Miscellaneous DESC


Chris Anderson, Silvertrac Software

Over the past decade, states all over the country have been slowly legalizing both medical and recreational cannabis use. However, industry regulations continue to be confusing, especially since each state manages its own cannabis regulations.

In order to better understand where the cannabis industry is going and what it means for your security operation, let’s start with some general knowledge of where exactly the country sits on the topic.

Cannabis regulation is almost exclusively managed at the state level. At the federal level, cannabis is categorized as a Schedule 1 substance, grouped with drugs like heroin and methamphetamine. This creates obvious hesitation and concern for entering the industry.

Our goal here is to help shed some light on how you can get in on this $12+ billion industry (estimated to shoot up to $66+ billion by 2025) legally – if you decide it’s the right move for your business. Given the nature of the industry, there will continue to be an increasing need for security, and some of these bids are worth some good money!

It should be noted, Silvertrac does not take a political or ethical stance on the cannabis industry or use. We are just here to provide facts and information relevant to the physical security industry, should you choose to go after cannabis bids.

Where is it Legal

As of January 2020, 33 states have legalized medical cannabis use and 11 states (along with Washington DC) have legalized both medical and recreational cannabis use. Most notable are California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, the first four states to legalize recreational use in the country.

To see a visual of cannabis legalization in the US, check out this map created by the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA).

In addition to the current legalized states, it is anticipated that another 6 states will likely vote to legalize recreational use in 2020.

Security Regulations

Because cannabis is regulated at the state level, it can be tricky to know exactly what regulations vendors have to abide by.

Silvertrac’s advice for anyone questioning what regulations apply to their business, regardless of what verticals they operate in, is to always assume the most strict regulations are the ones that you should follow.

In most instances, when dealing with security regulations, California’s laws and regulations are a great place to start. They are more often than not the leader in security standards. If you default to California, by the time your state comes around to upgrading their standards, you will likely already be compliant.

Here are a few resources on California standards to get you started:


Video Surveillance Requirements

While there are a few different video surveillance requirements between states, the one standard requirement for all legalized states is that there must be 24/7 video surveillance for all entrances and exits at any dispensary.

Other common video surveillance requirements include:

  • Minimum camera resolution
  • Minimum frames per second
  • Back-up systems & failure detection
  • Areas surveilled
  • Monitoring accessibility
  • Video retention times (45/90/120 days)

For more information on these different areas of video surveillance requirements, these 3 articles are a great place to start:

For premises specific regulations, see section 500 of the BCC Text of Regulations.

Other things to keep in mind when researching video surveillance for cannabis security are:

Cannabis Security Trends & Best Practices

Any time you’re trying to break into a new vertical, it’s important to keep up on best practices and trends. We have compiled just a few for you here, but you can always check-out Silvertrac Extra for updated security best practices in a number of verticals, including cannabis security.


Now that you have a foundation for entering the cannabis industry, it begs the question, is your guard management software ready to take on the challenge? Silvertrac sure is! Request a demo today to see how you can simplify your security operation to take on new opportunities.


Jeff Davis, Kwantek, CALSAGA Network Partner

As we enter a new decade, it’s fun to reflect on how hiring has changed over the past 10 years.

The job board landscape continues to ebb and flow. Dominant players from the early 2000’s, like Craigslist and Monster, have faded to the background, while new business models and social platforms continue to drive more applicants (is the term ‘freemium’ antiquated yet?).

Nothing has spurred change more than record low unemployment rates.

High-turnover industries have adopted digital marketing strategies to lure candidates and manage a pipeline. In these industries, the hiring process resembles a funnel. As competition for workers increases, high-turnover companies are rightly tempted to do everything they can to fill the top of that funnel with more applicants.

With dwindling margins and limited recruiting budgets, it’s tempting to look at spending all your budget on one job board simply for volume.

But the top of the funnel is only one stage to improve, and there are many ways to accomplish that goal. While job boards have added functionality over the past few years, they still don’t have the firepower needed for all recruiting organizations.

Before you make such a move, ask yourself these key questions:

Can the job board manage my hiring process? Job boards are designed to find applicants. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are designed to move those applicants through your hiring process. A ‘one size fits all’ workflow may not be best for your organization if you have high hiring volume.

How will the applicant data flow into our other systems? Will the applicant information flow into your background check vendor and onboarding paperwork? What about your ERP or payroll?

Redundant data entry is frustrating and expensive, and let’s face it – no one wants to run afoul of state and federal requirements. EEO, I-9’s, the new W4, and constantly changing state requirements should all factor into your hiring workflow. If you’re only using a job board, be sure to have a separate system in place to gather critical employee paperwork to maintain compliance. 

