SECURITY GUARDS: WHEN DO I NEED ONE FOR BUSINESS SECURITY? WHERE’S THE ROI?

While modern technology certainly enhances business security programs, the human element is just as important. No amount of technology can monitor a premises like the nuanced view of a keen pair of human eyes. Moreover, a professional security guard provides the observant reasoning vital to comprehensive security monitoring.

With that in mind, let’s look at two aspects of the decision to hire a security guard for your premises: I) some conditions that make security guard hire a necessity for business security, and II) what ROI you can expect.

PART I: WHEN DO YOU NEED A SECURITY GUARD?

1. To Supplement Access Control Systems and Monitor Internal/External Building Activity

You may have a warehouse or operations facility that houses valuable people, machinery and merchandise. With a significant investment in these personnel and resources, you need to protect them. Unless you invest in cameras to monitor every square foot of vulnerable space, which can be impractical, your security coverage may be incomplete.

Here is where hiring a good security guard comes in. They can fill in possible security coverage gaps and are able to perform interior and exterior patrols as needed. They can see areas your cameras cannot.

A guard can also oversee existing access control systems, as a Concierge. A set of eyes watching those who enter and exit the premises is often required because security credentials can be stolen or misused.

For example, an unauthorised person could potentially acquire someone else’s swipe card or keypad code and attempt to enter the premises without authorisation. A competent security officer or concierge would spot the unfamiliar face and approach them for questioning.

2. When CCTV Requires Real-Time Monitoring by Human Eyes

Simple CCTV coverage provides an important visual record of activity, usable by police investigations and legal proceedings – but after the fact. A security guard can monitor CCTV security systems for attempted security breaches as they happen. They then can initiate a proactive response that offers optimum protection based on their judgement and experience.

A guard can analyse situations, not just record and report them. They can monitor multiple CCTV sectors simultaneously. Swift analysis by a licensed and trained security officer means a response suited to the situation.

This may involve alerting police immediately. Or, it may simply involve non-aggressive confrontation with those who have happened upon your premises but mean no harm. These analytical capabilities in situations are a prime reason for hiring live security.

A guard can also trust their “gut feeling” if they perceive questionable motives in a person’s behaviour. A CCTV or access control system cannot perform this analysis of live people. They monitor and record, but do not undertake sentient reasoning to assess someone’s intentions, while security personnel do this regularly.

3. When Retailers Need to Discourage Theft

Let’s face it: theft, both internal (by employees) and external (by shoplifters) is a major problem in the retail industry. Security guards are especially suited to retail firms with large inventories across numerous categories. A medium-to-large retail store can employ security guards to patrol the selling floor, especially in areas displaying high-cost items.

This can be done undercover by plainclothes security officers to apprehend both unsuspecting shoplifters and store employees committing theft. Alternately, the guards can be uniformed. This can send a strong message to would-be thieves: they now see that the premises are under constant surveillance both from digital and human eyes.

PART II: THE RETURN ON YOUR INVESTMENT – WHAT’S THE ROI IN HIRING A GUARD?

Upon using security guards, you will find that your ROI becomes quite apparent.

First, regular inventory counts of your warehouse, manufacturing facility, or retail store assets will provide the hard numbers you are looking for. With an effective security solution in place that includes live guards, these numbers will demonstrate that your asset loss drops with a security guard safeguarding your business investments.

By doing a simple “before and after” analysis, you can compare the cost of live eyes protecting your premises to the cost of losses incurred before a guard or guards were hired. This is measured in dollars and is a very concrete way to assess ROI.

Second, you can measure ROI by thinking about peace of mind. Knowing a professional security guard is walking about your business and looking out for signs of trouble before it occurs is a reassuring thought. A quality security officer lessens the stress one can often feel trying to manage an enterprise.

Third, reducing asset loss through hiring security guards means more money to invest in building your business instead of replacing stock or machinery. This of course leads to greater potential business profits, since the resources you need to grow your business are not as likely to be tied up in rebuilding after a loss.

IN CONCLUSION

An alarm, CCTV or access control system is necessary and effective for many business security situations. But, it cannot understand human behaviour, while a security guard can. Technology-based security systems monitor actions taken. A live security guard anticipates actions and therefore may respond before a breach or damage occurs.

Use the technology options available to you, in concert with human monitoring and according to your business needs to ensure you have a complete monitoring solution for your premises. An on-site security officer provides that all-important human insight for your building management programs and can pay for itself over time.

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