“All my rounds are done. Do you mind if I leave now?”
Alex, one of your senior security officers, wants to get on the road for a weekend trip.
“Sure, where is your tour log,” you ask.
He unfolds the sheet he printed from your guard tour system.
It’s a system that uses timestamps to track inspection times for each location.
“Thanks, I’ll review this in a few minutes and call you with any questions,” you tell Alex as he rushes out of your office.
Alex just nods.
“Have a safe trip,” you continue.
He’s already gone; headed to his family’s cabin on the lake to do some fishing.
His mind has been on trout his entire shift.
After finishing your afternoon paperwork, you start to review Alex’s inspection log for this current week.
You purse your lips and stare at the printed piece of paper for a moment.
You compare the log he gave you to your version of Alex’s schedule.
It does not match.
“Wait, this is last weeks,” you exclaim. Frustrated, you grab your office phone.
You call Alex.
This is not the first time this has happened.
Alex is also not the only security officer to provide you with incorrect documentation either.
How frustrated does this make you?
This example is only one of how your guard tour solution could be hindering your operation.
Your “solution” is not a solution at all.
It’s not working.
And, It’s time for a change.
Keep reading; we are going to share five reasons why it’s not working – and how a proactive solution fixes these flaws.
What Your Guard Tour System Is Missing
Consider the example we use above.
Imagine the snowball effect that exposes your operation to potential hazards.
Yes, Alex gave you an incorrect tour log.
But, can you imagine what else is being missed by your employees?
Everything is probably slipping through the cracks without you realizing.
What if Alex was in such a rush that he forgot to mention an odd looking package he noticed near the main entrance of your property?
He brushed it off as nothing.
There hasn’t been a serious incident at your property in over a decade.
So, he figured it was not a concern.
He quickly could fall into the “nothing terrible happens at our property” trap, so everything will be okay.
You know this is a huge problem.
You must be proactive.
Use a proactive guard tour system to counter all the ways your current application is not working.
Use it to prevent a mistake as small as an old inspection log from snowballing into an incident that cripples your operation.
Below are five reasons why your guard tour solution is not working, but also the ones that if fixed can supercharge your operation.
Solve these problems, and you will move from an inefficient process, without accountability, to a proactive operation where nothing slips through the cracks.
Change your broken solution to give you:
- Full documentation capabilities
- Capturing of every detail using multimedia
- The ability to create accountability
- Increased efficiency for long-term Proactive Operations
- Trained and developed staff with ease
1. Full documentation capabilities
Poor documentation leads to disaster.
You cannot expect to create accountability when you rely on staff to print inspection logs.
They pile on your desk.
You make too many mistakes.
Then, you spend your time trying to resolve the issue.
You do not have a chance to find the missing pieces of the puzzle.
You require the right information when you need it.
A proactive solution lets your team digitally capture inspection information.
Your team enters the data in real time.
You receive the information from their checkpoints immediately.
You no longer need Alex to shuffle through his pockets for ‘incorrect’ tour logs.
You can access it from your computer when you want.
Now, you have useful information because it is accurate.
Now if the information is not accurate, you have the ability to perform proper coaching to ensure Alex does not make the same mistake again.
But, coaching is only useful with complete and accurate information.
2. Capturing of every detail using multimedia
Digital documentation increases your ability to hold staff accountable – instantly.
That’s good news.
It gets even better because progressive solutions take advantage of mobile device functionality.
For example, Alex is ‘making his rounds’ and identifies a suspicious person; he can capture the details of the incident while simultaneously taking a picture, video, or recording a statement to describe the package for management and the authorities.
Not only did Alex save the day, but he was also able to snap a photo of the package and collect the details for future review.
3. The ability to create accountability
Yes, we note the potential to hold employees like Alex accountable for mistakes.
But, your goal must be to prevent errors.
Requiring on-scene digital documentation, that you can review anytime, has a purpose – but it’s not proactive.
You don’t only want to enforce accountability when necessary.
You want to create accountability from the start.
What does this mean?
Rather than punishing your employees for making mistakes, give them a software solution that outlines an efficient way to get their job done correctly.
This action creates accountability they buy into, which leads to Proactive Operations.
For example, regular tours are easy for Alex and his coworkers when you keep it simple.
Remove the antiquated system and replace it with an easy-to-use, proactive solution.
- Alex scans the barcode label
- The tour information for the location populates in his mobile app
- Alex completes the tour efficiently
Nothing slips through the cracks!
Enforcing is ‘reactive.’
Start by creating accountability.
4. Increased efficiency for long-term Proactive Operations
Inefficiencies that exist in a reactive operational environment are dangerous.
You must turn your operation around.
You must develop efficiencies through Proactive Operations.
Your current solution is not working because your ongoing process is not working.
Think about it: a proactive operation employs strategy, infrastructure, and technology.
If you have weaknesses at the technology level, you need to restart at the beginning.
- Start with your strategy by using the ACDA Principle™
- Build an infrastructure that forces efficiency
- Implement a proactive guard tour system to ensure long-lasting Proactive Operations
Remember, you need a proactive operation.
By employing Proactive Operations, you ensure that effectiveness continues.
You increase your operational efficiency so that you can realize the benefits of overseeing a proactive operation for the rest of your career.
5. Trained and developed staff with ease
Your employees must ‘get it.’
They’ll never buy into a solution that's hard to learn and even harder to use.
Many solutions make your employees look bad.
It forces them to make too many mistakes.
They also have limited capabilities, which requires your staff to remember more procedures.
Implement a system that lets you train staff professionally.
You want them to begin executing in the least amount of time possible.
A proactive solution ensures the time until deployment is not only shorter but also produces self-confident employees.
Now, these are the makings of a system that works!
Over to You
Once your guard tour system is working, use the analytics it offers to improve your operation further.
A proactive operation does not react to mistakes; it has the advantage of using its data to optimize all the areas that are working well.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in June 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and freshness.