Patrolguide Tours are much like Inteliguide Shifts. They represent an appointment, of sorts, that must be completed as part of normal contract obligations and working operations. Shifts are really a one-to-one event. Tours are as well, strictly by themselves, but they come in per Location Tour Sets. So while Shifts only come one at a time per unique Shift per Location or Group, Tours can come one or many to a Set for one or many Patrol Groups. All of the Sets for all of the Locations for all Patrol Groups represent Patrols.
To the uninitiated, Patrols and Tours might sound like very similar concepts... and they are. But in the Inteliguide/Patrolguide universe, they're used to describe hierarchy.
Patrols are the top level, followed by Sets containing one-to-many Tours. More specifically, Patrols encompass multiple per Location Tour Sets, which themselves encompass one or many discreet Tours. You can think of a Patrol as all the Patrol operations in a given Market for all their given Patrol Groups (Regions, in legacy). Naming Patrol Groups accordingly helps to clarify this concept. Signal 88 Security in Omaha, NE names their Patrol Groups West Patrol, or Central Patrol, or Day Patrol, and Schedule Shifts for each respective User required to work each respective Patrol Group. Each overarching Patrol Group then has one or many Sets that are built per Location for typically many Locations that are expected to be Patrolled each day. Those Sets contain one or many Tours. So a Tour is a one-on-one event. One Location, and one discreet or unique visit with associated operations (walk the courtyard, check the pool, check for parking violations, respond to an alarm, etc.), while a Patrol involves all Tours for a given Patrol Group or all of them combined for all Patrol Groups for a given Market or Franchise Context.
Note: Check out the Patrolguide Schedule for a visual representation of the Patrol hierarchy.
Patrols can be predefined and stored prior to operations by building Patrol Work Orders. Given the fluid state of business, however, it's sometimes necessary to be able to create ad hoc Tours. These can be special Alarm Tours that can be either Dispatched by Management, or they can be created on-demand by Users in the field, or they can be non-alarm tours added to or subtracted from regularly Scheduled Tours on the Patrolguide Schedule.
- Conversions or "Non-Billable"
Alarm Responses are just that, responses to alerts or alarms that are received by Internal Users via Clients calling in during the course of an event or emergency on their Location. This could be Law Enforcement interventions, noise complaints, construction accidents, or any other event that a Client would want immediate assistance with. They go beyond the scope of normally Scheduled Patrol operations, but may not necessarily constitute billable actions. Here's why...
Normal Scheduled Tours CAN be converted to Alarm Responses while they are In Progress, meaning while the User is actively on Location working the Tour. If the User is actively working a Tour that they receive an Alarm Response notice for, they can convert the Tour on-the-fly. This will normally use the regularly Scheduled Tour they're already working, and mark it as an Alarm Response. That is NOT considered a Billable action. Additionally, if any User or Manager in the field wants to create an Alarm Response, but is NOT currently In Progress on the Alarm Response Location, they can choose to do so in lieu of selecting their next Tour Location. That requires that they first either abort any Tour they're currently En Route to, or that they finish any Tour operations they may currently be engaged in for any Location other than the Alarm Response Location. Patrolguide is intelligent enough to determine if there are available Scheduled Tours for the Alarm Response Locations and will use them accordingly. If a normally Scheduled Tour is used as an Alarm Response, that does NOT constitute a Billable action.
What DOES constitute a Billable action, however, is if a User Dispatches or Adds (for themselves) an Alarm Response for a Location that doesn't currently have a normally Scheduled Tour available for conversion. If the Alarm Response ends up triggering a Billable action, the User will have to confirm it.
Note: A Scheduled Tour is NOT eligible for conversion if it doesn't coincide with the Day/Time of an Alarm Response event. So, as an example, if a Location has a Patrol Work Order that defines a Tour Set for the weekends... the upcoming weekend would contain normally Scheduled Tours. Say, however, that you're trying to create a new Alarm Response for that Location during a weekday. That would mean that the Alarm Response would be in ADDITION to the Location's regularly Scheduled weekend Tours. That WOULD be considered a Billable action.
Alarm Response Conversion During In Progress Tour
Add Alarm Response before In Progress Tour
Dispatch an Alarm Response
There may be scenarios where Users are currently indisposed to respond to an Alarm Response, while at the same time being the ones receiving the Alarm or complaint from a Client. Picture a manager receiving the Alarm response or complaint at a fixed position with no access to a patrol Vehicle, or a Patrol User already responding to ANOTHER Alarm, for example. Users in that situation would need to Dispatch the Alarm to be picked up by Users working Patrol Operations. This has the net effect of creating the Alarm Response, but leaving it available for others to pick up and actually work. The Alarm Response will get top priority for the Users working whichever Patrol Group it happens to fall under, and it will appear FIRST in their list of Tours to Choose from.
Managers in this type of situation can click to Patrolguide on the Context Menu, if they're not already logged into Patrolguide, and fill out some basic information to submit an Alarm. During that submit process, there will be a DISPATCH checkbox (as seen above). Simply checking that box before clicking START RESPONSE will make that Alarm Response available to other Users. Alternatively, Users already working patrols can go through that same process from the Choose Location screen.
The Patrolguide Schedule allows Admins to easily modify the number of Tours already Scheduled for a given Location. Simply click on the Tour Schedule or "Set," click Edit, and modify to suit. Any additional Tours generated via this method are considered normal Tours. They are NOT considered Alarm Responses (use the above Add/Convert Alarm Response methods for that), and are NOT Billable.
We consider it best practice to Schedule Patrol Group Shifts (as opposed to, say... Shifts for Dedicated Groups, or individual Locations) for Users conducting Patrols, but do not explicitly require it. One underlying benefit of Scheduling a Patrol Group Shift is that Patrolguide is context aware and will look for the correct Codes/Dispos first defined for the Shift, and if not there then defined as a Shift Default for the Patrol Group. That gives Admins better control of what Codes/Dispos are available to Patrolling Users.
To reiterate, Users don't have to be Clocked In via the Shift Dash to access Patrolguide and conduct Patrol Operations. This can have the effect of some Users working whole Patrol Shifts without any record of that happening in Payroll (which is derived from Shifts). Admins and Managers should certainly be aware of that while building their Schedule and Scheduling their Patrol staff.