Robots: Collaboration is Not Far Away

 

robots will be collaborators with humans

Robots and automation have changed many industries around the world. Some might claim that those changes are not always for the better. Discussions about using robots in an industry that requires humans can make people nervous. They begin to fear for their jobs. Those that work in the security industry are no different.

But SecurityMagazine.com explains that it doesn’t have to be that way.

Let’s Work Together

In an article entitled, Collaborative Robots: Working Together for the Better, author Steve Rainharz writes, “robots developing human attributes and becoming more intelligent doesn’t mean they’re going to take all of our jobs.” Instead, he argues that as robots become more intelligent and capable, we will actually collaborate with them.

In fact, it’s happening now and the expectation is that our partnership with smart machines will only grow. Experts predict that the global market for these types of mechanisms will be worth $95 billion over the next six years.

Real World Examples

Amazon has taken the lead in this area. They are using some 100,000 robots to lift and stack inventory in their warehouses around the world. But they have also added 80,000 warehouse workers! The humans and the machines are collaborating well in this environment.

Other industries where they are making an impact include healthcare, agriculture, construction and security.

Collaborative Robots in Security

The use of robots in the security sector should not be viewed as a threat but rather an opportunity. These machines will free up security personnel to focus on more high-level tasks. They can fill security voids and monitor vast spaces such as those on campuses more efficiently.

Security robots can already provide an unbiased, comprehensive view of any environment. But with two-way radio and video capability, they will be to alert a command center of potential threats. Thus, the machine will directly collaborate with humans.

The Bottom Line

The use of security robots will grow over the next decade. The perceived threat they pose to the jobs of security workers will diminish as they prove their value. Collaboration in the security sector may not occur right away, but it’s just a matter of time before humans and smart machines are working together.

If you have questions or security concerns, call American Security Force at 855-722-8585.

Security Companies: Consolidated Corporations Are Not Always the Best Solution

Security guard monitoring screens for security companies..There are thousands of security companies across the country.  Does their size make a difference when it comes to their ability to deliver services?

This week, SecurityInfoWatch.com reports on the merger of two large security firms. The new company will be one of the largest security corporations in the nation. On the surface, one might think that this larger company is better positioned to meet any security need. But the merger raises questions about the perceived advantages of large corporations in our industry. Can they really supply better security on a day-to-day basis?

There is a difference between large security corporations and private security companies.  Let’s explore them here.

Security Companies are More Nimble

Security companies have the advantage of being nimble over large corporations. They can switch directions quickly when a customer’s needs change.  They have the ability to adjust on the fly when it’s needed.   Because of the corporate structure and its layers of middle-management decision-making, larger firms often don’t have this ability.

Individualized Service

Large corporations and security companies offer similar services. To be cost-effective, though, corporations often apply a cookie-cutter process to working with customers.  It saves time and money.

On the other hand, non-corporate security companies can bring a personal touch to their services. They can take time to understand the individualized needs of each customer and ensure that there is a plan in place to meet each of their needs. They can afford to be more comprehensive in their approach.

More Overhead = Expensive

Businesses that consolidate often put forward the idea that their larger size can now provide a better service to their customers. The truth, however, is that consolidated corporations have more overhead in the form of additional offices, equipment and payroll. Because of that, consolidated corporations are often more expensive when compared to their competition that supply the same services.

For the day-to-day protection of your property or business, a corporation headquartered in another city holds no advantage. Non-corporate security companies are more nimble, offer a more individualized service and are less expensive. In fact, large corporations may not even work with many small businesses because the revenue potential is too small.

If you’re looking for a security solution based in Southern California, call American Security Force today at 877-722-8585 to learn about the advantages of working with us.

Loss Prevention Services

a man stealing at a grocery store where a loss prevention program is needed

One of the more necessary services that American Security Forces offers is our Loss Prevention Program.

Here’s why: Fortune.com reports that retail businesses have lost over $32 billion due to shoplifting and employee theft!

A clerk taking a pack of cigarettes or a shoplifter walking out with a book doesn’t seem like it would have that big of an impact. But when those small crimes happen across millions of businesses throughout the country, it adds up quick. Unfortunately, theft is happening everywhere and not just to retail businesses, either.

Theft is Everywhere

The sad fact is that if your company has employees and you keep some type of inventory, the chances are high that you have experienced theft. From office supplies to larger items such as appliances or machinery, employee theft and fraud is rampant.