Am I getting all the information I need to make the right hire? The ‘easy apply’ trend has been fantastic for job seekers who can apply to multiple jobs in short order, but often employers need more info. Can the job board collect your entire application?

Will a single job board give me the quality applicants I need? Our data shows that different job boards attract different pools of candidates. Have you reviewed your hiring data to see which job board gives you the best quality candidates?

Like real estate markets, hiring is local and varies market to market.

We find that certain job boards work well in rural markets but fail in big cities. Some industries see fantastic results with ‘guerilla’ style recruiting tactics like fliers.

There is no perfect job board for all industries and markets, just like there is no singular hiring process for all organizations. Make sure you’re partnering with solution providers who diversify your applicant pool while helping you create efficiencies for your organization.

If you’d like to learn more about how to improve your hiring process, we’d love to talk! Click here to talk to us about your situation and see how Kwantek can help, or click here for additional helpful resources.


Robert Perry, Robert H. Perry & Associates, Incorporated

There have been several very large manned guarding companies sold to Private Equity Groups (PEG’s) over the past few years at multiples between 9 – 12 times the seller’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), with nominal adjustments.

But the smaller companies, making up the majority of the roughly 8,000 companies in the US manned guarding market are not valued on the seller’s EBITDA when being sold to one of the seller’s larger competitors – usually the most generous of the buyers in the marketplace. 

The acquisition of these smaller companies are a good source of growth for the larger PEG owned companies; in fact, the investors are demanding a series of acquisitions as a way to add shareholder value.  Collectively, the very few PEG’s that have invested in the contract security industry over the past 10 years have bought over 200 privately held companies; providing the sellers the opportunity to retire and receive a well-earned reward for their many years of hard work.   When these large PEG’s grow through acquisitions of smaller companies, they  pay a multiple of their (the buyer’s) pro forma profit; which is usually much higher than what the seller was making before the acquisition since the buyer, in building the pro forma acquisition model, will consider the elimination of redundant costs of the combined companies after the sale.

The problem for many of these “would-be” sellers is that their companies do not have the financial systems in place to help the buyer in preparing a credible pro forma profit computation and the expenses that can be eliminated through combining the companies.  These owners view the financial system only as a mechanism to file the year end taxes and not as an operating tool and especially not from the viewpoint of proving the real worth of the company when the time comes to sell.

We’re not necessarily talking about the owner needing audited year-end statements – although an audit certainly adds to the credibility of the financials.  We’re talking about the owners having a series of ancillary reports and financials that correctly present the financial position of the company, which requires the proper recording of revenue and expenses.   These financials will go much further than just reporting the net profits of the company; they will prove the real worth of the company by showing the specific elements of revenue and cost; important to the buyer  in evaluating the merits of the acquisition.  Sellers not being properly represented in the process, or trying to sell the company without any representation, usually don’t know how to present the financials; thus will sell the company for much less than it’s really worth.  The company may have a very attractive gross profit, but it’s up to the seller to prove it; and proving it involves a lot more than just handing the buyer billing invoices and payroll registers for a couple of periods.  The proof lies in the underlying financials that will confirm that the profit will remain at a certain sustainable level over time.

This is where we come in ….. our many years of managing transactions for seller/clients have enabled us to know exactly what the buyers are looking for and how to best present the financial information in order for our clients to receive top dollar in a sale transaction.  This is how many of our seller/clients have received very attractive prices for companies that, based on historical financials, have been losing money or have been only marginally profitable.

We’ll guide the seller in presenting a meaningful gross profit line – a very important aspect of proving the worth of the company.

Although the operating expenses of the acquisition targets are scrutinized closely by the buyers, it’s the gross profit line that primarily drives the valuation.  The buyer can improve on the general operating expenses through eliminating redundant costs after the acquisition, but there’s not much the buyer can do to improve on the profit at the customer site level.  It can’t raise billing rates, and it can’t reduce the security officer pay and benefits without jeopardizing the relationship with the customers.

Sellers, in presenting the gross profit, should make sure all direct cost ( and only  the direct cost ) relating to providing service to the customer is included in the gross profit section of the income statement, which will include:  gross billing, all compensation to the site security officers (billable and non-billable), and other relates costs such as – payroll taxes, general and workers compensation insurance, uniforms, equipment furnished at the site, union dues, site supplies, hiring and employee processing expenses.   If there are a lot of “cold start” accounts, the cost for some or all of the roving non-billable supervisors should also be included in the computation of gross profit.

