Although most security companies have transitioned to incident reporting software, many small outfits and in-house departments still use traditional document-based procedures. With that in mind, let’s consider some of the problems that a paper-based incident management system can have.
Paper-Based Systems Have a Higher TCO
It’s common to associate new technology with higher expenses, but the truth is that using paper documents actually increases the total cost to operate for security guard management. Canadian security businesses spend more than $20 per hour on file management, and that cost can be reduced by 50 percent or more by creating and managing documents electronically.
Hand-Written Documents Lack Automatic Time, Data and Location Stamps
Incident reporting software automatically stamps documents as they’re created. If you rely on security guards to add that information, then you run the risk of omissions and estimates.
Paper Incident Reports Can Be Stolen or Edited
If an incident management system includes only one copy of a report, then it’s very easy for that report to be stolen or manipulated. If there’s neglect or criminal intent involved in the creation or editing of a document, it can be impossible to know when that activity occurred and by whom. An electronic security guard management approach, on the other hand, associates reports with the guards who created them, and while security breaches are still possible, they require a much higher level of technical expertise.
Paper Forms Are Prone to Other Errors and Bad Handwriting
Perhaps the biggest issue with a manual incident management system is that not every security guard will have strong handwriting skills. Some reports will be difficult or even impossible to read. It’s easier to introduce errors when writing by hand, and guards may tend to omit important details as they seek to be as concise as possible.
No Easy Way to Attach Photos and Drawings
The more information a report contains, the more useful it is. Mobile security guard management systems often have tools that allow for the attaching of other documents. Documents can be captured as images or scanned, and drawings can be captured as images or drawn by hand using a tablet and stylus.
Trends Are More Difficult to Identify
Most security companies and departments that create incident reports by hand do so because they don’t have incident reporting software or that software is very basic. In other words, file documents are filed rather than entered by hand into a computerized system, and that means that you cannot take advantage of modern technologies to identify trends in incident type, location and so forth.