A 2014 article by InCorp.com reports that businesses lose 5% of their revenue to fraud every year and that employee theft reaches an estimated $50 billion annually!

In addition, 75% of all employees have admitted to stealing at least once from an employer. Again, it doesn’t sound like much. But the impact of those thefts can be disastrous to businesses. One-third of all companies that filed for bankruptcy report the cause as employee theft.

The Fix: A Loss Prevention Program

There are a number of security measures a business can take to reduce theft and fraud. Perhaps the most important, though, is implementing a loss prevention program that is designed for the needs of your business.

A loss prevention program will look at your business and identify areas of opportunity for thieves. Then, the program will identify solutions. It may also identify any operational errors within the business that could lead to losses.

American Security Force can develop a program and put a system in place to reduce theft and fraud. Then we can create a loss prevention team to help manage that program internally.

If you suspect your business is suffering from shoplifting, employee theft or fraud, call American Security Force at 877-722-8585 today to learn how we develop loss prevention plans for our clients.

Rural Schools & Security Challenges

phot os the exterior of a school, one of many rural schools in existenceRural areas typically have a special beauty all their own. In these places we get to experience beautiful landscapes of fields, forests, creeks, rolling hills or mountains. Living in these communities also has some advantages over cities. They are not as crowded, less congested, no traffic, less crime and less daily stress.  If you’re lucky enough to send your kids to rural schools, they will get to know all of their classmates.

The Challenges of Rural Life

The very qualities that make rural living attractive, being far from urban centers, also presents challenges to residents. For example, you won’t find water or sewer service in the country. Those residents are just too far from a city to get those services.

Many areas don’t have their own police or fire departments, either. Rural residents tend to live in townships, away from even the smallest of cities. Too often, rural townships don’t can’t support police or fire services so the depend on the county to supply them. Because of this fact, first responders are forced to travel miles, or tens-of-miles, when there is an emergency.

With the increased terror threat, and the on-going fear of school shootings, there is a growing concern over the security of rural schools and the response times to them if an event occurs.

How Rural Schools Can Prepare

This week, SecurityInfoWatch.com reports on how one rural district is dealing with this fear. Weld County School District Re-3J in Colorado put into place a technological solution: a Rapid Emergency Response System (RERS). The system works by pulling one of the pull-levers located around the school. It alerts police so they can respond as fast as possible. Only when an intruder or an active-shooter threatens the school should the system be activated.

While this system may alert police faster, it still doesn’t change the fact the school is located in a remote area and those at the school will have to wait for first responders to arrive.

There is one solution that puts help at the school right away and may even deter would-be threats. That solution is a security officer. Having security on-site will often result in intruders simply leaving the school.

In the event that an active shooter situation develops, security guards will be able to respond immediately and provide aid. With technology solutions and body cameras, the school’s principle, district superintendent and even nearby police can receive real-time reports and video of the situation. This will allow stakeholders and first responders to have up-to-the-second information to use when making decisions.

On-site security is an efficient and effective way to deter crime and respond to attacks. In rural areas where help could be 10, 20 or 30 miles away, having an officer on the scene could save lives.

If you would like to know more about how American Security Force can help secure your school, call us at 877-722-8585.

Private Security is Bolstering Campus Police Departments

A photo of a college campus where private security is being added.As security concerns increase after the terror attacks in Paris, more and more colleges and universities are looking to private security as a cost-effective way to bolster their existing campus police forces.

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, Virginia is among them. SecurityMagazine.com reports that VCU has decided to expand its partnership with a private security firm. That company provides nightly patrols on and around campus while also providing highly visible support to campus police. The private officers even patrol campus on bicycles.

Private Security is Cost-Effective

Security Magazine explains that, “By outsourcing some of its policing needs…VCU is increasing a security presence and finding success within its challenging budgetary landscape.” The university will save about $30,000 each year.

Private security is cost effective because providing security services is their core competency. It’s what they do. These companies understand how to control the costs for their services. Colleges and universities are large institutions focused on education, not security. Because of that, they deal with over time and limited staff concerns that hamper their ability to provide adequate security. Private firms do not.

