Mark Stoop heads the Business Connexion division that provides physical security and time management solutions. He says, “We have come a long way since the days when it was considered cutting edge to link access control with time and attendance. Nowadays, we have single solutions that govern our clients’ formal policies concerning Safety, Health, Environment, Risk and Quality or SHERQ.”
Expectations among end-users have also changed. Stoop says, “Most organisations today are looking for continuity across their business procedures. They want to achieve that continuity by integrating various elements of their workforce management functions. This might include process flow, data migration and all the different types of information that relates to their employees.”
In Stoop’s experience, organisations have become more aware of the commercial advantages that can be achieved through unified solutions. “We have seen that by bringing together a host of different components from separate vendors, we are able to resolve diverse business challenges within a single solution. “Rather than being narrowly limited to providing the outcomes that are delivered by a specific product, an integrated approach enables us to focus our attention on understanding and addressing the overall needs of our clients.”
Stoop regards integration as an essential component of the services offered by the individual vendors whose products are combined to produce an overall solution. “Integration is no longer a nice-to-have. It cannot be some DIY offering that the solution provider or end-user somehow has to figure out. It has got to come in the box, to be part of the product.
“It is vital that we understand how to take diverse products and applications and marry them successfully to provide a single, integrated solution that is client-specific. It would be great if we could say one-size-fits-all, but that is not the business reality.”
According to Stoop, modern security managers are very much part of the drive to ensure that security solutions do more than apply the access control policies for employees. “It is about governing the site rules set out within an organisation’s policies concerning SHERQ. This relates to everyone that comes and goes – contractors, visitors, hired labour as well as all the vehicles. Through integrated solutions, the security manager now has the ability to have full control of these policies, regardless of whether he has access to certain applications, such as SAP, to ensure these policies are enforced.”
Looking beyond physical access control, Stoop says that modern integrated solutions can also manage also ERP issues; the validity of qualifications and accreditations; inductions; medicals; and workman’s compensation certificates – all in addition to handling the more obvious functions of attendance and payroll management.
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