New app to bring on-demand approach to guarding
The app, called Numze, has been in development for some time. Company co-founder Paul Carson, a security industry veteran, says that Numze is similar in approach to popular ride-sharing mobile technology, allowing security guards to register as the service provider and clients to procure their services, all mediated through the app.
Licensed guards can register their information with Numze, including business and personal references. A follow-up call is placed by the company to the guard and a determination is made as to whether they will be added to the service. Guards will like it, says Carson, because they can choose the number of hours they work, as well as the clients they work with. They can also choose their method of payment and how frequently they would like to be paid (daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly). He estimates that guards can expect to be paid 15 per cent more than the industry norm.
Potential clients can register for an account and request the number of guards they need and when they need them. The app will also ask questions of the client, such as the availability of washroom facilities or other particulars. Once the job is made available on the app, a guard can accept and the app facilitates a direct communication between client and guard.
Like a ride-sharing app, the client can rate the guard and vice-versa, which creates a checks and balances process on both ends. The rating system is designed to hold the guard to a higher standard than what’s sometimes seen in the industry, says Carson. “Guards come hither and yon through the industry. If they’re a bad guard, they get cycled through a number of companies. But you, as a client, don’t know that [history]. With this app, you get to rate the guard,” he says.
“If the guard has done great work — fantastic. If the guard has done mediocre work, we find that out too. It drives efficiencies and it drives process improvement all the way through.”
A more radical notion for the established industry is that the guard can rate the site, adds Carson. If a single site receives enough poor ratings from guards, a problem may lie with the employer rather than the employee, he says. The onus shifts to them to improve or they’re unlikely to find guards in the future to staff their site. “We’re allowing guards to make informed decisions as to where they’re working and vice-versa.”
The service launches first in Ontario, according to Carson, with plans for B.C., Alberta, Quebec and even the U.S. A development roadmap for the Numze app will see multiple versions with additional features provided later in 2020. Future iterations could include random fingerprinting of guards to ensure that no one else has subbed in for their shift, and potentially a guard tour component.
For Carson, Numze represents a sea change in the industry. “It’s a process improvement through a myriad of different steps that is light years ahead of where the industry is right now,” he says. “We’re bringing technology to logistics. The security guard industry, amongst other things, is human logistics.”
Adds Carson, “It’s going to be an interesting time in the security industry. People can work how they want and where they want. And that’s the motto.”