Explosion in security industry causes crisis
"Mobile intelligence" identifies and manages workers anywhere
The impact of the recent security workers` strike could have been significantly less if existing biometrical systems had been used timeously. It could have prevented unnecessary losses which, in turn, could have been used to enhance remuneration packages. This is the opinion of Jans Wessels, Managing Director of Dex Informatix.
Wessels says he fails to understand why companies don`t utilise existing technology that can identify and monitor anyone anywhere in the world. According to statistics, the recent security strike resulted in a loss of 13.2 million man-hours at a cost of approximately R300 million.
"And not to mention the incalculable loss of human lives," Wessels adds.
While the number of police officers decreased by more than 7 000 between 1997 and 2005, the number of security guards in South Africa increased by 173 000. There are almost 300 000 registered security guards in South Africa at present.
"The security strike was merely a consequence of faster growth than certain critical managerial decisions." Wessels says poor monitoring can result in astronomical losses. It also serves as breeding-ground for fraud and buddy-clocking in many industries. The losses accumulated as a result, have an impact on a company`s ability to grant bigger wage increases.
He says the available biometrical systems can monitor and manage each individual security guard. Check-in and check-out times, tea breaks, overtime and even toilet breaks can be monitored to ensure that guards on duty work maximally and are treated fairly.
Because the guards` hours of work and overtime, for example, can be monitored and managed faultlessly, wage disputes can be reduced drastically. Real-time updates are available at the press of a button. It saves time and fosters good relationships.
The system also ensures compliance with legal requirements. The security company will receive an advanced warning when any specific guard has reached his maximum permissible working hours. This protects the employer from labour action.
Mobile intelligence for other industries, too
A variety of mobile systems are available that will enable employers to monitor and manage any employee at any remote location. It is, for instance, ideal for the construction industry, security industry and the film industry.
The technology enables the system to communicate interactively with the employer without human intervention. Fingerprints are compared with the duty schedule. If it is found that a specific employee didn`t report for work, an SMS is sent to management and an alert will appear on screen in the control room. This way, only matters requiring attention are managed, and energy and time are spent only on appropriate matters.
Wessels says the financial impact of this on focused management and productivity can amount to millions of rands.