California security company uses barcodes to help track assets

Summary:Lost equipment isn't just expensive, it can be embarassing when your company is in the business of protection. Paladin Security looked to an asset management system from Wasp as the solution.

When your company handles facilities security and surveillance as its livelihood, the last thing you can tolerate is lost or stolen equipment. So when managers at Paladin Private Security of Sacramento, Calif., started reported missing equipment -- including Taser guns and gasoline fuel credit cards -- it realized it needed a more sophisticated approach for keeping tabs on its inventory.

Consider that the average Paladin patrol car can be home to at least 20 to 30 sets of keys for different client accounts, and you can imagine the magnitude of the challenge. Each Paladin control car includes a laptop, a Taser stun gun, a video camera and the keys for the properties being patrolled by the security officer.

"We don't expect not to lose things occasionally, because of the mobile nature of our work," said Matt Carroll, co-founder of Paladin and one of the company's vice presidents. "The challenge is that we were not always aware that something was lost until we needed it 24 hours later."

Prior to installing the Wasp MobileAsset technology to record and monitor the whereabouts of everything from keys to laptops, video cameras and Taser guns, Carroll said the company managed this information in a spreadsheet. That was good for knowing what the company had, but not so effective for keeping tabs on locations.

Using MobileAsset, Paladin was able to record each of its assets and then associate it with a bar code number. Now, whenever a patrol officer clocks in or out for duty, the barcodes for the items that he or she will be using on patrol are scanned and noted. (Each employee also has a badge with a barcode.) That way, it is easier to trace the last person who might have seen an item.

Carroll said it was relatively simple for his company to set up the system, taking approximately six hours to create the inventory and probably about one week to get the database in place. He believes the Wasp technology has helped his company save almost four person-hours every day that used to be wasted hunting down missing equipment (usually just misplaced, not stolen). "Now, we can just push a button and essentially figure out where it is," he said.

(Image of Paladin Security team member courtesy of Wasp Barcode Technologies)

Topics: CXO, Security, SMBs, Tech & Work


Heather Clancy is an award-winning business journalist specializing in transformative technology and innovation. Her articles have appeared in Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Times. In a past corporate life, Heather was editor of Computer Reseller News. She started her journalism lif... Full Bio

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