While the security services industry is not the most talked about subject or gaining the front page in newspapers, they hold a significant market share in the United States economy. In entire North America, the security services industry has a market size of around $32bn. A large number of organizations, from banks to museums as well high net worth individuals use these services to protect their assets and lives.
But how do we measure the effectiveness of these guards? How do you make sure they’re actively monitoring the assets they’re tasked with protecting? A group of guard monitoring apps is here to help you do exactly this.
Traditionally an organization that wanted to secure its assets or require the services of guards would approach a company that provided such services. From a client perspective, they judge how good a company and its personnel are based on their certifications - there are many certifications that companies and security personnel can gain. But while these certifications demonstrate the skills of your guards, they don’t always reflect how good they’re at their jobs.
How do you know if guards are actually patrolling their routes, that they’re not just standing around, or worse; asleep at their job?
Organizations have used many tools for this; one of the most common being a watchman’s clock or checking in regularly through radios. While these tools do the job to an extent they require manual effort from the guards. And they were not entirely foolproof. They also didn’t give real-time updates on the guards’ statuses. If a guard was under duress, these solutions won’t give alerts quickly enough.
While there are more expensive solutions, mobile apps are one of the easiest, cheapest, and most reliable tools for this. These apps can monitor the guards during their shift with minimal input from users. With most of these apps, guards simply have to keep their phones on their person at all times. Unlike watchman’s clocks or other guard monitoring tools, security guards or their companies don’t have to actively press a button or use their radios with these apps.
Security organizations and their clients get a complete log of the guards’ activities and will be alerted automatically if guards fail to reach their rendezvous point on time.
TARGPatrol is one of the best guard monitoring apps available. The app has advanced monitoring and reporting features that can help clients and service providers analyze the performance of security teams. The app can monitor the activities of security teams - as well as other service staff - in real-time and provide alerts in case there are any issues.
The admins can set up routes and checkpoints through an interactive UI and the app will log in the teams’ activities during their shifts. It will mark if they were late to check in, if they missed any rounds, or if they failed to clear a checkpoint.
The employees or the guards will get notifications if they’re deviating from their route or if they failed to meet a checkpoint. For monitoring the activities of the guards or just making sure they pass the checkpoints, security guards simply have to place their phones in their pockets when they’re on their rounds.
The app does offer other features, for example clearing a checklist, sending pictures, and logging them, and these activities have to be marked manually. Admins can also configure the solution to raise alerts in case a guard fails to reach a checkpoint on time.
In the cheapest implementation of this solution, the app simply tracks the GPS location of the smartphone, and in turn that of the guard. You can also use QR codes for the same - here the admins keep QR codes along the patrol routes and guards simply scan them to log their presence.
However, the best solution would be to use RFID cards. In this case, the management can place RFID cards along the guards’ route and configure the system accordingly. As the guards walk by, the app will record their presence near these tags. The system would work completely automatically without any input from the guards.
It works the same with NFC as well.
The app has a free plan for up to 10 users, but you need to go for the standard or enterprise plan if you have more people on your team.
This is another popular app used to monitor security guards. The app primarily relies on QR codes which the guards have to scan to report their position. It can also use NFC or iBeacon for the same purpose. Besides monitoring the activities of guards, the app can also send text, voice recordings, or images to a central management unit. It can work as an all-in-one solution for organizations to manage their guards.
This is another common app available on Playstore. Unlike the previous two solutions, Guard Patrolling only offers monitoring using QR codes. The app lets companies schedule duties for their teams, and monitor their activities in real-time. The main drawback is that guards have to manually scan the QR codes while they’re patrolling.
Like the previous app, this one also relies on QR codes. They also offer detailed reports on the performance of guards and whether they reached the checkpoints on time. But unfortunately, the app doesn’t support GPS, RFID, or NFC-based monitoring - the guards will have to manually scan QR cards multiple times during a shift.
Security guard app is an iOS app for monitoring security guards. The app is feature-packed and lets teams log any incidents, receive orders, and communicate with each other. It has custom reporting functionality and tracks the guards using their phone’s GPS. The app has separate access for guards and their clients and is available for both iPhone and iPad. The app is free to use.