SIS Blog

Alarm Monitoring Best Practices: Creating Efficient Processes

by | Jul 2, 2021

Effective alarm monitoring processes bring a wealth of benefits to businesses of all sizes. From small and medium-sized enterprises to commercial and government organizations, the right processes are necessary for your success.

But the wrong processes — or inefficient processes — can make it difficult for teams to perform at the highest level.

If you’re providing security services, you can’t afford the risk misaligned processes bring.

Security Service and Alarm Monitoring Processes

Businesses that provide alarm monitoring services depend on high levels of organization. Without this, you simply can’t provide reliable and effective service.

In this field, businesses operate in one of two states: a state of normality or a state of urgency.

Normality

During the normal phase, monitoring is the priority. Teams need to methodically keep track of all alarms and surveillance cameras under their care.

Urgency

In a state of urgency, swift action is necessary as teams respond to a triggered alarm. While the second state may appear to be more critical, first-stage monitoring is still vital to your organization.

Efficient At All Times

Both states rely upon your core business processes.

If you’re waiting for a state of urgency and speculatively hoping your teams will respond the right way, this is a risky approach. Similarly, if you’re monitoring without a methodical plan in place, you’re exposing yourself (and your organization) to risk.

That’s why it’s vitally important to consider how your processes affect performance, regardless of the state you’re operating in.

RELATED: How Well Have You Optimized Your Security Alarm Response?

How Processes Can Hinder You

If your organization has been relying on the same centralized procedures for some time, it’s more likely that efficiency, effectiveness, and security could be suffering.

That’s because older processes may be outdated.

Outdated processes can easily hinder you, your team, and your operations. Let’s take a look at some of the factors behind this and how you can put them right.

Relying Too Much on Key Individuals

You hire your personnel because they’re great at what they do.

But while outstanding employees are good for your organization, what happens when a linchpin person isn’t available? What do you do when key team members aren’t there? What impact does this have?

Even established businesses can run into this issue. Long-standing team members may have become irreplaceable — a harmful situation for your business.

Teams Are Not Following Procedures

You may have a solid process in place. But the best process in the world won’t do you much good if team members aren’t sticking to it.

This can be caused by a number of factors. Perhaps training is insufficient. Or the process’s design doesn’t match operational needs.

If your team is proactive, they may have implemented procedural improvements on their own. But this, too, is still problematic.

It’s far more effective to plan and test formal, documented processes. That way, you can improve them in a more strategic, unified way.

Ad-hoc changes are simply risky.

Insufficient Documentation

Your processes need to be documented. Without documentation, you may overlook design flaws in the procedures.

You may also find it difficult to communicate undocumented processes to your team, resulting in poor training and low levels of compliance. Proper documentation is essential for consistency.

If ad-hoc changes are made, these may not be included in procedural documents. Similarly, if your team is over-confident, they may not bother to update process documents.

That leaves you open to inefficiency and errors.

Software Is Not Fit for Purpose

Your processes may govern your personnel, but you need the right tools to support your people. After all, you may need to monitor thousands of alarms and surveillance cameras. This isn’t easy to achieve without software solutions in place.

Build your software choices into the planning phase. Assess and test these software solutions to make sure they fit your requirements.

You won’t be able to achieve the best results if you’re working with the wrong tools.

Operational Inconsistencies

Monitoring needs to be “always-on.” In other words, your team needs to work in shifts to ensure comprehensive monitoring.

Unfortunately, you may find that teams on different shifts are not operating consistently.

For example, during working hours, there could easily be many people entering and exiting a monitored building. Some of these people will have authorization. Others will not.

Outside of working hours, there may be less activity, but your team needs to remain vigilant.

You need to ensure that consistent procedures are followed at all times.

RELATED: What is Integrated Security?

Improving Efficiency During Alarm Monitoring

Poor control over your processes can cause any of the above factors. Here’s how to gear your processes toward efficiency and effectiveness.

Enforce Consistent Documentation

Document all of your procedures. Communicate their importance to your teams.

If they find an aspect of your processes difficult, discuss it. Make sure you also document and communicate any alterations.

Assess and Audit Documentation

An alarming number of companies don’t measure and appraise their processes.

Adopt a consistent approach to assess process documentation. Look to iron out inefficiencies and areas of friction.

Make Documentation a Key Part of Onboarding

New hires need access to procedural documentation. Make sure there’s a key training and onboarding review of these processes to start your new hire off on the right foot.

Make this a priority as your business expands.

Be Smart with Redundancy

You need a backup plan to reduce risk. But you also need to ensure clarity and efficiency in your primary procedures.

Put software solutions in place to make it clear which process to follow. This smart approach to procedural redundancy is crucial.

Leverage Alarm Monitoring Software

We provide software to make alarm monitoring consistent and efficient. This solution is designed to sit at the heart of your monitoring operations.

Reach out today for a free demo and learn what our solution can achieve for your business.

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