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How Software Can Get You The Security Budget You Need

By Mark Folmer, CPP, MSyI

Corporate security professionals often have to defend their budget to leadership. The unfortunate reality is that it’s difficult for security departments to demonstrate value — until an incident occurs. The year-round value added by well-operated security teams is trickier to show without robust data.

 

A Question of Perception

Dealing with major incidents is the most obvious way in which security teams demonstrate their value, and often the only activities that register on the radar on budget-holders and leadership. This can mean that other, equally valuable work goes unnoticed. This can range from avoiding the expenses related to, for example, unchecked facilities issues such as leaks and broken doors, to preempting reputational damage from thefts.

Without the data to deliver a comprehensive picture of your operations, you risk cuts to your budget which could mean less hours and less guards, opening your organization up to costly incidents. It may be too late before leadership realizes the value of security spending.

But how can you challenge perceptions with reality?

The best way for security teams to show value is to use automated and integrated security workforce management software that drives visibility, transparency, and accountability.

If you’re still scheduling, tracking data, and managing overtime manually or with independent, siloed software, you’re not armed with real-time, accurate, and essential data on your expenses and activities. Without real-time data to bring to management, you’ll have much more of a fight on your hands.

Here are some ways you can use integrated security workforce management software to defend your budget:

 

Track Incidents in Real-Time

tracking data How Software Can Get You The Security Budget You Need

When your work goes unnoticed by management, it’s hard to convince them you provide more than they think. With inaccuracy and a lack of information in reports done without automated security workforce management software, you don’t have the data to back yourself up.

Instead of trying to rely on guards to report and remember details of incidents, accurate real-time information gathering means you never have to use guesswork as data again.

The benefits? Not only are you now armed with hard data to justify your budget, you have a much clearer picture of just how many incidents your security team is resolving, improving your response time and risk mitigation capabilities. If you haven’t been accurately tracking your data before, you might not even know just how hard you’ve been working.

 

Provide Data on Problem Areas

In addition to real-time tracking of your team’s impact on the organization, you can pinpoint exactly where the incidents are happening and identify trends. Previously, if a particular door had been constantly needing repair or an area of the building had had more incidents than others, you may not have caught the pattern.

Now, armed with accurate tracking, you can not only pinpoint where you need to concentrate your efforts and resources, but also prove to management that you’re using your budget and guards as effectively as possible. While preempting incidents may have undermined your budget position in the past, with access to historical data, you can now point to tangible benefits.  

 

Improve Employee Accountability

A well-managed and tracked team means an accountable team. With a guard monitoring system, you can track not only incidents, but your team’s movements while on duty, as well. Timestamps on activity and GPS tracking on phones means no one can give you inaccurate data on their shifts, purposely or not.

With greater employee accountability comes greater assurance that your budget is being used effectively.

 

Manage Overtime Expenses

Overtime expenses are one of the biggest drains on revenue for security teams. If a significant amount of your budget is being spent on overtime, you open yourself up to budget challenges from leadership.

Tracking data on your team’s overtime expenses isn’t an issue with security workforce management software. Not only will you have an accurate picture of overtime spend, you can accurately identify the root cause of the spending and take corrective action if needed. Technology can take the pain out of scheduling while helping you make your budget go further.

Backed up by a 360-degree view of your operations thanks to data, you can demonstrate the year-round ROI of your team and find defending your budgets much easier.

 

Mark Folmer, CPP, MSyI
Vice President, Security Industry
[email protected]
Twitter: @markfolmer & @TrackTik

 

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