Updated on Wednesday 5th November by David Duncan
If you are managing a security company you are probably offering manned guarding, cctv monitoring, training and key holding solutions. Therefore you have several distinct offerings to market, monitor and manage; at least a few staff who have different types of certificates, training needs and qualifications. All of these need monitoring or tracking on top of holidays and unauthorised absences! As well as dealing with the staff you are probably also dealing with clients on a daily basis.
Obviously, both are vital to your business and you want to keep them happy by good effective communication, efficient management and by providing excellent service.
How do you make this happen when every shift can bring its own issues and problems and so many factors can lead to a lack of effectiveness?
Picture this chain of events:-
- You are either managing a security company or are responsible for its operations.
- You provide security guards for the Madonna concert, the job you put a lot of effort in to winning!
- On arrival at the concert, the security guards sign in on paper timesheets
- They sign out again on the same paper timesheets when they leave.
- At the end of all of the shifts you have a pile of scribbled on paper timesheets,
- The team’s supervisor needs to approve all of the hours,
- He needs to check and sign the very same paper timesheets
However, needs must, it’s very late and time is short and as will happen more often than not, he does it later. The consequence of which is that he doesn’t remember the exact leaving time for each guard anymore! They could be wrong or the writing could be illegible, one of the guards may have made a mistake and ends up being underpaid, which will be upsetting, or worse still an hour has been added in error to each of the guards sheets, costing your company a lot more and pushing the staff costs over budget!
Annoyingly Common Errors
Problems frequently occur when either a guard has not taken their break or has had to stay longer or leave earlier. We are all human! Things happen. Sometimes life gets in the way and shifts aren’t always as they were predicted to be! Suddenly, what seems like a small or minor change can become a huge obstacle when the administrator examines the worksheets. Consequently he spends lots of extra hours trying to figure out what actually happened with a particular shift, how many hours the guard is due and the only way of resolving the issue is to add all the information on a busy and complicated Excel spreadsheet. This is definitely not the most efficient way of doing business, is it? The problems and wasted hours don’t end there though because when payday arrives, there is always a difference between the actual shift hours and the budgeted hours which the company has incurred, the over budget spend and the lower gross margin as a consequence. Sound familiar?
Online scheduling software - a solution
At PARiM, time and time again we hear that managers of security companies have been searching for a solution and repeatedly asked themselves how they can improve the whole process of managing your security guards, creating and allocating them shifts, instantly getting the true working hours by client, by site, by staff member and having the hours and timesheets immediately approved by clients, meaning they pay on time? Well, these days there is a way of avoiding all of the problems listed above that many security companies face. It is called Workforce Management Software and can be based in the cloud. This means you don’t need to buy additional hardware or install expensive software. All you need is an Internet connection and you are ready to go and manage your staff and business more effectively. No, it would be foolish of me to pretend that there aren’t many workforce software programs available on the market – because there are, plenty.
However, from my research some of them are:-
- quite expensive
- not reliable,
- modular based
- require lengthy contracts and notice
- charge for installation
- charge per site or employee loaded
- charge for support or maintenance
- don’t improve or add features regularly
- don’t respond to customer feedback and feature requests
So making a choice for this kind of software can be a very hard and tricky decision. In the back of your mind there’s always the fear that you plump for one and you can’t get on with it and you get stuck in a contract with a lengthy 3 month notice! Even in our personal lives, how many of us have bought a software program and never used it?
What’s different about PARiM?
We can help you choose the right cloud based Workforce Management Software that can be tailored to fit your needs, like a glove!
It’s called PARiM and is currently the only system available on the market that has an extensive switch on/ switch off Client Area allowing your clients to log into the system, with their logo, see all the information they require, authorise timesheets and give feedback!
PARiM resolves the problems described above:-
- by allowing guards to clock in and clock out using only their mobile phones.
- managers and supervisors do not have to sign anywhere; they can just log into PARiM
- they can instantly see and approve the working hours,
- they can immediately ensure that everything is correct, first time every time,
However, if life does get in the way and if something has been changed, supervisors can do the changes immediately using the PARiM mobile app (free to download for Android or IPhone)
This means that at the end of the week:-
- all the timesheets are already correct and approved so
- no more duplications and timesheet payroll errors
- reduced absenteeism as this can be monitored by management and seen by staff at all times
- administrators save time by not having to correct timesheets
- with everything being automated and verifiable all the figures are ready for both invoicing and payroll
PARiM is not just any old simple workforce management software – it is software specifically designed to resolve all the typical issues that security companies and event companies have. We like to think we have come up with a very comprehensive and innovative solution to the problems coupled with an innovative and surprisingly affordable pricing scheme