We’ll advise on other financial statement adjustments and reports that are summarized and used to prove the worth of the company and become a part of the presentation to the buyer prospect:

  • Customer Profit Report – This report will show every customer, by site, with the hours worked, gross billing, gross payroll, and any special costs that apply to the customer; such as dedicated site vehicles, special insurance, etc.  A more advanced report will further show the billable and non-billable hours (vacation, holidays, training, etc.) with the associated billing and pay, as well as the overtime premium for both payroll and billings.  Very important note:  this initial information is used to prepare summary “gross profit statistics” only, and is not shown in detail for the presentation to the buyer prospects.
  • Year-end and Interim Statements – Prepared on the accrual basis.  Year-end financials prepared by an outside independent accounting firm adds credibility to the information.  It’s also good to have interim statements, although not as important that the interim statements be prepared by the outside accounting firm.  In order to help the buyer understand the financial picture, the statements should follow these guidelines:
    • Sources of revenue and related costs should be identified to help a buyer verify the profit at the sites level, the statements will also identify the revenue according to source (i.e.; permanent accounts separate from temporary accounts, regular straight-time billing separate from overtime premium billing, and patrol and any other non-guarding service would also be a separate line item).  The labor and other costs for the various sources of revenue will also be separated so the buyer can readily determine the profit by category of service (i.e.; how much it’s making on the permanent work vs. the temporary work, and how much its making on the patrol service, etc.).
    • Proper cut-off of billing and expenses:  A common mistake many companies make is not having a proper cut-off of billing and expenses.  This especially true where a company has several billing periods available for the clients (i.e.; some on weekly, others on semi-monthly or monthly, etc.) that do not match the payroll period.  When this is the case, the company should have a procedure in place to book the revenue that has been performed, but not billed, in order to get the billing in the same period as the recording of the labor for the respective service.
    • Another common mistake is not properly recording advanced billings.  This is more common for patrol customers than for guard customers, but in either case, if the invoice has been prepared and entered in the financial system before the service is actually rendered, the billing should be booked as advanced billings then recognized when the service is actually performed.
    • Expenses below the gross profit line should be detailed since the buyer will be scrutinizing these costs.  The buyer is looking for possible other costs that may be important to running the site, but may have been left out of the site level profit computation.
        • Insurance – insurance expense should be separated to show the amounts for workers compensation, general liability, employee hospitalization and health, etc.
        • Class of Compensation – compensation should be separated to show the amounts for non-billable roving supervisors, executives, clerical personnel, dispatch personnel and any other class of labor.  The more detail, the better it will help the buyer understand what it takes to run the business.
        • Vehicle Cost – to the extent it can be easily identified, vehicle cost should be separated by roving supervisors and executives.

For over 25 years we have successfully completed over 250 sell-side engagements for security companies located in 8 countries and having revenues between $2M – $200M.

The information in this article does not render legal, accounting or tax advice. Neither Robert H. Perry & Associates, Incorporated nor its employee, offer such services, and accordingly assume no liability whatsoever in connection with the use of the information contained herein. If legal, accounting, or tax advice is required, the services of a competent professional should be obtained.

© All rights reserved.  May not be reproduced without permission.


Shaun Kelly, Tolman & Wiker, CALSAGA Preferred Broker

When the recent earthquake hit in Ridgecrest, approximately 1 hour northeast of Bakersfield, I was out of town and I was not near my family. When I received message of the quake, the first thing I thought was “Is everyone ok?”. This was a 7.1 earthquake, Northridge was only 6.7 on the Richter Scale.

Then, a few other things came to mind:

  1. Are the dogs freaking out and are they ok?
  2. Does my wife know how to shut-off the gas and water to the house?
  3. How do I reach the rest of my family?
  4. Do I have batteries in the flashlights?
  5. Did I have the contact information on the refrigerator for emergency services and neighbors updated?
  6. Did I show my wife how to open the garage door when the electricity was out?
  7. Do I drive home right now from Colorado? (It would normally take me 14 hours, but I could make it in 10 hours, I only need to stop for gas)

Needless to say, my mind was racing.  Then, I said to myself, “I am sure glad this did not happen during business hours.” We do have an Emergency Action Plan, but we have not trained and executed the plan in over a year. And, if the quake did happen during business hours, I believe all of our team members would follow the direction of our leadership team and our Emergency Action Plan. However, after a few minutes, I believe they would think about the stuff I mentioned above and panic would soon appear and then what would we do?

This brought me back to our article in a prior CALSAGA Newsletter issued over a year ago regarding the implementation of an Emergency Action Plan. (Repetition is the best method for learning) This was after the wildfires and our Ventura office was closed for over a week and we had to execute our Emergency Action Plan, even though it was not updated with the most current technology for communicating to our team members and clients to protect them and their families.

