So You Need CCTV, Huh?

cctv what building managers should know

Selecting the right CCTV system for your building can be tricky. Building managers often don’t realize the complicated back-end required to run the ecosystem for these cameras. As an end-user of CCTV cameras, there are a ton of issues that can crop up when you are trying to set up or manage a system.

Understand The Challenges

The biggest issue with CCTV systems is the lack of standardization. This affects every part of the process, because you can’t manage or set all your cameras up in the exact same way. Efforts have been taken to improve this fragmentation within the industry, but there is still a lot left to be done.

This often makes the task of selecting the right system difficult because a lack of standardization in product design and specifications make side-by-side product comparison ineffective.

Another challenge is, it becomes difficult to buy the exact same camera if you are outfitting different sites at different times, and the compatibility issues that may pop up are expensive, to say the least.

Planning Is Essential

It’s important to plan way ahead of time for whatever equipment you may need at any of your facilities. Very little flexibility is allowed in these cases. Even the most knowledgeable CCTV project managers will struggle to keep up.

One of your first considerations when planning the implementation of your new CCTV system is the bandwidth. Your IT department will have to get involved and help you figure out how much bandwidth will be required and whether they can provide it. Even with modern compression methods, bandwidth consumption will be significant.

There are a few secondary factors that contribute to this consideration, such as how good your images need to be. The number of frames per second will determine your overall bandwidth usage, so you should consult your team to figure out what is actually necessary. In addition, figure out how long you’ll need to store your video. There are different regulatory requirements for different uses, so this should be kept in mind.

The Bidding Process

The next step is to solicit bids for you project. Be sure to give your bidders as much information as possible. If you are in pre-construction, provide blueprints and any other materials that would help determine your CCTV needs. Otherwise, offer walkthroughs and make sure the professionals with technical knowledge of the building are available for questions and comments throughout the process.

Because of the complex business models that form the CCTV industry, it is important to have your needs outlined ahead of time and then do your research on the individual bids, since they won’t be easy to compare.

Get Help

Getting an independent and objective look from a fresh set of eyes can help tremendously. At GSI we have consulted with many of our clients to help them get the CCTV system that best meets their specific needs.

Some think we should provide a branded solution, but we don’t. The reason is simply because we want to maintain the flexibility to evaluate options that are in the best interest of our clients. This allows us to remain unbiased and objective when making recommendations.

If you are in need of a CCTV system, we would be happy to help you through the process. Feel free to reach out to us. We’re always happy to help out our readers in whatever ways we can.

Why GSI Makes Employee Recognition A Priority

Employee Appreciation

Our people… our strength. That’s not just a cool tagline. It’s a motto to live by because a company is only as good as the people that represent it.

At GSI we employ hundreds of guards. Each one has a different story.  Many are career minded security professionals looking to work with a fast growing company. Others are officers working their way through college. Some are single parents working to provide for their children. We also have officers who came out of retirement either to supplement their income or just because they want to stay active and be productive.

We all come from different backgrounds and walks of life, yet we are all united in a common cause. Our directive is to deliver outstanding service to our clients and protect the communities we serve. That’s what we show up to do each and every day.

I have nothing but respect for all the people who work with us. I have to admire them because despite whatever personal challenges they are facing, they come in and do an excellent job and they do it continually, day in and day out. We should never take that for granted.

Showing appreciation for the people we work with and recognizing their efforts should be a priority for every manager because it increases employee engagement and results in many benefits.

Benefits Of Employee Engagement

An “engaged employee” is one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and as a result takes positive action to further the organization’s reputation and interests.

At GSI our goal is to exceed client expectations. That is not an easy task. However, we have found that when our officers are cared for and feel appreciated, issues are often avoided. This goes a long way toward our ability to provide the best service for our clients.

A Gallup study found that companies with higher employee engagement enjoyed 50% higher levels of productivity, 13% less employee turnover, 44% higher profits and 50% higher customer satisfaction than companies that measured in the bottom 25% of employee engagement.

That makes a pretty strong business case. Showing appreciation and recognizing the efforts of the people that make a company great is just the right thing to do from both a personal and business perspective.

The Joy of Giving

Besides, it’s a lot of fun! Nothing beats the feeling we get when we see the smiles on the faces of our employees.

