EXTRACT FROM: Security Services and Risk Management
By Allyson Koekhoven
The private security sector in South Africa employs more than 445 000 people in more than 9 300 registered security businesses. With such large numbers of both certified and non-certified security officers, armed with varying skill levels, it’s imperative that companies employ some form of support and management to ensure that
the security officers are physically protected and effectively protecting the assets they’re employed to safeguard.
Bernard Slabbert, CEO of Bloodhound Technologies, says it’s important to understand the value of data derived from guard management solutions. Criteria for best practice in guarding support and management solutions vary, depending on the environment in which they operate. He adds that in the past, systems were in place to merely track the movements of the guards, whereas now they have evolved into solutions that monitor specific activities against predetermined tasks and checklists. This value-added element allows clients to ensure the service they’re paying for is being delivered.
He continues that clients need to receive measurable criteria on the performance of their service providers. Bloodhound’s flagship product, Observer, produces the industry productivity indexes from all the information received from more than 2 500 sites throughout South Africa. The information contained in these indexes are analysed and used as a litmus test for the company’s clients to check their site performance against that of other service providers.
Not only can these indexes be used as benchmarks to effectively measure guarding service providers among themselves, but it also puts pressure on service providers to up their game and perform at optimum levels. He says that this is particularly relevant where larger national companies pay for the services of more than one service provider.
While information derived from guard patrol monitoring systems was used as a method of enforcement in the past, he believes that it is now used to promote and incentivise better performance by bringing increased efficiencies to site.
Bloodhound’s mobile Rover device is carried by guarding personnel and contains a specific set of instructions for the individual guard and site. Based on GSM and active RFID technology, this device can be used indoors and outdoors and relays data in real time. The device is linked to the company’s Observer software to provide accurate and unobtrusive micro-location visibility.
Because tracking is often related to assets rather than locations, the system allows users to programme the necessary checks and audits associated with that asset. These parameters could include whether the item is operational or not and whether parts of it are missing.
Each asset has an RFID tag or beacon associated with it. When the security officer is within range of this beacon or tag, the Rover will display a list of actions to be followed by him. A specific time period will be allocated to each task and if the time period is exceeded, an exception report will be sent to management or the control room. If the security officer enters a negative response to a query, the exception will be escalated to a specific department, for example if the asset is not functioning, the maintenance department will be alerted.