In your role as Security Professionals and First Responders, your family, team members, clients and the public look to us for protection and we must be prepared to respond to critical situations and events. We play a significant role in the safety of others and we can make a difference in their lives, if we are prepared!

I thought it is relevant to provide you with a sample Emergency Action Plan again. If you or your clients do not have an Emergency Action Plan, this will help to guide you in the development and implementation. No plan is the same and should include critical information regarding the site location and contacts.

Please take the time to review and envision how a well-executed plan can make a difference in the lives of others. Click here to download a sample Emergency Action Plan.

Thank you and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.


Shaun Kelly joined Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services in 2005.  He specializes in all lines of property and casualty insurance for industries including contract security firms, agriculture, construction, oil and gas. Shaun received a BS in Business Administration with a major in Finance from California State University in Fresno, California. He is an active member of several industry associations, including the Association CALSAGA, the Kern County Builders Exchange and the Independent Insurance Agents of Kern County. Shaun can be reached at 661-616-4700 or skelly@tolmanandwiker.com.


Kwantek, CALSAGA Network Partner

So, you have a position opening up in your contract security firm. Now is the time to post the job in various places using your standard job description and other boilerplate materials you use when hiring.

You know you need systems in place for this, so you arm yourself with tools like an applicant tracking software or detailed hiring spreadsheets.

The question now becomes, what should your job title be?

Security Guard or Security Officer?

Many people in the industry will tell you there is no difference in the two.

Some say an Officer is armed and a Guard is not.

Some say the Officer has greater training and/or responsibility.

As we look at today’s hiring and retention landscape, there are two main reasons you should prefer the term “Security Officer” rather than “Security Guard.”

1) “Security Officer” is Searched More Often on Indeed

Thanks to data made available by Indeed, we are able to know exactly how people are searching for security jobs.

In September of 2018, “Security Officer” was searched 725,027 times.

“Security Guard” was only searched 392,036 times, nearly half that of “Officer.”

If you want your job to be seen, the first logical step is to make the title what people search the most.

But it goes deeper than just what the candidate is searching. While it might help you edge out “Guard” in the search results, Indeed is smart enough to show jobs with both titles.

Making sure you get good placement is one thing, but how many people actually click your job?

In September of 2018, jobs titled “Security Officer” received 3,688,632 clicks.

Jobs titled “Security Guard” received only 975,338 clicks.

Not only does “Officer” get nearly twice as many searches as guard, it gets nearly FOUR TIMES as many clicks.

At Kwantek, we like to let the data speak for itself. This is one of those cases.

2) Appeal to Your Audience

The first rule of copywriting is to appeal to your audience.

Your audience (your current and prospective employees) wants to feel respected and important.

Put simply, “Officer” has an implication of greater responsibility than “Guard.”

Implications aside, perhaps you actually believe there to be a fundamental difference between  the two titles.

Here’s the reality…

A good guard, officer, or watchman is alert and observant.

They are ready and able to defuse a situation with words rather than weapons.

They are helpful to others and they follow rules of the management and client.

All of these responsibilities are those of an officer, and labeling them as such works to enhance their sense of self-worth and pride in their job.

When making this decision, we ask ourselves: what’s the goal?

Is the goal to be “right” in a semantics discussion?

Or is our goal to attract the best and most talent and keep them employed on our teams?

At Kwantek, we much prefer the latter, therefore “Security Officer” is the title we recommend.

If you insist on there being a difference between the two, consider using “Senior Security Officer” and “Security Officer” job titles. The difference could mean greater retention and/or more applicants.

Is your job posting built to maximize applicant volume? Kwantek has processed over 1,000,000 security guard applicants in the last year, providing expertise in what definitively helps increase applicant volume. Click here to get a free evaluation of your job postings by one of our representatives.

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Mark Folmer, TrackTik

The security sector is growing – nobody can argue that. With estimates pushing the 290 Billion USD mark by 2025, it is difficult to argue that opportunities do not exist. With frontline security guarding/services estimated at more than two-thirds of that figure, the question that security business owners should be reflecting on is: how do I position myself to take advantage of that market, that growth, in short, that opportunity.

The reality is that today much of the market is being served by business focused on supplying guards to fill a schedule. There is an opportunity for businesses to get beyond HPW – hours per week. Security shifting in the direction whereby guards are deployed in advanced security markets and are performing more higher value-added security measures. Not only having guards show up as a schedule requires, but also bringing with them measurable data.

