Time to move away from manual security guard scheduling

You say you dread two tasks each week: putting together the security guard’s schedule and totaling up the hours for payroll. Both tasks take you hours and there is always at least one mistake. Odds are you are still doing both tasks manually. The term “manually” doesn’t always mean you are using pencil and paper to accomplish these tasks.

You may think you are “in” with the modern business world. You do your security guards work schedule on a spreadsheet you got off the Microsoft Word website. Security patrols report in via text message to your smart phone so who needs a dispatcher? Then they e-mail you shift schedule payroll sheet at the end of the week. All you have to do check their hours against your call log; plug the data into Quick Books; and then, print your payroll checks. In today’s modern business world this is doing everything “manually”.

This may have worked when you only had to schedule ten security guard shifts at seven posts. Today you are no longer a “mom and pop” start-up company. You’ve got 85 employees working 2000 + hours at posts scattered all over town. It takes time to manage this many people doing this much work. Remember that time is money. Doing all these tasks takes a lot of time. It’s time you could be spending on more important things like supervision or client contact. Too many small businesses solve this problem by hiring another employee for the office. They keep doing all these tasks manually but add to the expense of doing it. That’s money off their bottom line.

Doing scheduling and payroll manually creates the overhead costs that cause many small businesses to fail. Remember that you are competing with the big boys who rely on volume to turn a profit. They can afford to bid a contract with only a 4% net profit. You can’t.

It’s time to look into a security guard management software package. They are integrated programs that do all these tasks for you. Security officer scheduling today is much more than a fill-in the blank spreadsheet. Scheduling software packages are integrated programs that do everything. They can manage huge numbers of workers while being as personal as the individual employee’s cell phone. While some of them are expensive there are others that are very affordable for the small businessman. Snap Schedule is as inexpensive as $450 “off the shelf.” Others like Valiant are extremely expensive.

What you have to consider is the cost of your overhead. A good payroll clerk will cost you about $30,000 per year in wages, benefits and taxes. You will have to dedicate that employee to payroll while someone else plans the security guard’s shifts. That’s roughly 3% an hour extra you will have to charge on those 2000 hpw of billable time you have under contract. The Snap Schedule software price starts as low as $450 for a single computer license. That will only add .043% per hour to your yearly overhead. It could be the difference between your walking away with new business; or, watching the big boys win again. The decision to move away from manual should be a no-brainer.