Expertise

As noted above, the mission of a college or university is to educate, while private security’s mission is to provide security. Thus, private security firms focus on those services. If they want to stay competitive, they are constantly looking for ways to improve. Thus, private firms bring a level of expertise with them when hired. It’s what they do, and they know how to do it right.

Flexibility

Private security companies can work when and where a campus needs them, without the concern of staffing an unpopular event or paying overtime. Colleges and universities can bring in extra security for special events and then reduce the level of service over holidays, for example, when students are not on campus.

High Tech Solutions

Advanced security solution providers such as American Security Force bring to the table the latest technological solutions to their security services. Private security makes this technology available to campuses without them having to research it, lay out the funds to purchase it, or train personnel to get them up to speed on it.

With the growing concern of domestic terrorism, colleges and universities will continue to turn to private companies such as American Security Force to supplement their campus police teams.

If you would like more information about how American Security Force can heighten the level of your campus security, call us at 877-722-8585.

Source:
http://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/86809-outsourcing-safety-and-security

Terrorism is on the Rise: Are You Ready?

A graphic that reads Are You Ready for terrorism?

The latest terrorism news coming out of Paris, France today is that two are dead and seven have been arrested after a seven-hour raid by French Authorities. The raid comes just days after ISIS operatives attacked multiple targets in the city on Friday November 13. Those attacks killed 129 people and wounded 345.

Sadly, terror is on the rise in Europe, and ISIS has promised that the United States will be hit, as well.

It is not just the job of local, county and state governments to prepare for a terror attack. Individuals should, as well.

Are You Ready if Terrorism Strikes Your City?

George Kline, a former member of the NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force, told Westchester.News12.com that people should be aware of their surroundings. No matter what public space you might be in, take note of exits so you will have a way out if something happens. Also learn where the alarms are so in the event of an emergency, you can use them to get help.

Public transportation is a special challenge, because of the confined space. But Kline recommends that riders be vigilant and aware of those around you. The best place to sit is near exit or a bathroom, if there is one. If individuals notice suspicious behavior, they should report it.

There are multiple resources available to help citizens be ready. The Red Cross suggests making a disaster plan with your family, and lists things you can do if an attack occurs. Safety.com details the steps you need to create an evacuation plan from your home after a terror strike. Ready.gov has multiple resources for you and your family to prepare for a wide array of emergencies.

Being personally prepared is wise, because officials admit that keeping U.S. cities safe will be a challenge. Former assistant FBI Director Ron Hosko tells CBS News, “There are simply not enough police, law enforcement — on duty, off duty, hired security — to cover every potential gathering spot where Americans enjoy their liberty.”

Here in Southern California, emergency plans call for involving private security.   Deputy police chief Michael Downing with the LAPD says, “There’s 45,000 private security guards in the Los Angeles area alone, there’s 10,000 LAPD,” he says. “When you combine that with community members that are interested as well, we have some good leverage.”

Hopefully, that plan will never need to be implemented. But in the event of such an emergency, American Security Force is ready and proud to help.

If you ever have questions about security for your property or business, please call us at 877-722-8585.

 

Sources:

http://westchester.news12.com/news/expert-gives-tips-to-stay-safe-in-wake-of-terror-attacks-1.11135747

http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/terrorism

http://www.safety.com/articles/evacuating-your-home-during-terrorist-attack

http://www.ready.gov

http://www.securityinfowatch.com/news/12140086/7-arrested-in-paris-terrorism-raid-that-leaves-two-dead

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-challenge-of-keeping-u-s-cities-safe-from-terror-attacks/

Security Service That’s A Cut Above

security guard talking on a radio as he delivers our security serviceAmerican Security Force Security is dedicated to providing the best possible security service to our customers. To help make that a reality, we ensure that our guards receive the best training possible.

The State of California has mandated stringent training standards for security guards in the state. We go further. Each of our officers receives a combination of classroom instruction and on-the-job training.

This instruction ensures a higher level of protection to you and it goes above and beyond what other security companies can provide. In fact, we believe our team is of a higher quality. That can be seen by the fact that we pay our officers above industry standards. We’re proud to do this and it has an added benefit to our you: Paying our team well reduces turnover and offers stability for the officers at your site.

Your Action Plan: Part of our Security Service

The State of California also mandates businesses to have on file an Emergency Action Plan. Among other things, the plan defines escape routes employees should take in the event of an emergency, procedures for employees who need to remain behind, post-evacuation procedures, and identifies rescue and medical roles.