Security service companies are not solely to blame for this restricted view of their potential. Clients contribute to the issue as well. Consider where “lowest technically acceptable bid” (LTAB) reign, often under the guidance of strict purchasing rules. It is very obvious that this encourages doing as little as possible as opposed to exploring potential. In markets where qualified staff are hard to source, this pressure is exponential when security officers are being viewed as a commodity, with price being the key factor distinguishing providers. This becomes a problem that spirals out of control and spills over into other areas such as not developing talent, retaining qualified officers.

Solutions can be found in getting clients to understand that there is a need to have a strategic understanding of security. Forward thinking companies understand that security has to bring value to their organisation. For instance, Microsoft has Global Security Strategy and Diplomacy Team focused on driving strategic change to advance security and resilience in a way that addresses challenges such as risk management, incident response, emergency comms & information sharing.

The transition from the bad of today to the potential of tomorrow happens when businesses truly grasp the understanding that they are offering a “peace of mind” service to their clients. In other words: if something happens we are there and we can respond, escalate and manage a situation.

For an interesting down the road view of the future of security services consider the idea of return on data (ROD). The data in question is the information that security teams can generate and act upon to provide for secure environments.

Security companies need to develop a data strategy if they wish to run intelligently. This is evidenced by the Microsoft Accenture survey which revealed that 83% of the top investments that security leaders are looking to make within the next 3-5 years are on big data and analytics.

What are the benefits they are looking to gain? A recent survey by Brivo revealed that among the top-2 benefits are ways to improve policies and procedures at 62%, investigate suspicious behaviour at 37% and seeking compliance support at 27%. The challenge in this area remains companies using decentralised security platforms (which limit efficiency and scalability).

Delivering more is the goal. The idea of using technology that drives an impact (not just tech for tech’s sake) is key. This entails using technology that solves everyday issues: i.e. that gets the right staff to a client’s site, runs operations smoothly while being fully equipped to drive value to the client organisation (and in turn drive your client retention numbers!).

Consider the pain-point of the lack of understanding of current solutions in the market. The aforementioned Microsoft Accenture report revealed that more than half of the respondents believe that there is both clear ROI and non-financial benefits to the digital transformation. Digitization and automation can improve operational efficiency up to 30-50% (contingent on rollout and organisation size).

In a study that TrackTik did in 2016, it was concluded that 93% of end-user clients want their service providers to provide concrete statistics relating to completion of Service Level Agreements (SLAs). This will support retention and will also support differentiation and the professionalisation of your security services.

There is some low hanging fruit in the quest for digital transformation as a clear way to improve efficiencies. Current security business models will probably become obsolete within the next couple of years. This means that adopting technology and varying service models is a matter of survival at this point with 35% of C-level executives indicating that it is important and urgent in security.

We see industry leaders growing- whether that be by acquisition or by organic growth or a mixture of both. The certainty is that those poised for long-term success are doing so by embracing technology and the opportunities presented by digitisation. They are able to offer the peace of mind that their clients are asking for.

Transforming Physical Security – 3 Trends


Anne L. Laguzza, M.A., The Works Consulting

There are many contradictions about what leadership is and the qualities needed to be an effective leader. From below looking up, leadership appears to be a form of dictatorship.

One person presides over a larger group of people. That group must follow the directions of the leader or suffer the consequences.

True, healthy leadership doesn’t align with this structure. Instead, the framework for healthy leadership embodies three high-value qualities.

Leadership Defined:

The position or function of a leader, a person who guides or directs a group.

Notice how this definition does not say who is in charge nor does it mention title or rank. It does not mention serving authority, most skilled, loudest, tenured, or aggressive person. It only says the person who guides or directs the group.

This is great news because it means that a leader may present themselves anywhere in an organization. It also means that what matters most is the guidance a person provides not the title or pay grade they hold.

So what are the three high-value qualities embodied by someone skilled at guiding and directing others? How can you embrace them to level up your leadership ability?

High-value #1: Commitment.

With commitment, an individual knows that regardless of how they feel they will do what needs to get done. No matter what.

For example, think about a time when you committed to something significant and you didn’t want to let anyone down. You found reserves of energy, creativity, and resiliency you may not have known you had to fulfill your commitment.

High-value #2: Courage.

Courage because there will be conflicts that need immediate resolution. Conflict is inevitable and can be a healthy part of team development. Only a strong leader will face them head on to seek resolution.

Someone lacking courage will more often than not find a way to delegate, delay or defer. That of course is not leadership at all, even though it may occur more often than it should.

High-value #3: Discipline.

In today’s world discipline has become somewhat of a profane word. What comes to mind when hearing the word is either a drill sergeant or a parent disciplining a child.

While both examples make sense, the discipline of leadership is not punishment focused. Discipline is simple, do what is right not what is easy.

