in the security industry. We also break down the impact on a company’s workforce and its customers due to these changes.
Security guard technology has evolved to include mobile devices, cloud software, drones, cameras, and integrated biometric access control systems. Drones have become increasingly popular. According to research, approximately 16% of security guards are already using drone technology, with 60% planning to do so in the future. By far the greatest change has been the impact of smartphones. Previously, we looked at smartphones solely as a phone or as a distraction device. However, this impression has fast been replaced by smartphones being used to perform key job-related tasks.
In the security industry, mobile devices enable tasks such as employee scheduling & clocking in and out of shifts. As well as that, employers can receive no-show alerts and find replacement guards at the touch of a button. Smartphones are also being used to assist in operational tasks. Creating reports, verifying patrol points (guard tours), viewing site information, capturing site evidence and so much more. All of these tasks are performed in real-time. This drives the need for this information to also be available to supervisors so they can manage employees and stay up to date on customer sites.
It goes without saying that technology has, and will continue to improve the security guard industry. The right technology can keep guards, clients, and customers safer than ever before, which is a win-win for everyone.
Impact on the Workforce
Technology has driven significant change in the required makeup of the workforce within a security guard company. Guard companies now need to ensure that the staff they hire are tech-savvy and comfortable with change. Companies are moving away from manual processes and looking to automation to improve operations. Tasks such as shift assignment, manually performing guard tours, or confirming that a customer site is secure can all be automated with the right resources.
Security guards now carry their own smartphones. Some guards are also provided with a company phone to perform specific, on-the-job tasks. The company’s workforce has to be comfortable using technological devices to perform their tasks. They also need to be trained properly to manage all the new types of technology that are available to them.
In the past, the qualifications required to be a guard were almost non-existent, this is no longer the case. Security guards now require training and must maintain their qualifications leading to a new caliber of worker. From a security guard’s perspective, the expectation is that technology will make their job easier and more efficient. Without it, security guard companies risk losing their existing staff to those that are using technology. They may even find it more difficult to recruit staff. This, in turn, jeopardizes existing contracts and makes it more difficult to acquire new customers.
Security guard technology has also evolved to improve officer safety in the field in a couple of different ways. Workforce management software (like Celayix) allows guards to communicate directly, and safely with HQ. This is useful in the event of an emergency or accident on site. Celayix Field Reporting tools allow officers to input data and send it directly to HQ. This can include incident reports, photos/videos of a site, and any other important information. Our geofencing feature also has the option of safety checks. Management can request safety checks to be completed at set times/intervals. With safety checks, employers can set out what they want to be done with each one. It might be to check all doors/gates, or walk the perimeter of a client site. Our geofencing GPS system (which does not track employees outside of the workplace) will ensure that the check is done, and complete on site. It ensures that the client site is safe, and will flag to HQ if not complete. An incomplete safety check might indicate an injured officer.
Driven by new technology, customer expectations are changing. Customers are becoming more sophisticated and they are demanding more from their security provider. They want real-time solutions to their security needs. That includes ensuring that they can see the status of their sites at any time of day, knowing that a security guard is onsite at the required time and doing their scheduled job, and also finding out about key issues in real-time.
These are just the bare minimum requirements for most customers. Without them, guard companies risk losing their customers and will find it more challenging to build their customer list. Especially if their competitors are implementing some of these new processes.
How Celayix has helped security companies grow with technology improvements
Celayix software offers resources that automate alot of the crucial operations of security companies. You can reduce your employee scheduling time by up to 95% if you are currently using pen & paper. You can also automate time and attendance processes and reporting with our workforce management software. However, Celayix truly shines in the management of multiple sites, and the collection of real-time data for those sites.
Our key features such as geofencing, field reporting and live map view will drastically improve your operations as a manager. Never worry about buddy punching, no-shows, or unreported incidents again! With geofencing, guards can only clock in/out from within your pre-determined radius. You can also ask them to perform regular safety checks. Safety checks prompt the guard to do a lap of the site, or whatever your own processes are.
Guards perform check-ins directly from their smartphones, making buddy punching or time fraud far more difficult. Guards can also use field reporting to report incidents or provide key information to supervisors who are not on site. Supervisors benefit from having live, current insight into what is happening on client sites, from the comfort of their desks. Finally, supervisors can keep an eye on client sites and security guard duty with the live map view. They can see which guards are where, make adjustments as necessary.
If you’d like to hear more about how Celayix can help your security guard company with our latest technology, simply contact us here, today!