Automating Manual Entry and Paperwork in Security Operations

wheel spokes moving together that say automation and process

When you’ve spent years working hard, it’s worth stopping to ask what has actually worked for you–and what has just been plain hard. When we talk to security dealers, they tell us how busy they are growing their businesses, keeping in touch with customers, or troubleshooting problems.

But then we ask them about their processes, and the p-word comes up: paper. Paper filing, paper signing, paper finding. They’re stuck in a time-consuming, cumbersome cycle of paperwork, and it is relentless. 

These are successful business owners and dealers who have grown their businesses and even brought the newest security technologies to their customers. But they’re still managing paper-based operations and doing manual data entry. So what’s going on here?

Following the Paper Trail

The reality is that the pace of business can move so fast, it’s hard to create the space and time to make vital changes and updates to your processes. Usually, this means that whatever processes worked for security dealers 10 or 20 years ago–like storage rooms full of paper filing cabinets, flurries of paper contracts, and stacks of paper maintenance records–are probably still limping along in the year 2023. But they’re not the best way to run a business today.

The truth is that paper processes are time-consuming, prone to error, and hard to rely on when your team needs to quickly find and access critical customer or contract information.

Keeping everything on paper is time-consuming because a lot of manual data entry needs to be duplicated from form to form: from customer contracts to maintenance requests, you’re likely spending too much time entering the same information into multiple documents. 

But even worse are the errors that can creep in with so much manual data entry: accidentally leave off a number on a customer’s address or phone number, and that error can slowly copy its way into other forms. Once these insidious little errors sneak in, it can be very difficult to track them down and correct them. 

Finally, keeping things in one filing cabinet, in one document, or in one person’s desktop paper stack means that your team often has limited access to the information they need, when they need it most. Simply asking for and hunting down the forms you need can be an exercise in frustration and futility.

By consolidating multiple paper-based processes into one digital solution, you can superpower staff efficiency and create more space for them to do the work that matters most: generating profits and engaging more customers. A good solution can help you optimize the time you spend growing your business rather than managing paper-based minutia. 

The Pain of Paper

But to run the kind of business that practically runs itself, you need to have direct and easy access to everything, at a moment’s notice, and from wherever you may be–in the field or in the office. To achieve this level of ease and efficiency, you need a smart software solution, and not a paper-based system that might have counted as cutting-edge back in 1995. If you still rely on paper now the way you did then, then chances are good you’re wasting precious time, resources, and mental energy on these massive pain points: 

  • The need for physical storage space to store all those important documents and files
  • Difficulty tracking and managing all of your paper documents
  • Vulnerability to security breaches when sensitive information is kept on paper

The Digital Transformation

There’s a better way forward. Today, you can choose from precision-designed digital tools and software solutions that will automate manual data entry, streamlining your paperwork processes to make your business activities faster, more efficient, and ultimately more user-friendly.

Setting aside just a small fraction of time to choose the right software solution can mean you gain hours back in improved efficiency, enhanced security, and real-time access to critical information. The right solution can transform your operations from paper-heavy inefficiency to precision and ease, and set your business up for a more agile and secure future.

As you make the transition, the most vital security software features to look for include: 

  • Digital document management. Imagine having access to every important document within a one-stop digital dashboard. From customer contracts to work orders and invoices, you could empower your team to access, update, review, and manage vital business documents from anywhere they happen to be. It’s all possible with a secure, cloud-based software solution. Whether they’re working from home or talking to customers in the field, there’s no need to trudge back to the office filing cabinets or shuffle through stacks of paper: with one click, they can access everything they need to get their work done quickly and efficiently.
  • Automated data capture. Imagine never having to transfer information from a customer proposal to a contract again, or never having to duplicate the same data for yet another form. The right software can streamline your processes, automatically converting proposals to contracts, for example, and ensuring that you never have to type the same thing in twice again.
  • Integration with existing systems. Are you already using systems you love? Even though a good security software solution can replace many existing one-off applications, it can also work seamlessly with them if that is what you prefer. Whether you want to connect your software to your accounting system or your customer relationship management solution, the right software should make it a breeze.
  • Robust security measures. Never let another customer credit card number float around the office on a paper form, unattended. Keeping your data secure should be a top priority for any software you choose, so you never have to worry about customer data–or even your own sensitive business  information–being loose in the world.

All of these features can give you greater insight and control of your security business, so you can manage finances, work orders, recurring billing, inventory, customer relationship management, and more with complete confidence. 

Security software makes your workflow more efficient and much easier to manage, improving employee productivity and empowering them to access and act on the information they need, when they need it. An easy-to-use interface puts key business documents and tools right at their fingertips in a way that stacks of paper never could.

Finally, a single, powerful software solution can cut down not just on paperwork, but on any standalone applications you already use to manage different business functions. Imagine having a single system to manage practically every aspect of your business, including HR, sales, scheduling, and accounting, with efficiency and ease. That technology exists today.

The Future of Security Operations

Your security operations can and should evolve and adapt to the digital age, and the first step begins with the right software that makes your business processes infinitely more powerful. Embracing new technologies can help you stay agile and competitive in a rapidly evolving world. This means better security, better business, and ultimately better service for your customers.

If you’re wondering where to begin and would like an easy on-ramp that frees your business from painful paperwork, we recommend trying Bold Group’s business management solution, Managely, or our alarm monitoring software, Manitou.

Both Managely and Manitou are designed specifically for the security and alarm industry, and can replace both your paper problems and a multitude of other one-off applications. Cut through the clutter and give these smart solutions a try today. We’d be happy to schedule a demo and show you how you can put the power of great business processes back in your hands.