Despite the vast array of integrated security solutions on the market, some operators still use more traditional, often separate security elements to police their facilities. Although this is adequate for some applications, there are many modern security situations whereby integrated systems give an obvious advantage and offer a very convincing investment benefit.
Here we look at some common ways in which integrated security can make a tangible improvement to your business:
Traditionally visitors were administered manually, with visitors signing a sheet of paper and the reception staff sorting out badges and contacting the right people within the facility to meet them. This of course makes it labour-intensive to operate and relies on your staff properly managing the process.
An integrated security solution can register visitors automatically, alert your staff they have arrived, print passes and also advise on directions. Visitors can then be monitored using CCTV, movement detection and directed through access control to ensure they don’t stray from their designated location. This is also ideal for auditing visitor numbers so traffic flow (both humans and vehicles) can be catered for efficiently.
Spotting theft, particularly shop lifting in a retail environment, used to be heavily dependent on the security team’s human resources. Whilst CCTV has been used for decades, it required the considerable attention and expertise of the operator. In a busy environment inevitably things would be missed!
Integrated solutions bring a level of automation and reliability that simply isn’t possible with older stand-alone systems. High quality CCTV feeds, in conjunction with the latest surveillance software, can detect abnormal behaviour and alert the security team instantly. When linked to access control they can also ensure a suspect is apprehended before leaving the premises. The integrated systems will also record the images and other data, presenting a searchable record that can be used as evidence for legal proceedings.
Energy saving relies heavily on ensuring resources are only used when required. Intruder detection and CCTV monitoring can be used to automatically switch lighting and heating services on when people are present. It can detect light levels and ensure lighting is only used when required. It can also control heating and cooling systems, ensuring they are automatically switched off when not needed.
This can even extend to savings through people management – for example directing people to a particular lift to ensure capacity is reached and energy savings made as a result. Security is the eyes and ears of building management and this makes it the perfect way to automate smart energy usage decisions.
Modern integrated security can also support customer service by automatically monitoring people movement. For example, in a retail situation the integrated security system can ascertain if a queue is building up at the tills. This can alert the sales team to take steps to reduce customer waiting times.
Another example is a retail bank, which will obviously have stringent security as standard. A modern integrated system can register customer arrival and alert the service team or the relevant specialist that they are waiting. Equally it can be used to monitor customer service times for quality and auditing - which is vital in a highly competitive market!
Modern integrated security will perfectly combine with Time and Attendance recording. When a worker enters a secure facility the personnel database can log this, recording shift working for example. This can be backed up by CCTV evidence in case of a discrepancy or dispute.
Integrated security – adding extra value
Whist there is always a cost associated with a security upgrade, these examples show just some of the real-world benefits from integrating security. In many cases this may simply be the introduction of an overseeing system (such as TDSi’ EXgarde software), which can bring all the existing security component strands together and make intelligent use of all the data.
It’s important to look at the full return on investment from integrated security systems – if your property is worth protecting, it is worth protecting properly!