When assigned to your business, our Security Officers are trained to learn the layout of your workplace and how to implement your emergency action plans. They coordinate with on-site and outside emergency personnel to direct the safe and orderly evacuation of customers and employees to emergency exits, evacuation routes, and assembly areas during an earthquake, fire or active shooter situation. American Security force officers are also trained to report injury information to emergency responders and shut down critical operations of your business, if needed.

Utility Management

In addition to providing traditional security services, our guards are also trained to know the location of your utility generation and distribution systems within your facility. This is to support operational reliability and to also enable security officers to provide assistance during emergency response procedures. The utilities that our officers will become familiar with include water main and gas shut off valves, fire risers, electrical panels and alarm systems. Our security officers are also trained to inspect and operate fire extinguishers and other fire protection devices.

Customer Service

American Security Force officers are well-trained to provide the highest level of customer service. We believe that being friendly, helpful and approachable is often the best deterrent to criminal and suspicious activity.

We also believe that the way our officers look has much to do with how they are perceived. Most security companies provide their teams with dark-colored uniforms and bulky equipment belts. This makes for an intimidating, hostile and non-approachable appearance.

Our Security Officers, on the hand, wear light blue shirts without their equipment being visible. Customers are much more at ease and our officers find it easier to communicate with them.

The light-blue uniforms also call attention to the presence of our officers. Customers are more at ease, because they are consciously aware that their business is being monitored and protected.

These facets of our service take a backseat to our traditional security services. However, they are important features that our officers take with them when they are at a customer’s site. They help deliver added value to our customers and help enable us to provide a superior level of security service.

Going Green: Better Security for our Customers

A man pointing to a sign that reads Go GreenGoing green.  In recent years, American Security Force has made the decision to “Go Green.” We think it’s the right thing to do. The dense population that Southern California has impacts the environment, and we’re proud to do our part to leave a smaller carbon footprint.

Going green also has an added business benefit that saves us money, and allows us to reinvest in our security solutions.

We’ve made changes to three operational areas and each has had a profound impact on our business.

Going Green Means Paper Reduction

Utilizing cloud-based technology has enabled American Security Force to reduce its paper count by 80% over the past year. That is a huge savings to our company.

In the field, our security guards no longer use paper for reports and records, either. All security reporting and record keeping is now made through smart phone applications. This is not only a cost savings, but it also provides better service to our customers. Our online system provides you with instant, organized access to records produced on-site and it eliminates the need for traditional paper-based forms.

Electricity Reduction

Being a cloud-based business has also reduced the amount of electricity we consume. Going to the cloud enabled us to reduce the number of machines and technology that drew power in our office by 50%. In addition, the cloud applications we use have allowed us to remotely manage our workforce and field operations. As a result of these changes, we reduced our power usage by a whopping 60 percent!

Carbon Reduction

American Security Force has also transitioned to a fleet of electric and hybrid vehicles and electric security golf carts. This has resulted in lower CO2 emissions and has greatly reduced our dependence on fossil fuels. The increased fuel economy of our vehicles means we spend less on gasoline, which provides us with a further savings.

Going Green has been transformative for our business. It has helped us become more environmentally aware as an organization and allowed us to take responsible action as it relates to our carbon footprint. The added bonus to going green has been the enhanced services through our cloud-based features and the paper and energy cost savings. These savings have been reinvested back into our business and have allowed us to continue to offer better security solutions for our customers as we move forward.

Emergency Preparedness: Security During Disasters

a photo of a sign that reads Emergency Preparedness ChecklistLast week’s brush with Hurricane Joaquin raises questions concerning emergency preparedness and business continuity planning. While we don’t see many hurricanes in Southern California, we have experienced our share of natural disasters here in the form of earthquakes, wildfires and mudslides. Businesses need to be ready for these events, and others such as pandemics or terrorist acts, by creating preparedness and continuity plans.

Emergency Preparedness Planning

Emergency preparedness and business continuity plans simply state the details of how a company will react if a disaster hits, and how it will continue to carry out its functions. Ready.gov has tools to help any business create a plan.

At American Security Force, we take the possibility of an emergency seriously. We know how bad behavior can escalate during a disaster and we understand that the need for security and protection services increases at that time, as well. To that end, we have developed an emergency plan that ensures our ability to supply security to our customers, no matter what the event might be.

