Taking inventory

Businesses of all kinds run inventory checks throughout the year. And while 99% of inventory processes involve physical materials (stock or goods), I think it important to consider your Security Staff while doing “inventory checks”. I do not mean physically lining up your staff and counting them to see if you’ve lost anyone. What I mean is making an honest assessment of your Security Staff, their needs, your needs, and what it takes to meet those needs.

What could your Security Staff possibly need? Hmmmm, let’s see:

Equipment – Radios, flashlights, stanchions, velvet ropes, clipboards, etc. How can you possibly expect your Staff to do their jobs if they don’t have the right gear? Each member of your Staff should have access to the same equipment, no matter what their duties. But let’s not stop there; the equipment needs to work. I can’t count the number of times I have run an audit on a location and found broken radios, missing earpieces, no batteries for flashlights, and crooked stanchions. If your equipment is lacking or not working, your Staff will NOT be able to perform to its full potential. Equipment that works can be a figurative and literal life saver. You don’t want to be the guy stuck on a peak capacity patio with a broken radio and flickering flashlight…do you?

Policies and Procedures – We’ve done a number of posts on the subject, so the basic foundation of your system should be in place. Polices and Procedures are the necessary guidelines for your Staff to follow for all points between A and Z. Everything from your policy on ID Checks to your expected Dress Code should be listed. “Yeah, yeah,” you say, “We’ve had the same policies in place for years. No need to check them.” Really? Make it a rule to update your paperwork once a year or as circumstances dictate. Things change: state and local policies on ID checks, state/foreign IDs, rules on intoxication, work hours, and yes, even your own dress code. And all of these changes need to be reflected in your paperwork. Not only for the sake of your employees, but to cover you in case of lawsuits.

Meetings – “Taking inventory” in the bar, restaurant, and nightclub industry should also mean staying in touch with your Staff to find the gaps and fill them in. Management should always meet with the Head of Security to not only check in about equipment and procedures, but to take a look at the Security Staff as a whole. Do you need to hire new Staffers? Is anyone in line for promotion? Is it time to train/re-train Staff on anything? Are you finding issues with specific things during the course of a week? Talk them out and find solutions. Does your Staff have a way to let their superiors know of any work related or personal issues? They should. Nightly meetings can help to bring problems to light, which in turn can lead to figuring out realistic and workable solutions to the problems your Staff are facing.

So when do you “take inventory”? It will vary from location to location depending on the size of Staff and the service you provide. Some locations need to do a nightly check of everything I listed above, while others can do a yearly review. I would suggest at least: a Weekly equipment check, a Quarterly review of Staff, and an Annual check of Policies and Procedures. Be open to the idea of self-critique and follow through on fixing the places where you find the biggest issues. If you set a regular “Security Inventory” schedule it will help you to stay on track and leaves you with time to run the rest of the business.

Until next time..