Browsing Posts published by Monica Flynn

We all have it, that part of us that pretends, either secretly or openly, to be something more or different than our reality. It may be a harmless fantasy personally, but professionally it can have devastating results…. especially in the world of security.

Many security providers look very different on the outside from how they actually operate on the inside. That will affect service at your site and possibly expose you to liability.

Here are five things to look for when screening a security provider so that you know what you see on the outside is what you get on the inside:

1. Compliance Documents: Make sure they have proper licensing, insurance, etc. This separates the professionals from the fly-by-night companies.

2. Employee Handbook: It should be comprehensive and up to date. If they aren’t clear in their communications to their employees they won’t be with you either.

3. Org Chart: Ask to see one so you can see the “depth” of  the organization. This will tell you if this is a one man show and will give you an idea of the support you will have for security at all your locations.

4. Tools: Do the security officers have good equipment and the latest technology? Are the cars new and do they use online reporting? All of this is an indication of where they spend their resources… either supporting officers in the field or filling the company coffers…

5. 24/7 Dispatch: Security is a 24-hour job and they should have dedicated full time employees ON STAFF who are available to answer all complaints and concerns every hour of the day.

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It’s a lesson we learned (or should have learned) from the moment we started to communicate… saying Thank You. Feeling appreciated is a great feeling and remembering to thank people is an important part of business communication.

Often security companies will thank their paying customers but will forget to thank people who gave them bid opportunities, who vend services and quite often, those who are their most important partners… their employees.

At Summit Security we make every effort to say thank you. We appreciate every opportunity, every loyal customer and most of all, every single one of our hard working employees.

So as 2010 comes to a close, we at Summit Security would like to acknowledge that everyone makes a choice. We appreciate all those who made a choice to work with us and those who made a choice to work for us … we are truly grateful.


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A BIG security company means more right? More service, more training, more communication… sometimes it might, and sometimes it can mean the  opposite.

By choosing a national security provider for your locations, you are one of thousands that they service. The size of your sites (translation: how much they bill you) will equal the amount of attention you get. They will risk losing your account over one that brings them more revenue… to be fair, once they reach that size they have no choice.

Truth is, choosing a national security provider may not always be your best fit. Try looking to regional providers like Summit Security with offices in San Diego, the Inland Empire and Sacramento-Roseville. They have gained a rock-solid reputation for reliable service and accountability, which has helped them to grow—yet they still offer the personal attention that you require on your properties.

When it comes to security companies, bigger can be less and smaller can mean more… just make sure the company you pick is the one that fits the best!

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Field Security Supervisors tend to fall into two categories:

  1. Those who “catch”  poor performance
  2. Those who “correct” poor performance

The difference is in how they approach the challenge of supervising multiple security officers at multiple locations. It’s easy to sneak around and catch people making mistakes, but PROPERLY correcting those mistakes is where professional security supervisors shine.

Correcting poor performance at a site is more than pointing out what your officers missed. It’s helping them understand what they need to do so they don’t repeat the same mistakes or create others.

This requires fully supporting your officers in the field: understanding their site, the challenges it presents and offering ideas and guidance to help their performance improve.

Tom Nguyen, Operations Manager at Summit Security, puts it this way: “I believe in the supportive supervisor model because it anticipates and resolves issues more efficiently, and because it offers our clients an added layer of service. We mentor officers into correcting their mistakes, keeping them on track and raising the level of security they provide to the site.”

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What does it take to be a good listener? A pair of ears and the ability to sit quietly? Hmmm… in business, especially in the security industry, it takes a willingness to be an active participant.

Good listening in the security industry means hearing the actual requirements of the client and not just offering a cookie-cutter solution for their security needs. It means adjusting your security service to meet their needs, not just to match them.

Companies like Summit Security go the extra step and develop valuable employee positions, like the Summit Security Director of Client Services, whose primary responsibility is to understand their client expectations, listen to their challenges and concerns and tailor services to meet those exact needs.

Good listening is an art and the security services you receive, if not quite a masterpiece, should at least be a work of art in progress!

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Have you ever opened something and beem surprised at what you found inside? That can be a pleasant experience and sometimes… not so much!

Security operations can mirror both of those experiences. Depending on the circumstances, you can be happy with what you find and sometimes not so happy with the way things are going.

Using online reporting software eliminates the negative part of that scenario…. the bad surprise—because there are no surprises with online reporting. Summit Security keeps operations transparent so that clients, managers and the operations department can log in anytime and view all property data and reporting with secure date- and time-stamped photo, text and audio files. Authorized users can sign on 24/7 from any computer with Internet access and see exactly what the security officer is doing in the field.

Transparent operations ensure the reporting data is available to everyone in real time… no more surprises!

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Parking at your property can be a nightmare unless you put a program in place for enforcement. Security providers like Summit Security have Parking Management programs in place to help identify the parking violators and resolve difficult parking situations once and for all.

Here are five enforcement tips from Summit Security to help your program run more efficiently:

  1. At residential properties, tie permits to units/houses not vehicles
  2. Make all parking in common areas PERMIT ONLY
  3. Do all enforcement  based on a calendar month… not 30 days
  4. Use hanging permits and make sure they are reflective
  5. Allow for exceptions and make sure there is a policy written identifying them

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The #1 commitment security providers make to clients is to provide consistently good security service using  well-managed guards.

But the reality is, security companies with hundreds of employees in the field tend to manage by reacting to poor performers. Just reacting to problems and keeping your fingers crossed about the “other stuff” is the worst form of field management. The client is usually the one bringing the poor performing security officers to the attention of management and high performers go unrecognized.

By using online security incident reporting software like RealtimeDAR, security companies like Summit Security can audit every security officer’s job performance and reporting in REAL TIME. Mistakes can be caught and addressed early before they become an issue for the client. Top performers are recognized for their excellence. The results are PROACTIVE and strengthen the security provider’s #1 commitment to their clients…  managing security guards to provide the best service possible!

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When you were a kid did you dream of growing up and becoming someone special? Truth is, most adult still have the need to be recognized, especially in the workplace. That’s why it’s so important for companies to provide tools for their employees that showcase their accomplishments.

Summit Security is doing just that by providing its security guards with RealtimeDAR online security incident reporting software. Summit’s security officers enter Daily Activity Reports (DARs) into their PDAs from the field, giving them the ability to prove they are completing their rounds, plus they can supplement their observations with photos and audio files for additional verification. How does this showcase their accomplishments? It allows the security guards to prove that they are doing an excellent job.

Every client wants to know that the security guards on their property are satisfied that they are doing the best job possible. RealtimeDAR elevates the integrity of the security incident reports and the security guard’s job performance. It enables every guard to perform like a superstar…now that’s employee satisfaction!

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Why do we insist on taking pictures at every special event in our lives? Because it’s the next best thing to being there. Plus, it gives us a way to share information that we would never be able to explain. (Remember the old proverb… a picture is worth 1000 words.)

Well, thanks to technology like RealtimeDAR, the power of pictures can be used in online security reports by security officers at your properties. Photos with accompanying text and audio files can be created by security officers using hand held PDAs. This paperless reporting solution is the best way to see what your security personnel are observing at your sites.

So don’t limit yourself by insisting on photos only at special events. Make sure your security provider uses a paperless online reporting solution like RealtimeDAR that offers photo, text and audio files and get “the picture” about what is happening at your location!

Go to the Summit Security homepage NOW