Having spent the past few weeks onsite with a number of customers, I thought it would be important to share the vast amount of knowledge that was shared with me from one of our amazing Integration Managers, Moises Padilla. Moises has been in the security industry for over 10 years and the Navy previous to that. He started as a security officer and worked his way up to Manager, Supervisor, Project Manager for Technology and was a senior person for one of the now largest guard companies in North America. His role in technology sourcing led him to be a System Administrator for Trackforce’ Guardtek application and eventually hired by Trackforce to part be part of our Customer Success Team.
Dara: How did you get started in liking and applying technology for the security industry? Did this originate when you were with the Navy?
Moises: No, I was always fascinated with how the things worked and made independent studies in a variety of fields. Computation and Communications just happen to be two subjects that lead me to become an Electronic Warfare Technician in the Navy. After getting out of the Navy, I went back to college as a chemistry major. I wanted to find a job that would not tire me out and provide time for study. I found a job as a security guard. After a few years in security, I figured I had a good amount of experience, I should try to move up the ladder a bit…I was a Post Commander within a few months, a director a few more months later, up and up…eventually, I reached the corporate level helping the whole company move further into the digital age.
Dara: In your opinion, what are some of the unique things about the guard service industry that makes sense to deploy an application like Guardtek from Trackforce?
Moises: The security industry has long been overdue for a major evolution. Many companies still operate in the same manner they did decades ago: with pen and paper.
Of course, the problems with paper reporting are many. Firstly, you must take more time to train your officers to do basic things like write. Grammar, Penmanship, sentence structure; it’s important to know that your officers can collect this important information correctly, but it’s equally important to translate it into intelligible and meaningful reports. After all, if you can’t read or understand it, what good will it do you or your client?
Next, the logistics of collecting and storing these reports can be a nightmare. Seriously, if you were to add up all the time and equipment used in this process, as simple and intuitive as it may seem, you would see that it is not very cost effective.
However, the real company killer is the delay. If you don’t know what’s going on in the field, then you cannot respond effectively. Late response or no response equals unhappy clients; unhappy clients soon become ex-clients.
This is where systems like Trackforce become invaluable. Everything comes through in real time, so you can get a clear view of your entire operation at any given moment, or automate reports and let the information come to you. The many options allow you to customize each site to the client’s needs with built-in instructions and Post Orders so you can spend less time training and more time doing. Couple this with the low cost of use and you can see why more and more companies, and their clients, are looking for solutions like ours. It’s miles ahead of how we operated previously.
Dara: When you were a user and helped in sourcing new technology – did you look at other applications and why did you end up selecting Trackforce?
Moises: As a national company, we used lots of different solutions and looked at much more. Most of them were little better than paper reports as you still had to collect them from the field. Some were horrendous and littered with operational flaws; they would break, or have a short battery life, or had many pieces and were temperamental, or difficult to operate, or can be easily faked or circumvented, or an awkward procedure had to be followed to make them work, or it simply did not work as intended.
GuardTek was one of the first systems that had a variety of tools that worked for any situation. You could use a computer at one site or a mobile device at another, or both on the same location managed remotely, or on-site, through a single web-based platform. Due to the large range of options in both the software and hardware, it was one of the first solutions we could actually deploy on a mass scale to all of our branches which can be managed locally or centrally.
I remember the first time I used an m-Post device, then known as “TrackIn”, I wrote in my review of this tech, “This is the future of security operations.”
Dara: A lot of our customers discover the return on investment in less than 3 months with our application. What were some of the benefits and ROI from when you were doing things manually and then switching to an application?
Moises: Time. Coordinating people, shifts, posts, paperwork, clients, training, etc., etc.; there are so many things to do, so many aspects that need to be handled for your operational machine to function. So often, there’s a feeling of always being behind, always feeling reactive and not proactive.
GuardTek can send you notifications in real time, so you can handle things as they occur, before they become larger issues. You need to make a change on a post or a dozen, you simply log in on your computer and make those changes in minutes, instead of having to go to the site or calling a bunch of people.
“Time is money”, as they say, but GuardTek takes it a step further; as it allows you to concentrate on what needs to get done, by mitigating the need to decipher what is going on. That’s one aspect many people forget about unless you are familiar with the post, you often need to first take some to simply understand what is going on and/or what the client expects. This system allows management to review the site in minutes, by reviewing the logbook and the settings in general and make quick and effective decisions on how to proceed. Then make changes promptly to ensure the issues do not continue to happen. Again, it’s a switch from being reactive, to proactive. Of course, this saves money, but it also helps with management retention. People are happier when you are not constantly stressed. So, this in-turn saves more money. It’s hard to put a price on this, but for me, it’s invaluable.
However, we also need to take into account the sales aspect. Not only is this an operational tool, but a sales and promotional tool as well. Part of my job was to demonstrate the system to potential clients, GuardTek was often pointed at as the deciding factor for winning the bid. Potential clients loved the idea that we can better monitor and communicate with our officers, but that they too could be given access to do the same.
By the way, my previous company did not call it GuardTek, we had a proprietary name for it and we made some custom changes to it. We also had custom brochures and promotional material, so it was quite easy to promote it as “our” solution. This is something Trackforce has made even easier to do in recent years.
To be continued…
Trackforce continues to be the leading provider of Security Operations software in the Guard service industry and end user market. Moises is just one of many subject matter experts and former users of our system that work with our customers to a level of training and support that is unparalleled. The best practices and knowledge they bring to the table are reflected in deployments that are on time and under budget.
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