Solutions

KeyPlus

“I was surprised at how quickly FileMaker got everyone’s buy in – even those who might have preferred to stick with pen and paper! We provide a service and this platform allows that service to be faster, more efficient and much more transparent. I now have greater confidence in the security and integrity of our data too.” Brian Curran, Owner & Managing Director, KeyPlus

FileMaker unlocks improved data accuracy
and business efficiency at KeyPlus

Security firm deploys FileMaker to build tailored business solutions from scratch

Overview

  • FileMaker unlocks data accuracy and improved business efficiency for KeyPlus

Industry

  • Manned Security Services

Solution

  • FileMaker platform allows KeyPlus to create a resilient solution that makes information secure and sharable and streamlines business activity

Benefits

  • Ease of use, improved efficiency, remote access, increased staff participation

KeyPlus provides “patrol and response” security services to several hundred sites across East Lancashire. Clients include large and small businesses, council premises and residential homes. KeyPlus’ unique position as the only patrol and response company willing to provide a money back guarantee makes service efficiency, of paramount importance. For example, customers are assigned a “tag-time” which is usually set at 20 minutes. If KeyPlus receive notification of an alarm activation and then fail to attend site within 20 minutes, the customer is not charged for the call-out. This demonstrates a clear commitment to providing a truly rapid response and gives KeyPlus a unique edge over competitors.

There were no suitable bespoke solutions for the security industry, so it was necessary for KeyPlus to develop a solution independently.
There were no suitable bespoke solutions for the security industry, so it was necessary for KeyPlus to develop a solution independently.

The challenge:

KeyPlus’ reputation is built on its ability to rapidly respond to fast moving situations in addition to being a reliable patrol presence at its customers’ premises. Being able to schedule activity accurately is vital, as is fast access to information such as alarm codes and customer emergency contact details, along with accurate and prompt reporting to clients. Response officers also need the ability to access and interact with the database remotely when on patrol or responding to an alarm.

To manage the necessary information and processes initially, a Microsoft Access database was designed and built in-house. However, as KeyPlus grew, it was unable to keep pace with the required level of complexity. It became unwieldy and difficult to understand and this was exacerbated by the fact that the users were not IT professionals.

There were no suitable bespoke solutions for the security industry, so it was necessary for KeyPlus to develop a solution independently. This required a platform that was intuitive, easy to use and would not require IT professionals to build and maintain it.


Unlike the previous database software, a company with very little prior experience can use FileMaker to build and implement their ideal solution. FileMaker has many online forums, which are a great support to businesses and organisations that do not have an IT presence in-house,

—Brian Curran, Owner & Managing Director, KeyPlus
KeyPlus has also worked with its employees to identify and implement many additional features.
KeyPlus has also worked with its employees to identify and implement many additional features.

The FileMaker solution:

After a 30 day trial of FileMaker Pro, the company recognised the benefits of accessing live data from a cloud-based system (using SeedCode’s GoZync software), especially while employees were working in the field. KeyPlus recently engaged the services of FileMaker developer Stephen Brannan of Infinity Computing for ongoing development of the solution after designing and building the majority of the solution in-house.

KeyPlus uses its FileMaker solution to schedule patrol duties, respond to alarm activations, store details relating to customer premises and their personnel, report incidents, generate invoices and create vital business reports. Staff members work from the primary solution or a slimmed down iPad/iPhone version depending on their security clearance.

KeyPlus has also worked with its employees to identify and implement many additional features. Following staff feedback, a plug-in that allows emergency contact numbers to be dialed from where they are stored on the database was introduced for employees working off-site to improve the speed and accuracy of response. In addition, Google Maps has been integrated with the solution to allow patrol and response staff to see easily where their next customer is located.

“No one likes a call in the middle of the night to inform them that an alarm is going off – especially if they are on holiday or no longer work at that business. The FileMaker solution has eradicated these errors as everything is now managed from one device,” said Brian Curran, KeyPlus.

Notable benefits:

  • The FileMaker database has eliminated the pen and paper stage that was an inconvenient aspect of the previous solution. It has also streamlined the reporting process. Now, if amends need to be made to a report, it can be done quickly and painlessly and does not require the entire process to be repeated, as was previously the case. Reports are converted to PDF and emailed at the touch of a button rather than printed out and faxed or emailed individually, further streamlining business processes and freeing up staff time from highly manual activities.
  • Additionally, employees can complete incident reports remotely using company iPads and iPhones, which not only saves time but also helps to prevent errors stemming from employees having to wait until they have returned to the office before typing up reports.
  • “The FileMaker solution has completely streamlined the business. Clients are now updated much more swiftly and the reports that FileMaker allows us to generate are clearer and more detailed than ever before, which has also proved useful for audit logging. Our response officers are also incredibly pleased with FileMaker Go; the tailored mobile solution prioritises the features that they use most often, allows them to access information quickly and easily, as well as preventing them from accidentally making unwanted changes to the database. It’s been satisfying to see how FileMaker has encouraged employees to take an active role in helping the business become more efficient. Having a tool that can be evolved easily and rapidly in line with feedback is incredibly valuable,” comments Brian Curran.

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