Discipline glues commitment to courage, for the purpose of attaining a meaningful end goal. This combination eliminates excuses and justifications leaving only the example of how to lead.

Commitment, courage, and discipline are also the high-value qualities that separate great from good. These powerful qualities take someone with mediocre skills and give them the ability to influence, guide, and achieve.

These high-value qualities are a powerful contradiction to what so many think leadership is. From those doing the ordering to those who accept those orders. Contrary to how it looks from the outside, leadership is not the many holding up the presiding few.

Leadership is the few who step up to uplift those they guide.

It is those who commit not quit. Who show courage not cowardice. Who choose discipline over comfort. Those are the ones showing the high-value qualities demanded of leadership now more than ever.

Anne Laguzza is the President of The Works Consulting. As a seasoned business executive with human resources management, leadership development, and performance coaching experience, Anne works with clients from a variety of industries to develop better systems, maximize employee productivity, and enable management to focus on business growth.

Prior to founding The Works Consulting in 2001, Anne served as the Regional Human Resources Director for a Fortune 500 distribution company where she led a merger transition team and was responsible for strategic planning, implementing new policies and procedures, workforce restructuring, compensation structures, and integrating the work cultures for over 600 employees.

In addition, Anne was formerly the Human Resources and Training Director for a start-up entertainment company where she organized and implemented a company-wide change management program that involved new company direction and strategic planning. Prior to her work in the entertainment industry, Anne served as the Regional Training Manager for a nationwide retailer where she developed and launched a multi-state training program for human resources managers as part of a corporate expansion project.

Anne earned her Master of Arts degree in Organizational Management from Antioch University, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside. She is an active member of the Society of Human Resources Management, and is a board member for Harbor Interfaith Services and an advisory board member for Arthritis National Research Foundation. Anne has taught human resources and management courses at Long Beach City College and California State University, Dominguez Hills, and volunteers at non-profit organizations teaching interviewing skills to adults seeking re-entry into the workforce.


Shaun Kelly, Tolman & Wiker, CALSAGA Preferred Broker

It’s that time of the year….not post tax season… Heat Illness Prevention season!

With the change in seasons comes the warmer weather and it is imperative (And required by Cal/OSHA) that all employers train their supervisors and employees on heat illness prevention. The safety of your employees is the responsibility of the employer and if an unfortunate event does occur, Cal/OSHA may  be investigating the event. If so, they will be asking if you have your Heat Illness Prevention Program in place. The investigation will include verification that you have provided training to your supervisors and employees.

A Cal/OSHA study identified the key role that employers play in preventing worker fatalities due to heat illness. The findings highlighted the value of training supervisors so that they can make the fullest use of their power to control safety on the job.

California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Section 3395 Heat Illness Prevention requires all employers to have a Heat Illness Prevention Program which includes the following:

Provide fresh/potable drinking water

Employers must provide employees with fresh, pure, and suitably cool water, free of charge. Enough water must be provided for each employee to drink at least one quart, or four 8-ounce glasses, per hour and the water must be located as close as practicable to the work area. Employers are also required to encourage employees to drink water frequently

Provide access to shade

When temperatures exceed 80 degrees, employees must be provided shade at all times in an area that is ventilated, cooled, or open to air and that is as close as practicable to the work area. There must be sufficient space provided in the shade to accommodate all employees taking rest. When temperatures do not exceed 80 degrees, employees must be provided timely access to shade upon request. Employees should be allowed and encouraged to take preventative cool-down rest as needed, for at least 5 minutes per rest needed.

Have high heat procedures in place

High heat procedures are required of agricultural employers when temperatures exceed 95 degrees. The procedures must provide for the maintenance of effective communication with supervisors at all times, observance of employees for symptoms of heat illness, procedures for calling for emergency medical services, reminders for employees to drink water, pre-shift meetings to review heat procedures and the encouragement of employees to drink plenty of water and take preventative cool-down rest as needed.

Agricultural employers must additionally ensure employees take, at a minimum, one 10-minute preventative cool-down rest period every two hours in periods of high heat.

Allow for acclimatization

New employees or those newly assigned to a high heat area must be closely observed for the first 14 days of their assignment. All employees must be observed for signs of heat illness during heat waves. A “heat wave” is any day where the temperature predicted is at least 80 degrees and 10 degrees higher than the average high daily temperature the preceding 5 days.

Train all employees regarding heat illness prevention

Employees must be trained regarding the risk factors of heat illness and the employers’ procedures and obligations for complying with the Cal/OSHA requirements for heat illness prevention. Supervisors must additionally be trained regarding their obligations under the heat illness prevention plan and how to monitor weather reports and how to respond to heat warnings.

