Of the many technological trends that have impacted the way businesses manage their security needs, few have had a greater impact than real-time security guard tracking while on shift.

Modern guard tour systems do much more than let supervisors and clients review what a guard did during their shift after the patrol has been completed. By enabling real-time tracking, these systems can dramatically improve efficiency and accountability.

How do these tracking systems work?

Today’s modern real-time security guard tracking systems are largely dependent on GPS technology and device integration. A security guard tracking program that is compatible with smartphones and tablets gives guards a line of communication with back office staff while also ensuring the reliability of GPS tracking — all while using devices they are already familiar with.

A guard tour system will typically allow office staff to set up digital checkpoints along a guard’s patrol. With a smart tracking system, checkpoints can be fully customized by the office staff, activating automatically when a guard reaches a particular location during their patrol. No on-site equipment setup or installation is required. Furthermore, checkpoints can prompt for customised questions specific to the asset that is being verified thus allowing for very specific data to be accumulated.

Upon reaching a checkpoint, guards can use their device to scan barcodes, QR codes, or even NFC tokens. The system automatically records when a guard checks in at a particular location, ensuring that the information is relayed accurately even if the guard’s device temporarily loses service. If a guard does not go to a required checkpoint, a notification is sent to back office staff indicating that the route was not completed as required. Notifications can also be sent when a guard arrives late at a checkpoint.

In addition to these mechanisms, most real-time security guard tracking systems also implement measures that streamline communications between guards in the field and management. Guards can use their tour system to submit incident reports or request assistance, while the office team can submit escalation orders, client requests, and other vital communications. These messages will appear in the same app the guard uses to scan checkpoints, ensuring that instructions are received in a timely manner.

What are the benefits?

So how does this device-integrated GPS tracking system benefit security guard companies and their customers? First and foremost is the matter of easy implementation. Because tracking and communications are handled via an app, installation costs are minimal compared to traditional checkpoint systems. Ease of use is also a big factor, as this reduces training needs for guards who are new to real-time tracking.

Of course, the biggest benefits come from improvements in compliance, efficiency, and accountability. Real-time GPS tracking enables the automation of much of the reporting process, eliminating human error by ensuring that checkpoint information is recorded quickly and accurately. This helps ease some of the burden on the guards, while also giving them a greater sense of ownership for their responsibilities.

Real-time security guard tracking also ensures that back office staff is alerted the moment a compliance or safety issue occurs. If a guard doesn’t check in at a required checkpoint or enters a restricted area, live alerts enable management to take immediate action.

The use of an app also gives management confidence that their messages are being received with real-time order acknowledgement. If management has a question for a guard currently on patrol, they can be assured of a rapid response.

A real-time tracking system will naturally increase guard compliance, ensuring better results for your clients. Perhaps even more importantly, the automatic transmission of data subsequently makes it easier to analyze site information so you and your clients can make smarter security decisions. This in turn makes it easy to demonstrate your value to your clients, improving retention rates and allowing you to drive further growth for your business.