The last in this three-part series on the value of security data will review Tour Management systems. Many security professionals have had some experience with Tour Compliance systems, often comprised of pipes and buttons and used to simply monitor that a security officer’s “rounds” or tours are completed as scheduled. The more advanced systems enable deliberate scheduling of security officer rounds from one checkpoint to the next, increasing the officers’ visibility and acting as a force multiplier.

Tour Management systems can be even more future-focused with the utilization of a mobile device, opening the door to automated instructions to the security officers and questions for security officers to answer at each checkpoint in real time. This enables the addition of data collection capabilities to Tour Compliance systems, and thus adds the “data collector” function to the role of the security officer. 

The result is two core benefits. The expanded security officer’s role, made possible by incorporation of this technology, increases the value and ROI of an organization’s security investments. And, the data that officers collect in their expanded roles provides significant value of its own by enabling analysis and program adjustments to mitigate identified risks and improve security strategy.

All checkpoints typically have questions associated with them, and more advanced Tour Management systems allow for different customer-configured question sets at various checkpoint types such as entrances, escalators and emergency callboxes. This data can be easily analyzed through simple reports to identify operational risks. These risks might include policy issues, such as specific doors repeatedly being left unlocked; safety issues, such as recurring hazards at specific escalators; or maintenance needs, such as inoperative callboxes.

A security officer may be tasked with performing daily tours of a facility and checking fire extinguisher inspection dates on a monthly basis. Tour Management systems enable the daily tours to include checkpoints near fire extinguishers that prompt the security officers on a monthly basis to enter the fire extinguisher’s inspection date, essentially combining two tasks and providing additional value to the existing security service. To take that a step further, a report can then display fire extinguishers sorted by inspection date. These additional functions increase efficiency, simplify post orders, enhance compliance, and reduce costs.

As an additional example, security officers may also be tasked with monitoring temperature readings in storage containers, in addition to their daily tours. Checkpoints at these assets can be configured to prompt for temperature, and then prompt with instructions and notify key personnel if temperatures are outside of a pre-configured range. Reports can also be created to identify faulty thermostats based on historical data from past rounds.

When used in this capacity, Tour Management systems are automating post orders; initially to ensure completion of assigned tasks, but ultimately producing a pool of data from which trends are identified and concerns rectified. The end result is an optimized security officer force and, in turn, a more efficient security program.

There are many technology solutions available to enhance and support the services provided by security officers. When the solutions are selected to meet the specific needs of a security program, and the intelligence gained is utilized to fuel strategy, the return on security investment is compounded and safer and more secure environments are created.