Is Your Central Station Prepared for 2021 and Beyond?

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2021 has finally arrived, creating an opportunity to take stock of the past year and to think about how to make the future better. For central stations and alarm monitoring businesses, this is an excellent time to rethink some legacy processes and examine how new technologies are reshaping the security industry. Below are five ways you can prepare for 2021 and beyond.

Evaluate Your Processes To Improve Efficiency

There is perhaps no better time than now to undergo a business process improvement (BPI) project. BPI involves identifying, analyzing, and changing (or replacing) the processes that help your business run on a day-to-day basis. In the security industry, many of these processes are outdated legacy practices that only survive based on tradition (aka – the “this is how we’ve always done it” method).

With the impact of COVID, how many of your processes had to change in 2020 to accommodate remote working environments, alternative scheduling for social distancing, and more? What worked and what didn’t? It’s time to reflect and determine what new technologies should become consistent in 2021.

For example, how do you deal with customer issues and complaints? Chances are it involves a lot of paperwork and manual planning. Similarly, you may realize that your alarm response process relies heavily on individual judgment and collecting information from multiple sources. These processes can be significantly enhanced by investing in new tools and rethinking your traditional practices.

Consider Video and Alarm Monitoring Integration

When an alarm is tripped, how do you verify it? In a lot of cases, the answer is calling, texting, or sending someone to investigate. However, this is slow and often involves addressing false alarms. Instead, consider integrating video monitoring. Many security businesses already have video systems, but they are usually treated as separate entities.

By combining alarm and video monitoring, you can use them to support each other. When an alarm goes off, the operator can quickly check the relevant video feed for suspicious activity without the need to look for data in a separate system. This aids in assessing the severity of the situation, allowing for faster response times to serious threats. New technologies such as video/alarm integration can even be used to improve automation, extending the capabilities of each operator.

Bring Security Together With PSIM

For most monitoring stations, there are multiple physical security systems being monitored simultaneously. For example, you may have alarms, video feeds, and calls all playing roles in your overall platform. However, if your organization is like most central stations, those systems may be handled separately. There is a lot of value in bringing disparate systems together. Physical security information management (PSIM) goes a step further, providing a comprehensive view of data from all systems.

Central stations may receive multiple signals from different systems within a short timeframe. How can you determine if these are a coincidence or a sign of a major event? Fragmented data impedes security insight. Fortunately, PSIM can bring your systems together while processing raw data to help you make better-informed decisions about how to respond to signals and trends.

Explore How Technology is Redefining the Industry

Technology has helped to change the face of many industries, especially in the last few decades as the rate of innovation has accelerated. Many organizations had to rely on technology to survive the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic impacts. For instance, a large number of businesses turned to remote working technologies to continue operations.

In the security industry, artificial intelligence is perhaps the most significant emerging technology. Advances in machine learning in the past decade have taken AI from a science fiction toy to a serious force in the business world. AI can help to automate monitoring processes, giving operators the power to achieve more with less manual labor.

Additionally, advances in sensor technology (especially lowered costs) mean that these new technologies can be deployed relatively easily. Some organizations have leveraged remote temperature-sensing to detect people in crowds with fevers. This was helpful for managing the pandemic but could have other interesting applications moving forward.

Invest in Monitoring Operator Efficiency

Many of the above suggestions have a common theme: improved efficiency. Specifically, increasing the efficiency of operators can help to make alarm monitoring more effective. Now is the ideal time to examine how your people are working. How often do they deal with false alarms? Do they have the tools they need to respond to high-intensity situations? Are they focused and productive or fatigued and distracted?

The right tools can help to make your organization a more efficient and effective operation. When you empower your operators with new technologies, they can avoid issues such as false alarms and alarm fatigue. Improvements in efficiency can translate into greater profits and even reduced liability for your business.

Prepare Your Central Station or Alarm Monitoring Station

Is your central station or alarm monitoring station ready for 2021 and beyond? Implement many of the above suggestions with a Bold Group alarm monitoring solution. Manitou®, stages® and SIMS® offer high-impact feature sets designed for businesses like yours. They can help with everything from basic monitoring to comprehensive PSIM integration and automation. Contact Bold Group today to learn more.