Are you thinking of hiring a physical patrol team to protect your car lot? While using real people may seem like the best way to monitor your dealership, security guards aren't always the best choice. Here are the three flaws you need to know about physical patrol systems, and one alternative that eliminates these problems.
Physical Patrols are Limited
Human beings may be have impressive capabilities, but they also have the unfortunate limitation of only being able to be in one place at one time. This means that a security guard could be at point A looking for trouble while a theft is taking place at point B. Many criminals are aware of this flaw and take advantage of it by using various methods to distract the on-duty guard while they make off with equipment or even the cars themselves. Having multiple guards reduces this problem, but doesn't eliminate it entirely; multiple guards also come at a higher cost, introducing more problems into the mix.
Physical Patrols are Unreliable
Memory has been proven fallible time and time again. Eyewitness testimony can be manipulated by various internal and external factors such as stress and leading questions. Your security guard may think he saw a 6ft male with black hair running away with stolen goods, when in reality the perpetrator was a 5ft blonde man wearing a hat. While most security guards are trained in recalling crime details and have practice under their belts, no one is perfect. When the only thing you can rely on is the word of someone who may be wrong about what they saw, it can be difficult to retrieve stolen car parts and apprehend the thieves.
Physical Patrols are Expensive
When considering whether physical patrols are the right choice for your car lot, it's important to calculate how much having a security guard will cost you. As an example, consider a scenario where a dealership is open 7 days a week from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. If the owner of the dealership wants the lot to be patrolled round the clock during closed hours, he or she needs to pay for 98 hours of labour each week. The national minimum wage is currently $17.70, so the owner can expect to spend at least $1,735 approximately each week. In a year, this could add up to over $90,000, without including insurance costs, any employee tax, and uniforms and supplies. A dealership only open or weekdays or with shorter opening hours would incur even higher costs. Even if your margins allow for this spend, many dealership owners would agree that this money would be better spent on marketing or more salespeople.
So, What Should You Do Instead?
One of the best ways to protect your car lot is with a comprehensive security system including high-quality video surveillance. Security cameras can capture and record footage from several locations in your lot; with new technologies like 180° and 360° cameras, you can cover the whole dealership with no limitations. Because the footage can be watched at any time, there's no need to rely on one person's memory. Digital security systems are also a lot cheaper to set-up and run than a physical patrol system. Many systems can trigger notifications, alarms, and audible warnings based on thermal imaging and motion tracking. However, if you like the idea of security guards monitoring your lot, you can also hire remote guards to watch your security footage and call the police if they see suspicious behaviour.