Logosoft, established in 1992, was one of the first companies to provide technology solutions to manned guarding organisations. Over the years, it has maintained industry leader status by being dedicated to providing the most advanced technology on the market. So, it’s no great surprise to discover that Logosoft has released the Patrol Manager App for Android systems.
Brett Pittam, Logosoft Business Development Manager, spoke to SecurityNewsDesk about why it’s important to Logosoft to provide the tools that enable employers to meet their lone worker obligations and grow their enterprise. He said that this core goal has driven the development of the new App.
“We recognised that technology is rapidly evolving across the security industry and realised that this had implications for the way guarding companies were operating,” Pittam said. “So we reviewed the latest market research from analysts which indicated Android holds a 70-80% marketshare of smartphone OS. As we are dedicated to ensuring our customers receive the best technological support from Logosoft, it was an obvious evolution to release Patrol Manager for Android systems.”
But why the focus on Android, what about Apple systems? According to Pittam, Apple does not equip its devices with an NFC reader, which he said makes Apple software unsuitable for manned guarding solutions.
Pittam explained that the new App means companies can make the most of more efficient and affordable Android systems instead of relying on out-dated technology platforms and handsets.
So how does it work?
“The NFC enabled solution sits on a guard’s Android smart phone, like any other App. Guards can then simply scan NFC tags located at checkpoints along their route and the App reads the data and stores it immediately in the database.” Pittam said. “When a checkpoint is scanned, the technology also enables location related instructions or check lists to be reviewed by the guard, for instance an instruction to check all window catches in the area.”
However, managing these main aspects of manned guarding patrol is just the tip of the iceberg. Guards can also enter information and incident reports directly into the company’s system via Patrol Manager while they are on site. This not only increases efficiency, according to Pittam, it also ensures a full audit trail for future reference.
Manned guarding is an area where an employer’s duty of care to lone workers is a constant challenge, and there are several features of Patrol Manager that make this much easier. Not only will the App recognise if a guard misses a checkpoint or is delayed and alert the control room, it also supports the mandatory requirement of lone worker supervision.
“Lone worker supervisors often have to visit multiple sites during their shift, performing a number of checklist based tasks relating to staff monitoring. Patrol Manager enables this workflow and data capture to be managed, providing an audit trail as evidence that that these staff monitoring tasks have been completed.”
“The live communication feature also means direct contact between guards and the control room so guards can feed back immediately should an incident occur. There are also pre-set emergency and duress alarms that enable users to set their own priority levels and tailor control room alerts.”
Pittam was also keen to explain how Patrol Manager takes advantage of new motion sensor features in the latest smart phones. To enable the fastest and easiest alarm for lone workers in an emergency situation, the App features a ‘shake alarm’. Simply shaking the smart phone triggers an alarm in the control room.
Logosoft has even thought about ensuring that a loss of signal or Internet connections does not disrupt the system. Pittam explains that if connection is lost the App saves the data captured on the smart phone and automatically relays it to the database when connection is re-established.
According to Pittam, making Patrol Manager part of their system gives manned guarding companies more than a secure environment for their lone workers.
“Patrol Manager gives our clients a unique selling point when bidding for new contracts thanks to the business management aspects of the system,” he said. “Management instructions or tasks can be worked into the location instructions guards receive via the App. For instance, guards can monitor and record how many trucks are parked in a structure at night, or the temperature of storage fridges. This operational data can then be accessed via the client portal that Logosoft provides for business management purposes, meaning companies can get more from their security budget.”
Logosoft is in the process of moving its existing client base to the App, and Pittam says that companies who had previously operated with just half a dozen handsets are now utilising between 40 and 50 Android handsets with Patrol Manager.
“We are seeing great successes even in this very early stage of deployment and getting excellent feedback. Clients are finding that smart phones, at an average cost of £70 to £80 each, with the App installed are much more cost effective.”
Buoyed by this early success, phase two is already in progress. This will see GPS incorporated into Patrol Manager to enable real-time monitoring of lone worker location to allow faster responses to emergency situations and enable increased business management capabilities.
The Patrol Manager App is available from Logosoft at a cost of £20 per user per month. Find out more here.