John is a supervisor of a mid-sized security company in the UK. His company employs over 50 security guards across five different domains. For the past three months, John has been receiving multiple quote requests from clients amid rising incidents of theft and vandalism.
However, there is a problem. John’s company still uses manual pen and paper-based methods for security guard scheduling. These traditional methods are time-consuming and prone to human errors. At a time when there is a surge in business, John is struggling to manage shift requests appropriately.
Thanks to Elon, John’s university fellow and a tech-savvy HR professional, who suggested a shift scheduling system. This cloud-based solution enables supervisors to easily create, update, and manage shifts for security guards from a single dashboard. With this system, John improved accuracy in shift scheduling and increased client coverage and satisfaction.
This comprehensive guide will discuss the security guard scheduling system in detail, describe some of its key features, and explain its key benefits for UK-based security businesses.
So, let’s dive in!
What is Security Guard Scheduling?
Workforce management in the security industry is entirely different from other sectors. Security guards usually don’t have a fixed workplace or work hours. Instead, they keep changing their timings and locations according to the client’s requirements.
For instance, a security guard working at the Tower of London might be deployed in Westminster the next day. Similarly, their schedule might also change. Security guard scheduling, therefore, becomes a critical part of HR operations. Supervisors must be proactive and vigilant when assigning shifts and creating schedules for their security staff.
Types of Security Guard Scheduling Techniques
There are two ways to create shift schedules: Manual and automated. In manual scheduling, supervisors rely on paper sheets and pens to create schedules. It usually takes more time, and the risk of discrepancies is also very high.
The second method is automated scheduling, which is more reliable and accurate. Supervisors can create shifts using cloud-based software and make corrections quickly. All the information about timings, client needs, and the expertise of security guards is available on a single dashboard. The admin can pick the right person from the list, select work hours, and click the assign button to complete the scheduling process.
The Problem with Manual Scheduling
Manual scheduling has been operational in the security industry for years. Managers analyze project requirements in detail and then choose suitable guards matching criteria. Next, they would create schedules on sheets using pen and share them with assignees by hand.
This process was very hectic and time-consuming. And the possibility of human error or inconsistencies couldn’t be ignored. A slight mistake could compromise the whole team’s performance and badly affect the company’s overall reputation.
Moreover, scheduling a large workforce is never easy. Creating schedules for a team of 50+ security guards require ample time and energy for the next week. There are logistics issues as well. Staff members might have to travel a long distance to collect schedules from the control room. Even if you use WhatsApp or Email, there’s always a risk of miscommunication and data security.
Automated Scheduling, The Best Solution
Cloud-based security guard scheduling software is custom-built to address scheduling issues security companies face. On the one hand, this cloud-based system empowers supervisors to schedule shifts seamlessly in minutes. On the other hand, security officers can view weekly/monthly schedules and stay informed of the latest updates.
Below are the key benefits of using an automated security guard scheduling system to help managers stay ahead and achieve long-term sustainability.
1: Create Schedules Anytime, Anywhere
Remote work is the new normal in today’s digital era. As a supervisor, you often prefer working from home when you can’t come to the office. However, you must ensure remote work doesn’t affect your performance and that you complete your to-do list on time.
Here comes the power of the cloud that makes things accessible in just a few clicks. By sitting at your home, you can connect your device to the internet and open the security guard scheduling software dashboard. The dashboard provides complete information about your clients, service areas, security guards, and ongoing projects.
Hence, you can create schedules remotely and assign shifts anytime in minutes.
2: Seamless Scheduling in Just a Few Clicks
Automated scheduling software is a centralized platform where critical data is confined to one place. Here, you can see how many security guards are currently available, their expertise, and previous track record. Similarly, you can check details of upcoming shifts like service area location, time, data, etc.
Eventually, you can create weekly/monthly schedules in advance by carefully reviewing the client’s requirements. The user-friendly interface makes scheduling seamless and more convenient. Plus, there is no or very little chance of error since everything is automated.
Therefore, the result is accuracy in security shift management in the UK with improved operational efficiency.
3: Robust Workforce Planning for Better Performance
Advanced workforce planning is crucial to deliver impeccable results, particularly in the security industry. A manager’s primary responsibility is to plan in advance for effective implementation. Effective planning starts with real-time data, which comes from automated scheduling software.
The cloud-based solution provides supervisors with actionable insights about security guards. The dashboard displays important information like upcoming and ongoing shifts within a specific period, alerts and notifications, and activity logs. You can stay updated on where your security guards are currently deployed, track their work hours, and calculate their wages instantly.
That means an automated system serves as a planning assistant for key stakeholders and assists them in decision-making.
4: Happy Customers, High Profitability
Customers demand impeccable results. From a security perspective, they ask for vigilant protection and proactive response against potential security threats. This is what security guards are deployed for, and scheduling software can help them achieve this goal.
The power of automation makes cloud-based security guard scheduling systems error-free, accurate, and reliable. When everything is automated, the possibility of error or discrepancy is minimal. Security guards have schedules for the coming weeks or months. They have enough time to plan their shifts and ensure a timely presence on the client site.
As a result, security companies can achieve optimal client coverage and exceed their clients’ expectations.
Selecting an Optimal Scheduling Software: 5 Things to Consider
The selection of a security guard scheduling system is equally important. Every system is different and offers unique benefits. It depends on the consumer needs and organizational structure of a security company.
Below are five things every manager must consider to selecting the best solution and streamlining guard scheduling in the UK:
UI is the most significant factor of an automated solution. Make sure your scheduling software has a user-friendly and interactive interface. It would make shift scheduling much more accessible and result in better performance.
Ease of Access:
Cloud-based access is a must-have for any solution. Always choose a cloud-based guard scheduling platform that offers easy access without any time, place, or device restrictions.
Flexible pricing is another critical consideration when choosing an automated solution. Subscribe to a plan that meets your organizational needs and upgrade to the next plan as your needs grow.
Like ease of access, reporting is also key to success. As a manager, you can use the reporting feature of scheduling software to maintain communication and make informed decisions in the future.
The last aspect to consider is scalability, which refers to the ease of upgrading system functionality with time. Select a scalable system that can be upgraded as your workforce expands.
Security guard scheduling refers to robust workforce planning for improved performance. It involves creating shift schedules in advance to keep security operations well-organized and systematic.
The best way to schedule shifts is to use an automated solution that offers exclusive benefits like accessibility, accuracy, and reliability in results. Besides, the system keeps managers updated on ongoing and pending shifts and helps them make informed decisions when evaluating team performance.
Consequently, the cloud-based security guard scheduling system eliminates errors or discrepancies and satisfies clients, security officers, and managers happily and satisfied.