J B Holeman is the President and owner of Oversight-Inc. Oversight-Inc developed a suite of Checker Services and GuardChecker is the original Service. Oversight is located in Greenville, SC, and we are an active member of ASIS International.
After graduating from West Point, J B spent a career in the US Army commanding troops and procuring major weapon systems. After retiring as a full colonel, he spent 10 years as a C level executive in both large engineering and construction companies. After many years working for large organizations, he was eager to build his own business and work for himself. J B invests in startup companies; helped found the local angel investment group, UCAN; and started Oversight Inc., where he works on a daily basis. See his LinkedIn page.
How We Started
The concept of Oversight started in 2004 when JB was the President of a small security company. The local Lockheed Martin facility was already a customer and we were trying to win a new job securing the final construction phases of a new nine story Marriot Hotel. The site was on the edge a questionable side of town. As a result, the client wanted to prevent the loss any of the new furnishings being installed in the rooms, ballrooms, and administrative offices and eliminate any vandalizing. The client wanted objective confirmation that all the areas were being checked and the frequency of the checks.
Initially we used barcode software being developed by a local firm and Nextel hardware (a barcode reader integrated into a Nextel cell phone). While the software was crude and the reports very limited, it did meet the client’s requirements and we won the job. Unfortunately both the fixed costs (primarily the phones) and the variable costs (primarily the data transmission) were significant. Had it not been for discounts due to the early stage development, this system would have eroded all of our profits.
While the actual software and hardware had many shortcomings, it did show the value of the concept. For our small security business, this approach was a key competitive differentiator.
From there, the very small staff was challenged to find a more robust, cost effective approach. The resulting market research found a variety of alternatives, but the more popular ones were pricy. Also, all of them were off the shelf, one size fits all, computer applications tied (and licensed) to a single on site computer.
We were looking for a system that we could use to manage all of our guards even though they may be working for different clients in many different locations. After considerable evaluation we were convinced of two big market factors.
- No system existed anywhere in the world that could manage more than one facility.
- Even the better systems were much more focused on selling hardware rather than providing truly useful management and performance information.
As a result we set out to develop our own guard tracking system. We started by using a rudimentary software package that came with a popular brand bar code reader. It seemed to work well, and we installed on our largest client, a local Lockheed Martin facility. They had grown dissatisfied with their old, large, heavy time clock readers. They had proven unreliable, very expensive to repair, and their report disks almost impossible to read or interpret. Our early, rudimentary system worked pretty well.
Beyond Security Guards to FAM
Based on the Lockheed work we won another job with a major lighting company, Hubbell International. While using our Guard tracker, they asked could we create a system to track their office assets (computer, furniture, filing cabinets, et al.). Using a similar bar code based approach, we created a fixed asset management (FAM) system that dramatically reduced the overhead costs to all identify their assets and where it was located. Further, our system also allowed them to track movement of those assets over time. We actually used the security guard force to do most of the on-site work during evenings and weekends.
Beyond FAM to Temporary Employees
About this same time our strategic partner, a large regional security company that also provided temps and janitorial services, asked us if we could develop a system to monitor and record the time and attendance for temporary employees. Further, their potential client, a major distributor with seasonal temp needs, wanted to track the specific departments where the temps spent hours. Also the temps could work in more than one department on a single shift. (The Operations manager wanted to back charge the departments rather than have the temp expenses come out of his general overhead budget.)
In fact, the business deal for our Partner was that if he could provide such a tracking system, the distributor would consolidate their existing four staffing agencies into one – our Partner. Again using a similar bar code approach, we created the system; it worked; and the client did consolidate all his temps with our Partner’s agency.
The Oversight-Inc technology has continued to evolve. We have gone from bar codes to iButtons and now evaluating RFID and GPRS. We are the first US company to be web based and embrace the Software as a Service business model.
Today, Oversight-Inc continues to raise the bar for Checker services. In particular, we have developed a “Game Changing” approach to monitoring and improving Guard Force performance!