How to Reorganize Your Patrols

Following is an example to help with context. Please continue reading, or skip directly to the "how to" steps.

So you've set up all your patrols, things are working, you have multiple locations and separate clients for which you're conducting patrol services. Great!

But, wait, you just sold another several accounts or just brought on another patrol vehicle. Congratulations! You're growing, and so is your Inteliguide Patrol Work Order List.

As patrol services grow, so does the need to reevaluate their organization. Let's use a basic example to emphasize that point in the direction of optimizing the amount of billable time your officers might be spending onsite at client locations (as opposed to "wasting" time traveling from one location to the next).

We've got a bunch of active patrols on our Patrolguide Schedule in Inteliguide, organized within one big Patrol Group called 'Demo Burger Patrol Group.' Here's a snapshot:

You can see that they're all active and ready to be worked, and appear to have a mix of both fast food restaurants and retail locations. This actually may be a reflection or microcosm of a real-life Patrol Group. But, in a real-life example, many tours should already be done for this particular batch of Tour Schedules (Sets) for the night. Even still, let's move on.

Great, so what does it look like in Patrolguide?

Here we can see the same list as available to patrol officers, optimized for the best route.

Let's take another look at the distribution. One way we can get a glimpse of that is to take a look at these locations together on a map.

We can do this by looking at the Patrol Group containing our Patrol Work Order Locations:

While this is a simplistic example using just a few patrol Locations, let's examine how we might divide this up to better optimize routing. You can see that between the upper left two Locations, and the lower right two Locations, there's a sizable distance and travel gap.

We don't necessarily want the gaps to be that big between our service location groupings without either intermediary accounts between that officers can tour (thus constituting billable time), or without splitting the two groupings up between separate patrol vehicles.

Wear and tear, fuel, and time costs all impact a patrol officer's efficiency, so it behooves everyone to keep them as busy as possible on client locations. Not only does that maximize the time that clients get valuable attention, it reduces the overall cost of patrol services; thus increasing profitability, contract price-point competitiveness, or both.

Let's say, for the sake of this example, that we don't want to keep one big "region" of a Patrol Group.

Let's also point out that there's a kind of (for the sake of the example) natural division going on already in the composition of the Demo Burger Patrol Group. We've also got some retail locations cramping our fast-food style.

It just so happens that those retails locations are off in their own smaller grouping, a perfect target for our example optimization.

Let's start by compiling a list of the locations that we want to move to a new or separate Patrol Group.

I've highlighted the two Locations below that we want to break out into another Group:

Steps to Reorganize, using the above example Service Locations (apply this to your actual data similarly):

  1. Add your Service Location(s) to the Patrol Group you'd like to move them to: Right now, the two Service Locations highlighted above (Old Navy and Aeropostale) belong to the Demo Burger Patrol Group. We want to move them to another Patrol Group called 'Demo Retail Patrol Group.' For this example, we're going to create a new Patrol Group, but you might already have one available. Since our new Group doesn't exist, we'll create it and add our two retail Locations. If your other (new) Group already exists, simply edit the record to add your target Service Locations to it.

    Great! So we're done, right? Wrong. Simply adding our Service Locations for existing Patrol Groups to another Patrol Group does NOT tell any associated Patrol Work Orders that we want them to belong to a new Patrol Group. It also doesn't refresh the cached Tours that were generated for the old Patrol Group. That's where the next step comes in.

  2. Re-save EACH Patrol Work Order for each of your moved Service Locations for your target Patrol Group: You will need to go to your Patrol Work Orders List and click on the 'wrench' icon for each one to open each to its Edit Form. Once there, you can verify in Step 1 of the Work Order Form that your target desired Patrol Group is selected. Here's what that looks like using our Aeropostale Patrol Work Order:

    You might notice that the Description still lists the old Demo Burger Patrol Group. So as to avoid confusing yourself or your patrol officers, you should ideally change that as well before re-saving the Work Order. Selecting a new Patrol Group does not automatically change that.


    Note: If you've REMOVED the Service Location(s) from your old Patrol Group, you may not have an option to select the new one in Step 1 of the Patrol Work Order Edit Form. Using Old Navy Store as an example, which I've removed from the old Demo Burger Patrol Group, here's what that looks like:

    Looks can be deceiving, here!
    You don't have an option to select one or another Patrol Group here because your Service Location now only belongs to one Patrol Group. But even if you don't have an option, you STILL need to scroll down, edit your Description (if necessary), and hit the SAVE button for the Patrol Work Order. Doing so regenerates all current and upcoming Tour Schedules to use the newly listed Patrol Group. This behavior doesn't happen on its own. You have to do that by re-saving the Patrol Work Order form.

    Housekeeping Note: If you have multiple options for the Patrol Group that all are named the same, and you want to figure out which Active Patrol Group should be selected, it's useful to go to your Groups List, filter by Archived if necessary (click the small gray '+' icon to the top right of your Search textbox, which drops down the filters option, filter by Archived), and then click the 'wrench' icon on the List Item to open the Group Edit Form. Once in the Edit Form, you can remove your Service Location from any stale or old Patrol Groups. This will clean things up when reorganizing your Patrols that might have belonged to Archived or multiple old Patrol Groups.

  3. Scroll down on the Patrol Work Order Edit Form and hit the SAVE button!

  4. Check your work on the Patrolguide Schedule to avoid any surprises for yourself or your patrol officers. Filter by your new Patrol Group, and verify which of your Patrol Work Orders show up.

  5. Remember to change any current and upcoming Patrol Group Shifts associated with the old Patrol Group to the new Patrol Group. Do this by opening the relevant Shifts for your scheduled patrol officers (that will be patrolling the new Patrol Group) for editing, selecting the new Patrol Group, and saving the Shift.

    You can accomplish this one-by-one by editing Shifts directly on the Inteliguide Schedule Calendar.

    Or you can use the Bulk Edit Form on the Agenda to quickly select many Shifts and convert them to the new Patrol Group.

    Note: This only really applies if you're scheduling your patrol officers for the same Patrol Groups as they're supposed to be patrolling on any given Shift. This is the recommended action, as they'll be able to write maintenance and other such Reports in Inteliguide (vehicle inspections, patrol start/end, etc.) using the same reference Locations set as they'll be encountering in their patrols in Patrolguide, but the system doesn't require you to do this. For those of you that correlate the Shift with the Patrol Group that your officers will be working, this is a handy step to do when reorganizing your patrols.

  6. Finally, if your officers were logged into Patrolguide and working the old Patrol Group, and you've instructed them to begin working the NEW Patrol Group, please do remember to have them click the SWITCH GROUP button on the Choose Location screen in Patrolguide, back out to the Start Patrol screen, select the new Patrol Group, and start their patrol work.

    That about wraps things up.


Consider your patrols reorganized! Please comment below, and let us know if we're missing anything from this "how to."


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