Have emergency response procedures

Employers must have sufficient emergency response procedures to ensure employees exhibiting signs of heat illness are monitored and emergency medical services are called if necessary.

Have a Heat Illness Prevention Plan

Employers must have a written heat illness prevention plan that includes, at a minimum, the procedures for access to shade and water, high heat procedures, emergency response procedures, and acclimatization methods and procedures.

For your reference, linked is a sample of a Heat Illness Prevention Plan.

Shaun Kelly joined Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services in 2005.  He specializes in all lines of property and casualty insurance for industries including contract security firms, agriculture, construction, oil and gas. Shaun received a BS in Business Administration with a major in Finance from California State University in Fresno, California. He is an active member of several industry associations, including the Association CALSAGA, the Kern County Builders Exchange and the Independent Insurance Agents of Kern County. Shaun can be reached at 661-616-4700 or skelly@tolmanandwiker.com.


Team Software Team

For small companies with distributed workforces, like the contract security industry, site level visibility, managing hourly staff and keeping communication lines open are key areas that can make or break the business. While spreadsheets, emails and texts can suffice for a while, those tools typically aren’t sustainable, growth-enabling or without complexity. For Alianza Security Professionals, a small, private security company based in Dallas, Texas, setting and delivering on high standards is the company’s competitive differentiator. By developing a distinct culture of service and accountability along with adopting security industry-focused technology solutions to support it, the up-and-coming company has gained a foothold in the Texas security market with 11 guards and more than 10 service locations.

Alianza uses Silvertrac’s guard touring solution combined with a new field workforce management toolset for small contractors called Q by TEAM Software. Q enables companies to direct, set and track the operations of their distributed workforce. As an always-on solution, Q helps manage and track productivity, open up communication and retain the employees who are making an impact. In other words, Q strongly aligns with Alianza’s strategic goals, supporting accountability in the field, more communication and, ultimately, better results.

“There are a few problems within the security industry, and they are massive. I know the pain points,” explained J.D. Torres, Alianza Principal and Founder. “Guards are asleep on the job or leaving the property. They don’t show up. They’re late, or don’t know when to show up.

“The biggest benefit of Q so far has been the scheduling piece and the ability for staff to clock in and out on site,” Torres continued. “It’s an accountability tool for them to know when they need to be on site, and I want to make sure my staff have the tools to be successful.”

A technology solution along with appropriate processes help boost the reliability and service quality of Alianza’s workforce. In addition, for Torres, simplicity is key along with a basic set of features, including the ability to communicate the schedule and see who is onsite and on time, in real time.

“The scheduling functionality is cut and dry and much simpler than the previous scheduling software I had been using,” Torres said. “Q really fits my needs right now, especially for my industry.”

With Q’s streamlined scheduling and time and attendance capabilities, Alianza can capitalize on its promise of accountability to customers. Plus, proactively managing the schedule benefits the company in many ways, including overtime prevention, better site coverage and accurate customer billing.

“This is the tool that we depend on, and I tell [our prospective customers] the value that it brings,” said Torres. “I put both Q and Silvertrac in my sales deck. I’m telling my clients what differentiates us in the market, and that’s accountability.”

Along with right-sized, industry-specific technology, Torres and partners back up their accountability promise to clients by building a culture around delivering on high expectations. According to Torres, that helps them win business when up against bigger, more established firms.

“It’s the difference between McDonald’s and Chick-Fil-A. The culture is different, and training is different, but price point is the same,” he said.

Torres explained that Alianza builds their culture and reputation through smart hiring practices, focusing on people eager to grow and pairing skills and experience with the right position.

“I have a different recruiting effort,” said Torres. “I’m not interested in someone who has worked a foot-patrol post for five years. Those people have figured out how to cut corners, and they aren’t interested in growing or moving up. I’d rather have someone who is new to the industry, and who understands what my expectations are.”

Torres and his team also see a need at sites for a bilingual workforce in the Dallas area to bridge communication gaps and ensure continuity among all services providers.

“We’re building a bilingual workforce because there’s a huge disconnect between janitorial contractors, day porter staff and the security staff due to language barriers,” he noted. “They’re handing off important things, like keys, and no one knows what the other is saying.”

Torres and his team have their fingers on the pulse of the security industry. That’s apparent through their approach to service as well as in their hiring practices. And, as an original beta  customer, Alianza has provided pivotal input and feedback on Q to ensure the solution serves the needs of the small market security contractor.

“It was a crazy kind of thing. We [at Alianza] were developing our security offering at the same time TEAM was developing the Q product,” Torres said. He also knew TEAM Software and had  used TEAM’s signature ERP software, WinTeam, before, too. So, there was a familiarity and natural alignment throughout the  beta experience.

