Being able to remotely monitor the security situation across a whole site or number of locations would have been the stuff of science fiction a few generations ago, but now this is something that all organisations can utilise, often at very reasonable costs. With increasingly intelligent solutions also come new ways of using this technology – here we look at some of the more and less obvious ways to let security technology solve real-world problems.
Tackling employee theft
As well as guarding from outside dangers, integrated security and access control can also guard against those closer to home. Whether it is taking stationary for personal use or high value stock items, theft can be a significant drain on a company’s resources and will knock the confidence and motivation of the organisation and the team that runs it – not least because the shadow of suspicion has a negative impact on morale.
A lack of trust makes it very difficult for a business to operate efficiently, but inevitably the culprit(s) will operate when human eyes are absent. Security systems which monitor access control, CCTV and record employee movements will offer the right assistance in finding the culprit, but perhaps even more importantly, they act as a sophisticated deterrent in the first place. Modern integrated systems are well suited to most workplace environments, including offices, industrial facilities and retail premises (both inside and outside).
The ability of security systems to monitor people movement and restrict access make them perfect for managing a workforce and their productivity – specifically through Time and Attendance recording. Access Control will detect the worker’s entry and exit (through an identification method such as a pass card or biometrics) and can then pass on accurate information to the company database.
Recording shift patterns allows a business to keep tabs of employment costs and to settle any disputes over pay claims or staff absences. CCTV evidence triggered by access control offers proof should it be needed.
An integrated access control system can also be used to ensure systems are up and running once an employee enters for their shift – activating their workstation or presenting them with key information or messages to ensure they maximize performance as soon as they reach their seat.
Improving customer service
In a retail environment people counting software can be used to alert the team when customer queues are building up at tills, ensuring the business can react quickly to improve customer satisfaction and experience.
In a secure environment such as a GP surgery, veterinary practice or hospital where visitors have to register their attendance, this information gives the operations team a clear indication of who is present and how long they have been waiting. With strict SLAs its very helpful to have this information available instantly and to be alerted when there are potential problems. The system can also be used to automatically alert members of staff that they are required to meet clients.
It’s no secret that commercial security and access control systems are a valuable resource for the police and government security services when it comes to reducing and preventing crime. Surveillance systems can offer live feeds and downloads that help to build up a highly accurate picture of crimes, ranging from vandalism to terrorism. Sophisticated automated systems can also alert security teams to suspicious behaviour in real time.
As well as prevention, integrated security is a powerful tool in criminal investigation. CCTV, along with intruder alarms and access control systems can be cross-referenced to collate an accurate picture of a criminal act or attack – which is also perfect for criminal evidence and prosecutions. With straightforward and rapid access to required footage when it’s needed, the job of any investigation team is made easier and is far more likely to be successful.
The real power of modern integrated security and access control is that it can replace and actually exceed the ability of a human operator in sensing issues – be it employee theft, productivity issues, customer service problems or fighting crime.
As the ‘eyes and ears’ of an organisation this technology helps to make operations as secure and efficient as possible, whilst protecting the interests of the business, its employees and customers. It is reliable, incorruptible and dispassionate, offering a wholly objective view of any situation. Undoubtedly, as the technology continues to evolve it will present even more solutions in the future.