California security company uses barcodes to help track assets

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.

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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, IT Employment, SMBs

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5 comments
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  • RE: California security company uses barcodes to help track assets

    Sounds like a regurgitation of one of their many case studies:

    http://www.waspbarcode.com/asset_management/

    What about RFIDs?? Barcodes are so last century.
    wendellgee2
    • RE: California security company uses barcodes to help track assets

      Of course RFID tags would have done the job but bar codes did the job that Paladin wanted done. The comments here seem to be from people who understand the technology of RFID tags and believe that the only solution to a problem is to use the latest technology - not the most appropriate technology for the problem.

      Oh, by the way, according to Wikipedia, the first patent to be associated with the abbreviation RFID was granted to Charles Walton in 1983 - that is so last century!
      quick-sand
  • RE: California security company uses barcodes to help track assets

    Why they would mess around with Barcodes is beyond me. RFID is the way to go but I'm sure they did this on the cheap which is what barcodes are all about. Barcodes won't solve this problem, it will only give them visibility to something missing. Not what is missing by serial number, RFID labels can be serialized and barcodes generally are not.
    bjames3
  • What are Person Hours?

    I think that using the `person' designation in place of `man' are stupid. Being politically correct is WRONG!!! Man hours is the correct term. Man as in Human. Women need to get a grip and stop changing things to suit themsleves.
    transluc
  • RE: California security company uses barcodes to help track assets

    Seems like a very inefficient process. Leave, scan your items; come back, scan your items... Gee if only they made this small radio frequency ID tag, something that one could just walk by a scanner and get inventoried while on the move? If only that existed...
    unredeemed