“I felt like we had a partnership with TEAM right from the start,” he said. “TEAM seems like it’s a part of my company. That’s where the real value is. And, that’s who I want to be for my clients. I want to give them the kind of service that TEAM is giving us.”


About TEAM Software

TEAM Software develops financial, operations and workforce management solutions for contractors with distributed workforces of any size, with a focus on the building service

and security industries. TEAM’s efficiency-enhancing technology transforms business management and drives profitability. TEAM’s industry-specific solutions range from a complete enterprise software ecosystem to a right-sized workforce management toolset that connect key components of customers’ businesses. Founded in 1989, TEAM is an Omaha, Nebraska-based technology company with more than 400 customers all over North America. For more information, visit teamsoftware.com.

About Alianza Security Professionals

Alianza is a private security company licensed by the Texas Department of Public Safety, that provides integrated security, private investigation services and risk management services to corporate, individual and non-pro?t clients. Alianza leadership has been inside the industry for decades, have identi?ed the “pain points” in the industry and have worked tirelessly to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.  How? Through training, communication, coordination, execution and methodology. Visit alianzasecure.com to learn more.


Mark Folmer, CPP, Msyl, TrackTik

When you run your own security business, there are several important investments that help you provide quality service to your clients such as training for security guards, uniforms and equipment. However, with modern management options, you can streamline your business, cut costs, deliver quality service and keep your security business profitable. Here’s how you can cut operating costs by 35% and increase profits for your security business:

Improve Service with Tracking and Data Analysis

Security companies live and die based on their ability to provide quality service to their clients. Tracking key field processes and using data analysis to improve your security performance is vital for lasting success in the security industry. By using software to track the location of security agents in real time, you’ll be better prepared to contact the nearest available operatives when additional support is needed. As you improve your team’s incident response time, client satisfaction will increase, allowing you to retain clients and gain valuable testimonials for attracting new business. Digital reporting software can also make it easier to analyze patrol and incident-related data. By matching tracking data with guard-uploaded incident pictures, video, and written comments in a digital database, it becomes significantly easier to review information so you can make informed decisions for streamlining your field operations.

Track Business Intelligence Data

Leveraging data isn’t just important for improving your team’s fieldwork. And while different security companies may value different KPIs (key performance indicators), there’s no denying that one of your top priorities should be to optimize operations and maximize your return on investment with each client. Investing in good business intelligence technology is essential for your success. With business intelligence tools and smart analytics, it becomes easier to identify common profitability pitfalls, such as inefficient employees, a high guard turnover rate, or client sites with costly overtime expenses. When your software can quickly match your accounting and scheduling data against your KPIs, it becomes easier to identify areas where change is needed. With business intelligence data at your fingertips, you can gain a better understanding of your business’s direct costs, anticipate staffing and coverage needs, and identify trends that could be hurting your profitability. With better data, you can make smarter budgeting decisions for the future.

Save Time by Streamlining Back Office Administration

Serious security business entails a large amount of documentation in the handling of your security agent workforce. That means a lot of time spent on administration and office work, covering everything from scheduling to payroll. If you can streamline these necessary processes, your team can spend less time on mundane day-to-day tasks and concentrate their efforts on delivering quality security service. When computer programs calculate, you gain efficient, controlled data that is automatically tracked and reported. Alternatively, modern scheduling software allows you to input important data regarding client needs, guard availability and certifications, reduce unbillable overtime, avoid costly errors, and other factors to automatically generate future schedules that match the right guards to the right clients, at the right site. Automating these and other similar processes will save you time and money by helping you avoid human error in schedules, payroll reports, and other documents. In addition, these reports will give you greater understanding and control over your office operations, helping you identify ways to allocate funds towards optimizing security operations. And you’ll be closer to your goals of faster, better service.

Go Paperless!

Do you have stacks of paper piling up in your office? Incident reports, contracts, invoices, schedules, and other paper documents can add up quickly. Not only do the costs of paper and other printing supplies add up over time; you’ve likely experienced the workflow issues of misplaced or lost documentation at least once (per week…). Modern back office management software allows you to replace paper reporting by digitally distributing important information to your clients, suppliers, and employees. These streamlined reports will ensure that vital information is never lost in a stack of papers so you can keep your clients happy–which is ultimately your best way to stay profitable. With digital reporting software, important information can be sent to clients and guards alike via email, text message, or push notification, creating a digital dialogue that is easily tracked and managed. As you digitally track your field operations, automate select tasks, and use intelligent data, you’ll be better equipped than ever to improve your security business operations and increase your profitability.