There’s an old saying in business – “cash is king”. In short, this saying demonstrates the importance that cash has to a company, and how important it is to make sure that cash stays in the business. This is even more relevant in today’s economy, with rising minimum wages in some areas and the rising costs of necessary things like utilities and business services. It’s therefore important to get the most out of the systems that you have in order to maximize the return on the investment (ROI) that you’ve placed in them.
One area that people generally don’t consider when thinking about maximizing ROI and saving money is their business security alarm system. Most, if not all businesses have a security or intrusion alarm monitoring system installed in them. This could be for various reasons, like insurance or business protection. Since this investment is required, why not try and get the most out of, and save yourself some money in the process? Here are a few ways to maximize your business security alarm monitoring system to improve the ROI you get out of it, and save yourself some money.
Integrate the Commercial Security Alarm System with Building Services
Many people don’t know this, but even the most basic security alarm monitoring panels have input and output relays that can be simply ties into building services to help have you money. For example, the 6-Zone DSC HS2016 Power Series Neo security alarm monitoring panel only has 6 on board zones, but it has 2 built in output relays, which can be expanded to 22 if you need them. These outputs can be programmed to send commands to building automation or building services to control those functions. One example would be to automatically turn off all non-critical lights in the building when the alarm system is armed, or to turn them on when the system is disarmed. This saves money and can improve the overall safety of the building.
Another place where this could work would be the building heating and cooling. These outputs could be used to trigger building heating or cooling functions, reducing cost and waste when people aren’t on site. A further integration with alarm.com could also allow you to remotely change the temperature on site, and provide notifications if it gets too hot or cold at the office, potentially preventing freezing pipes or overheating equipment.
These are just two examples, but there are many other building automation options for you to consider which can save you money and improve safety through your commercial security alarm monitoring system.
Real-Time Notifications from Your Business Security System can Save You Money
Another benefit of using an integration from alarm.com, or perhaps a service that can be provided by your monitoring provider’s automation system is real-time alerts from your monitoring equipment. Real time alerts can be alarms which are sent to you, via e-mail, text or push notifications on your mobile device which alert you to the status of your system, regardless of whether it is armed or disarmed. An example of how this could benefit you is similar to an example above.
Say that you own a plant or warehouse in a colder climate. You likely spend a lot of money heating and cooling that large space in order to keep people comfortable and product in good condition. Many times in these warehouses, entry and exit doors and overhead doors can be left open while people are working, letting that valuable heat escape, and driving up the costs to heat the space. With real time notifications, you can set unique alerts for your doors on the system so that if a door is left open for more than a defined period of time (say, 30 seconds) you get an alert. You can set up different alerts with different time frames for individual doors, or groups of doors, and you can get these alerts regardless of whether or not your business alarm system is armed or disarmed.
You can use this information to then go to this door and close it, or retrain your staff on company policy on how long these doors can be open. This feature can also be used to reduce or eliminate product or equipment loss. Sometimes, less scrupulous employees may prop a door open with product or tools by the door for someone else to go by and scoop at some point during the day. By knowing when doors are being propped open, you can prevent this sort of loss well before the tools or product leave your plant.
It’s about saving money and improving security.
Use Open and Close Reports to Make Sure You Aren’t Missing Business Opportunities
In our intro, we spoke briefly about the rising costs of labour and their impacts, particularly on small business. Your existing alarm system can produce open and close (arming and disarming) signals to your monitoring provider. You can then have your security or monitoring provider (usually for a small fee) provide regular, automated reports on when the system has been armed or disarmed. This info can also be provided in real time through apps like alarm.com. You can then compare this information to when the store or business was actually supposed to be armed or disarmed, or the times that employees are logging for their time worked on site. This ensures that you aren’t overpaying for your labour.
Further, as a small business owner you may not be able to always open or close your store, so comparing these arming and disarming times to when you’re actually supposed to be open or closed helps ensure that you’re not missing any opportunities to impress a customer or make a sale.
Security alarm monitoring systems are highly prevalent in businesses today, but they largely aren’t used to their full potential. These are but a few ways the existing security system in your business can help your business save money. Leverage what you have to improve your business, and keep that cash in your bank account.