Here are a few elements of our plan.

Key Component Availability

We’ve examined our operations and have identified key components necessary to supplying security services. Then we built in redundancies for those components. Doing so ensures that we will be able to provide reliable protection services despite the disaster, even if it is a power outage.

Our Cloud Advantage

Being a cloud-based business means American Security Force will still be able to provide protection for our clients, no matter what form the disaster takes. Working remotely and through the cloud, we can continue to manage our business and on-site security personnel from any of our branch offices. An added bonus for our clients is that their data is stored in the cloud and is always backed-up and protected. There’s no risk of confidential information being lost.

Power Redundancy

American Security Force has double-redundancies and back-ups when it comes to our power. If there is power outage, we have solar powered batteries that will immediately go online to provide days of useable energy. When that power is nearly depleted, our back-up generator automatically starts. Assuming that the natural gas lines are in tact, they will provide fuel for the generator allowing us to stay operational indefinitely. If the gas lines are damaged, then we can use propane and gasoline that is stored locally.

Having the ability to stay powered means we can continue to optimally serve our security customers.

Internet Redundancy

Because American Security Force is a cloud-based business, our backup and fail-safe plans include redundant connectivity to the internet. We maintain separate internet connections through different providers to ensure our ability to stay connected. Those providers include AT&T, Time Warner, and various cellular networks. When our system detects a disruption in service, it seamlessly switches to an alternate network, ensuring that our customers never experience a drop in service.

Communication Redundancy

In the event of an emergency, it is essential that we maintain open lines of communication with our clients and with our on-site post commanders. That’s why we are one of the only security companies to provide clients with a two-way radio supported by local and wide range repeaters. This back-up communication system gives us the ability to coordinate emergency response measures to those clients that need it, while also providing uninterrupted safety and security services to others. During critical moments, we remain focused on protection, not technology.

For American Security Force, being prepared for emergencies means that our operations must continue, because it is a time when our services are needed most. Therefore, we have to be there with our full capabilities. Our emergency plan and built-in redundancies ensure that we will b able to provide security and protection to our customers no matter what the disaster might be.

To learn more about how American Security Force is ready to serve and protect you and your property, call us today at 877-722-8585.

Cloud Computing Allows Us to Better Serve Our Clients

a graphic representing cloud computingThe big topic in the IT world today is cloud computing. It is revolutionizing how corporations view and use information technology.

Cloud computing moves your software applications and data storage needs from your desktop or onsite server to an offsite server hosted on the internet, or “in the cloud.” It’s not really a new concept. It is similar to how corporate computing systems worked before the desktop era, when all programs and data storage resided on a shared mainframe computer. Today, instead of a mainframe, the programs you need to access reside on a server somewhere else, with built-in back-ups.

American Security Force accesses all of its applications and data through the internet using cloud computing. This practice has given our business some distinct advantages and has proven beneficial to our customers, as well.

Being 100% Cloud Computing Reduces Time Delays

Simply put, being a cloud-based security company gives American Security Force an advantage that security companies using traditional dedicated servers don’t have. Cloud-based storage reduces time delays caused by operational issues such as server problems or software glitches. We are no longer dependent on outside IT vendors, either, waiting to get our issues repaired on their timetable. Cloud computing has redundancies built in, which means the applications we need to access are always available. That gives us the power to provide you with uninterrupted safety and security.

Higher Quality Security Services at a Lower Cost

Utilizing cloud-based applications dramatically reduces our overhead. We no longer need to employ an IT person, or hire an outside IT vendor. Theses savings are invested back into our security services allowing American Security Force to innovate faster and provide you with a higher quality security service at a lower rate.

Secure Access to Data

Because cloud computing is based on the internet, customers can login and have secure access to the same data that we have. Our online portal provides you with real-time tracking of the location of American Security Force officers who are assigned to your account. This same, real-time access allows you to get a clear picture of that guard’s activities, and see incident and maintenance reports, as well.

Cloud computing can also provide you with 24-7 access to your account information from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.

American Security force is dedicated to using cloud computing and leading edge technology to supply more advanced services to our customers. We believe it is one of the factors that set us apart from our competition.

To learn more about how American Security Force can use technology to solve your security needs, call us at 877-722-8585.