The word trust and security are synonymous and more closely linked than any other service line within the FM arena. Security personnel are often seen as either the first line of defence or the first person anyone interacts with, therefore if this key behaviour is missing in the relationship, contract length can often be short lived.
But what is trust? It can be defined as the belief and confidence in the integrity, reliability and fairness of a person or company. In a security context, trust is a belief in a probability that the security personnel will behave in a certain way, giving the client a feeling of confidence that their personnel and assets always remain safe.
Observing the recent events over the past 24 months within the FM industry, there has been profit warnings, administrations and customers have begun toying with the idea of insourcing, giving a real feeling that trust has been lost.
While it is often easy to develop trust with people you work with daily, security guards regularly work out of hours and alone so it can be more difficult for relationships to develop. To add to this complexity, the majority of patrols are carried out during unsociable hours. So, how do we give the customer the confidence that we are completing tasks to the highest level?
In order to tackle this problem, we have introduced revolutionary Guard Management Software (GMS) to rebrand Security. The mobile app will allow for improved communication, transparency and visibility between operational teams and the client. It offers an unlimited array of functionality which can be tailored to the client’s requirements and preferences.
This complex issue was what we were recently faced with on a contract with a client in the construction sector. The patrolling route was complex with some routes being carried out by vehicles. Information was delivered via basic RFID tags and paper sign off / incident sheets. However, issues arose when data coming back was inconsistent and structure / building changes meant tags were not always available to be scanned. These discrepancies in the data meant that mistrust began to creep in, resulting in pressure being placed upon both the service delivery and relationship.
By adding an extra level of credibility, the client no longer needs to ask, ‘when was the last time the guard went on patrol?’ as the GMS platform uses geo-tracking technology. This not only shows when the security officer has gone on patrol but will also show the exact route they have taken, and which checkpoints they have passed. In addition to this, Geofences notify all stakeholders when officers enter and exit a site, their availability and proximity to incidents.
However, since the implementation of the GMS platform, service delivery has increased, and our relationship with the client has flourished. This is testament to the power of having real-time data at our fingertips and providing a bespoke dashboard to view all data in one single view. Patrol systems, GPS tracking and dashboards are nothing new, but the usability, simplicity and ease of self-learning by our operational teams has been the most impressive outcome.
Incident and activity reports are created, which alert stakeholders when reports are created, modified and completed through the dashboard. Standardising the reporting procedures means that all data is easy to understand by all levels of management, creating true transparency. The electronic reporting also aims to make the security service completely paper-free, an essential step in being more sustainable.
Another essential capability of the GMS platform is the added layer of protection for security guards, particularly lone workers. Any unusual behaviour or movements may suggest an incident or emergency has occurred on site. Solitary officers can also request immediate assistance through the GPS enabled lone worker protection feature.
While data cannot be considered a silver bullet in building trust, we believe it is certainly a key factor. While this technology is still a relatively new implementation for us, the outcomes so far have been impressive, and it will be interesting to see how it develops in the future.