The South African Security Industry: A Software Approach
PSIRA (Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority) recently released its Annual Report for the 2019/2020 financial year. The report offers insight into the total number of security officers currently registered (2 495 899) and employed (548 642) in South Africa.
Considering these numbers, one has to wonder:
- How are these distributed security officers (SO’s) managed by the security companies that employ them?
- And more importantly, how are the SO’s managed by the clients who have contracted them through a security company?
Geographical spread of Registered and Employed (Active) Security Officers (SOs) – 31 March 2020. Courtesy of PSIRA (Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority) Annual Report 2019/20
Current paper-based systems are doomed to fail as they are incapable of catering to the needs of a modern business. As for the clients who contract security services, savvy business owners are no longer willing to simply rely on the information the security company relays to them, they are demanding control of reliable, instant data.
Security companies traditionally won contracts by the delivering the best presentation, the most competitive quotation, and through compelling PR. Once the contract was signed the client was completely reliant on the chosen security company for feedback about the SO’s qualifications, postings, attendance and length of working hours.
In South Africa, there is an abundance of SO’s (2 495 899) available for security companies to select from. PSIRA registration, qualifications, competencies, and experience are all factors that determine whether a registered security officer will be employed by a security company. The security company’s service-level agreement (SLA) as agreed upon with the client, determines how many officers, with which qualifications, should be on site and at what time.
Eldir’s research over the past three years revealed that these SLA’s are not consistently met, yet clients are none the wiser as they receive feedback from same security company that provides the service. This lack of insight is not always intentional, but often an unfortunate side-effect of relying on paper-based information, which is ill-suited for data mining and analysis. However, when SLA breaches are discovered the security companies are required to pay a penalty. One prominent security company had to pay more than R9 000 000 in penalties in a single year, with just over 3 000 security officers in their employment. That being said, most clients would prefer that incidents are prevented by their contracted security company rather than detected, and the security company fined, after the fact.
Without independent access to reliable data, it becomes exceedingly difficult for clients to renegotiate the terms of their annual contracts, as the balance of power lies with the contract security company who holds all the records of incidents.
The only way to ensure that SLA’s are followed, is if the client has the ability to independently monitor the performance of security company that they have employed.
Eldir: Overwatch offers that power
Time and attendance, qualifications, competencies, and adherence to the SLA, are all monitored by Eldir: Overwatch, and are available to the client, in real time on a 24/7 basis. Daily, weekly, and monthly reports empower the client to renegotiate the terms of their yearly contract and ensure that the security company provides the services for which they are being paid.
With Eldir: Overwatch there is no paperwork involved and because digital data is collected daily, customers can form a detailed picture of the quality of the security services that they are paying for.
Eldir: Overwatch incorporates facial recognition technology from market leaders, NEC, to ensure that the correct security officers, in terms of the SLA, are on site and on time. The technology also reduces the risk of human error or timesheet fraud helping to ensure compliance and efficiency.
Corporates, big business, and estates can accurately monitor their contracted security services and quickly take corrective actions should the need arise.
For more information about the Eldir: Overwatch solution please request a call or simply phone us on +27 10 020 4488.