Most public safety agencies understand the importance of personnel accountability management systems. These tools allow them to conveniently monitor and deploy their staff. Otherwise, they know they will end up with a staff scheduling issue and won’t be able to meet their department’s full scope of needs.
The global public safety and security market is expected to increase from $365.0 billion in 2020 to $516.5 billion by 2025, at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 7.2% during this period. The reasons behind this exponential growth are the rising number of terror attacks and increasing investment in public safety measures. It immediately highlights the importance of personnel scheduling software to manage the existing and prospective recruits in the department.
Questions You Should Ask Your Vendor
If you are going to invest in a personnel accountability management system, you should know what your vendors have to offer. You also need to ask just the right questions so that you get all the necessary information from them.
Here are some questions that will help you make the right decision:
Is this software going to be compliant with our department policies?
Every public safety agency has its own set of strict protocols depending on their union, business, and department rules. They could include overtime bidding, training requirements, and everything in between. So, you should check with your vendor if their software complies with your standards.
How much can it cater to specific public safety needs?
If you want to fully implement scheduling software in your department, you should first see to it that it can efficiently handle public safety needs. Some vendors usually offer the same product across various industries by making some small changes. However, some others offer these solutions designed specifically for public safety needs like firefighters, law enforcement, and EMS professionals. Thus, you should consider your unique requirements and make sure your pick meets the full range of needs.
What features are included in the price?
If you narrow down the choices among the vendors, you should check what features are included in the price. Although some options may look similar on the surface, different vendors often offer unique features and benefits.
For instance, if you are looking for such a solution for the fire safety department, you should look for an automated, cloud-based solution that offers features such as:
- Provision of quickly logging any new incidents
- Checking where your personnel, responding staff, and resources are deployed at all times
- Allowing quick response to an incident
- Access to destination and ETA of personnel to the scene, etc.
How well can it integrate with our existing systems?
All modern systems collect and manage a great deal of data. So, you should opt for a solution that easily integrates with your existing systems and keeps the data accurate and up to date. If your department has an incident command or emergency response software, choosing a personnel management system that connects well will give you several benefits.
How will it affect our administrative efficiency?
If you are going to invest in this solution, it better make your administrative tasks more efficient. For instance, the manual personnel accountability systems require your incident commander and individual firefighters to coordinate by themselves. However, this digital solution should bypass the first failure point of active systems and ensure that every firefighter is automatically entered into the system seamlessly.
Is the software accessible and easy to use?
The pressure on public safety agencies is constantly increasing. Apart from managing their employees, they also have to handle the latest technologies being included in the departments. A 2017 report reveals that almost 350 state and local police, fire, and emergency service units have acquired drones to enhance public safety. So, you should choose a cloud-based solution that allows you to access all details regarding your personnel and equipment for efficient deployment.
Does it have a mobile app version available?
It is estimated that nearly 77% of Americans own a smartphone and their use is on the rise. Some vendors offer this solution on mobile apps so that employees can request vacation, overtime, and shift trades directly from their devices. It will allow you to stay updated on the needs of your personnel at all times.
Choosing the right personnel accountability management system doesn’t have to be a challenging task. If you know the right questions to ask and conduct thorough research of the vendors, you can increase your department’s efficiency while cutting costs and making administration easy.