Security guards are currently making decisions about whether or not to adopt mobile patrol apps to help coordinate and communicate between patrols, security stations, and the office. Some are sticking with traditional two-way radios for now, while others have fully moved to mobile apps offered on platforms like Security Guard, Guard Center, Novage, GuardMetrics, and many more.
Two-way radios are still speedy and reliable. However, they also have their downsides. Communication isn’t always clear, and in our digital world, they can be very limited devices. App-based mobile patrol solutions have significant benefits for those willing to make the change. Let’s take a look at some of them.
A mobile patrol app is specifically designed for a variety of purposes. They typically offer options to immediately report activity, contact the authorities, scan a barcode or NFC chip for clearance purposes, and more. That’s in addition to all the tasks that the mobile device can help perform in addition to the app, from making simple calls to taking video. In other words, switching to an app allows security guards to cut down on the number of devices they need and keep many important tools on one device.
Whether the security guard app you are looking at comes with audio communication, or you choose to use a walkie-talkie or videochat app, smartphones are excellent devices for immediately contacting other guards. They have far better range than two-way radios as well, making them particularly useful on long patrols.
Tracking and Reporting Features
Two other features on mobile patrol apps for guards can offer excellent value for the security firm. The first is tracking features that use smartphone GPS technology. This helps track where guards are at all times and can help keep detailed records of patrols and guard movements in case that becomes important for legal reasons.
Fully synced reporting and logging features is another feature available on apps. These allow security guards to largely go paperless when it comes to filling out reports of any kind. Autofill and clear menu instructions also cut down on errors while saving a significant amount of time when it comes to paperwork. Reports can also be automatically filed, saved, and sent to the right sources after completion so nothing is missed. More advanced apps also allow customized reports based on what is required in particular states or on certain jobs.
Doesn’t Require Audio Cues
Two-way radios and similar solutions have another downside – they can be loud. Smartphones and available apps offer silent or vibration functions for alerts, allowing for nearly silent communication when necessary. This is useful for security guards who prefer to stay silent on patrol, or at least have an option to communicate without noise if that appears to be the best course of action. Guards can send silent messages to each other, or to other members of the team as needed.
Easier Scheduling and Planning for Patrols
Mobile patrol apps are also designed for management and scheduling. Schedules and specific jobs can quickly be created and assigned to guards. This avoids any potential confusion while allowing for speedy action or quick changes as necessary.
Detailed order options also allow security firms to include useful notes for guards, such as specific instructions or concerns from a client. These can be helpful in reducing liability for individual guards while improving service. Guards who are passing shifts along to others can also include notes or reminders of their own. This can help to improve performance and overall awareness on a job.
If your security guards need to track and enter time logs, these mobile apps can also automatically log guards in, track time on site, and log time clocks when needed to help increase accuracy. Supervisors can quickly view and approve multiple reports on their end to save more time.
Help With Training and Response
Many of the features we’ve already discussed make onboarding a new security guard faster and more comfortable. Clear communication, plus the ability to reach out for advice or instructions, help with both training and proper response. Apps can also offer walkthroughs and training modes that can help get guards acquainted with the process. This reduces errors for new guards while helping them understand reporting requirements.
Patrol and security apps may also offer client-friendly portals that allow for swift communication with clients. Clients may even be able to see tracking or logs, so they know exactly what guards are doing. This is helpful for their peace of mind while also proving the value of your security services.
Researching Mobile Patrol Apps for Your Security Guards
As with any transition to mobile apps in the workplace, it’s important to work out a strategy for how apps will be chosen, secured, and managed. If your firm expects guards to use their own mobile devices, it also needs a plan to silo or protect work apps to avoid data theft risks. Many vendors of security guard apps can provide advice, help, and even training to deal with these concerns. Keep that in mind when it’s time to research.