Security spending is still being scrutinized in the new normal, perhaps even more so, but the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted some sharp contradictions. While the need for security has decreased in some sectors, it has also dramatically increased in others like healthcare, retail, and transportation. Cost-cutting measures, however, continue to impact the security budget.
In the new normal, security activities must be justified, and may be asked to be made more lean and efficient by eliminating personnel or equipment deemed superfluous, or replacing them altogether with new technology.
A picture is worth a thousand words
Typically, the people responsible for budget numbers are people who like data. Without data to deliver a comprehensive picture of your operations, you risk budget cuts which could translate to less hours, less guards, more costly incidents. So the best way for security teams to show value is to use a security workforce management solution with incident reporting, live monitoring, and shift scheduling to drive visibility, transparency, and accountability.
When it comes time to defend your security spending, will you be ready? Here are 4 ways to justify your security budget in the new normal.
1. Real-Time Incident Reporting
With robust real-time incident reporting, guards can complete reports and document incidents directly in their mobile phones, pushing the data to the client portal for data analytics. As a result, security managers will know:
- Who was reporting incident
- What type of incidents were occurring and what actions were taken
- When to assign resources to counter the issues
- Where the incidents were occurring
- How to reduce the organization’s risk
If you can provide up-to-the-minute statistics for the number of incidents, the number of completed guard tours, and the number of potential problem areas, you can demonstrate that your security team is a well-managed, professional team who are actively contributing to the security of the organization. Give your security teams real-time incident reporting tools to show clients that you’re worth keeping in this year’s budget.
2. Live Monitoring
A well-managed and tracked team means an accountable team. With live monitoring of security guard operations, you can track not only incidents, but your team’s movements while on duty as well. One of the benefits of live monitoring is that it increases accountability. Automatic timekeeping, GPS tracking, and electronic checkpoints ensure that your guards are following post orders, showing up on time, and completing tours within a reasonable timeframe.
In addition to keeping guards on track and on time, live monitoring also provides peace of mind to your clients. With hard data to demonstrate the reliability of your security teams, your clients will feel more comfortable and trust the work of your team. With greater employee accountability comes the assurance that your budget is being spent wisely.
3. Actionable Insights
With incident reporting to collect and analyze data on past incidents, it becomes much easier to plan for the future. Let’s look at a few examples of data analytics in action:
- If data indicates that a door is frequently left unlocked, the facility manager may choose to install a keypad entry system so that the door is automatically locked at all times.
- If data indicates that cars in a parking lot are repeated targets of vandalism, an increased security guard presence or a security fence around the facility’s parking lot may be required.
Without data to draw from, the facility manager could easily draw incorrect conclusions as to why his building has experienced increased incidents of theft or vandalism. By addressing the root cause that has contributed to security incidents, companies are better prepared to prevent future incidents. Actionable insights allow for the creation of a strategy that will actually work to mitigate future risks.
Armed with accurate data, you can not only pinpoint where you need to concentrate your efforts and resources, but also prove to your clients that you’re using your budget and guards as effectively as possible.
4. Shift Scheduling
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 can expect challenges to your budget. Using shift scheduling is one of the best things a security company can do to manage overtime hours. Shift scheduling is the ability to automate shift assignments, utilize shift bidding, employee time off requests, and other factors to create weekly schedules for your guards.
More importantly, shift scheduling allows you to review shift schedules and overtime requests so you can set limits to prevent guards from scheduling too much overtime. As a result, 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.
Shift scheduling can even allow your management teams to find the most cost-effective solution during unexpected scheduling situations. For example, should a guard not show up for his scheduled shift, the security workforce management solution would help your team quickly identify which guards are available to fill in.
If you’re still scheduling, tracking data, managing overtime manually, or waiting until a security guard returns to their work station to compile a paper report, you’re not armed with real-time, accurate, and essential data on your expenses and security operations. To ensure that this year’s budget is approved, you need to choose a security workforce management solution that incorporates incident reporting, live monitoring, and shift scheduling to demonstrate the value your security team provides.
TrackTik was founded in 2013 and quickly established itself as a market leader with the mission to build better software so its clients can run smarter businesses. TrackTik’s AI-driven technology enables security organizations to connect frontline staff, back office management, and their clients to drive improved operational efficiency, and data insights. TrackTik helps security professionals make automated, data-driven decisions with its cloud-based seamless approach to system connectivity. Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, with offices in the United Kingdom and Europe, TrackTik offers four integrated suites of tools – Security Operations for Guarding, Back Office Management, Mobile Patrol and Dispatch, and Business Intelligence & Reporting Analytics, to help security service companies follow the progression of guards, reduce manual tasks, lower costs, and demonstrate value.