Recently I had the privilege to host an “In & Out” Employee Appreciation Luncheon for all of my GSI field team members.  We kicked it off with 10 raffle winners. We had music and an In & Out Catering truck bring us fresh hot burgers, fries and ice cold drinks. Everyone had a great time!

These kind of events build stronger bonds within the company. Plus, it was such a great feeling to be able to show the team how much we care about them and value the work they do.


United Airlines Incident – Learning Positive Security Lessons from Bad Experiences

Unless you don’t watch the news, you’ve probably seen and heard about the United Airlines incident. The incident involved a passenger being forcibly removed from a flight by security.

Those of us who saw the video, as recorded by a fellow passenger’s phone, were shocked. While we weren’t there and don’t know all the details of exactly what transpired, it’s still shocking to see a person being treated like that.

To make matters worse, not only did the video footage go viral across the internet, it reached the White House. Press Secretary Sean Spicer had this to say, “I don’t think anyone looks at that video and isn’t disturbed that a man was treated that way.”

It gets worse. Spicer confirmed that he was quite confident President Trump watched the video, as well.

Talk about having a bad day at work. Not only was this a disturbing incident, it was a PR nightmare.

Public opinion and downright outrage has resulted not only in negative press for United Airlines, but plummeting stock prices.

Reaction to the incident spiraled so far out of control; it prompted United Airlines CEO, Oscar Munoz, to make a public statement.

“The truly horrific event that occurred on this flight has elicited many responses from all of us: outrage, anger, disappointment. I share all of those sentiments and one above all: my deepest apologies for what happened,” Munoz said in his statement.

Warning to Companies Employing Security Officers

At this point, the damage has been done. The reputation of United Airlines has been seriously compromised. All due to this one incident on a day which started out much like every other at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.

Of all the probable thousands of interactions at the airport that day, which one is standing out in everyone’s mind? Sadly, the negative incident prevails.

In this day and age of cell phones, it’s a safe bet to assume that at some point, it will be captured on video and shared on social media for the entire world to see.

When negative experiences regarding your company name and image (brand) are shared with the world, it can cause serious damage.

For any company employing outside security officers, remember the lesson to be learned from this incident. The ways security officials handle delicate incidents are representing your firm. There are right ways and wrong ways to handle potentially brand-damaging incidents.

It is one thing for security personnel to receive the minimum training requirements as mandated by your state. However, is that really enough? Can you afford to ruin your company’s image due to bare bones training of security staff?

How to Protect Your Company’s Reputation and Brand

It’s time to take a look at the training your security staff has received. Are you sure they really know how to deal with difficult people, diffuse situations and bottom line, handle any situation with dignity and respect for all involved?

Whether you hire an outside security company to provide concierge or guard services, we can help provide the customized training that is critical to protect your brand.

Our extensive security training program includes standard, site-specific and customized curriculums. We start by meeting with management to cover specific concerns and specialty areas of training to positively represent your company brand.

After all, the way guests are handled in any situation reflects directly on your brand.

Our accredited courses train security staff as to their role, responsibility and expectations in terms of representing your company.

Training includes both video presentations and role-play interactions in situation-specific scenarios.

Once security personnel completes the intensive training program, they are tested for both understanding and retention of the materials covered.

In light of the ever-increasing potential of negative situations that may come up for those employed on your security team, customized training is essential.

By providing customized training for your security staff, you can take those extra steps in preparing them to understand and handle situations in a way to position your brand in a positive light. Even in bad situations.

How To Get Truly Custom Security Solutions – Friday Funnies

Cutom Security Solutions

Cutom Security Solutions

While most security companies will quickly point out that Security guards are often the first person seen, many fail to provide options to their clients.

In our experience we have seen that a “one size fits all” approach to Security is a huge mistake, especially when it comes to gated communities and high-rise buildings.

Property owners and management invest a lot of effort and resources into creating an atmosphere and brand that will keep tenants happy and appeal to potential new tenants.

That’s why we work closely with them to ensure that everything from the uniforms our guards wear to the CCTV that is installed is customized to meet the needs of each individual client. It may be easy and more efficient to provide pre-boxed solutions, like many of the large impersonal corporate security companies do, but our focus is on meeting our client’s individual needs.

This is our first weekly comic in a series we are calling the “Friday Funnies”.  In these comics we poke fun at some of the silly and often frustrating things we see in the security industry. These are areas that we go through great lengths to correct here at GSI.