Aug 172011

According to a study effective supervisors must know the limits of all the people on their team. However, most untrained supervisors don’t understand how to adjust to the needs of their team, some of who may have been former co-workers or even close friends.

  • Poor communication skills
  • Weak leadership capabilities
  • Managers unable or unwilling to adapt to change
  • Poor relationship builders

Do you feel as though “You’ve turned your” best employees…. into your worst supervisors” simply by promoting them and not properly training them in their new role? Recognizing these potential problems before poor manager issues escalate is crucial to a well run business.

Most companies don’t realize that many of the staff being promoted has never been taught to MANAGE! SACS provides train-the-trainer education programs to make sure your star employees can still shine as your star supervisors!

You might be interested in one of our training classes: Effective Management in the Workplace

Aug 082011

I am sure that everyone will agree that we need to protect our families and make our communities safer. Unfortunately, we are seeing a significant increase in the use of firearms during the commission of crimes in Ohio. All of the statistics referenced in this blog are directly from the State of Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

Between 2000 and 2009, 59.2% of homicides in Ohio were committed with a firearm. In 2009 alone, criminals used guns in 62% of all homicides and 41% all robberies. Also, in 2009, law enforcement officers across the state investigated an average of 34 incidents daily in which a gun was present.

The statistics from last four decades of stats are even more alarming. According to BCI data, we had 9009 arrests in Ohio in the 1970’s that dealt with illegal use of guns. That number increased to over 12,000 in the 1980’s, and doubled in the 1990’s to over 24,000. And, the number for the last ten years for arrests that included use of an illegal firearm climbed to 45,197. This concerns me and it should concern you as we continue to track “Life Rage” trends at SACS Consulting.

In addition to these disturbing statistics we are seeing a huge spike, especially in the last decade, in the number of repeat offenders using guns to commit crimes.

What do these shocking statistics clearly tell us? The reality is that the same people are repeatedly committing violent crimes using guns. Our government, law enforcement and communities need to step up and become very serious about going after these criminals who utilize guns as part of their criminal actions.  We also need to curtail violent repeat offenders, especially those who choose to utilize a gun in the commission of their crimes. And lastly, we need to prioritize prison space for these criminals who really deserve and need to be locked up.

You might be interested in seminar we provide: Called Street Smart Training #1

Jul 212011

Another form of “Life Rage” is taking place right under our noses! Identity theft and debit-card fraud continues to rise as criminals increasingly target automated teller machines to “skim” card information and personal-identification numbers. Previously, most fraud occurred at independent ATMs or at retail points of sale, but this has changed.

In the first six months of 2010, fraud at bank-owned ATMs made up more than 80% of the breaches, according to fraud-detection software provider Fair Isaac. Attacks on retailers are also on the rise, with card numbers, cardholder names, and PINs being skimmed from payment terminals. We have seen a 400% increase in this area in the last five years.

One tactic is a “flash attack,” in which gangs use stolen information to create counterfeit debit cards. The gangs then dispatch cronies to hundreds of ATMs in several cities at once, each withdrawing a small dollar amount that adds up to tens of thousands in losses.

Some skimming devices are able to fit inside ATM card readers and small pinhead-sized cameras record hands punching PINs. To the average person everything appears to be legitimate and the equipment appears secure. Surprisingly, even the banks cannot tell that a machine has been compromised.

Another popular method that skimmers utilize is to place skimmers on outdoor ATMs on Saturday mornings and remove them by Monday morning, passing on the stolen data within hours. Banks are closed during these hours and this affords the criminal plenty of time to illegally operate without detection.

There is new technology being utilized outside of the U.S. Some countries have adopted so-called chip-and-PIN debit cards that have an added layer of protection, but U.S. banks and retailers are hesitant to adopt the technology because of the expense involved. In time, I expect the costs of the upgraded technology to decrease so that the implementation of this new technology will be embraced in the United States.

Jul 012011

Violence….From Columbine to Virginia Tech to Your Business
Essential Security Measures Must Be Implemented

Not so very long ago, a picture of America was as innocent as a Norman Rockwell painting. Today, it appears we all have a target on our backs. We’re targets for terrorists, for frustrated and angry students and co-workers, for embittered spouses and for enraged drivers. Unfortunately, a horror like Columbine or the Virginia Tech massacre can happen anywhere. Will we ever feel secure again?

Recent years have proven that it only takes one significant event or encounter to set off violence. Triggers include bullying, abuse, humiliation, or some other event that causes an unhappy, discouraged or depressed student or person to vent their frustrations on others. Race, religion or economic status appears to make little difference. Everyone is vulnerable and the violence must be stopped!

It is imperative that we plan for every conceivable situation. Businesses, public buildings and schools all need crisis and emergency plans in place that include building and security assessments and first responder procedures.

Security solutions including high tech and physical measures are being implemented in schools and in businesses throughout the United States. The technology and the capability exists to transport not only video, but also audio directly to first responders. This would allow first responders the ability to not only SEE but HEAR (with even 2-way audio using VoIP) what is transpiring at the scene. Imagine what the reaction may have been at Virginia Tech if a student or teacher could have initiated a “panic” handheld device that would have held open the microphone on all the Norris Hall cameras as well as the video and fed all of it to the campus police dispatch center. Then responding officers could view and listen from their laptops, at the same time as the police dispatcher, those same cameras at Norris Hall.

It is also possible to give authorized persons anywhere on the network (including the internet) the ability to “lock down” a building automatically from any location where they have a web-enabled appliance (pc, pda, cell phone, etc.). Designated users can also initiate previously defined “Threat Levels” from anywhere on the network. This could be anything from locking down all doors to initiating SMS text messaging and/or e-mails to initiating pre-defined voice messaging through a facility’s PA system or even audio portion of their IP camera/s/. This is the first true network appliance architecture. The system provides credential-based access control, event and alarm monitoring, video surveillance, and VoIP communications through a set of locally intelligent network appliances that would be networked throughout a campus, whether it’s an educational facility or a business campus. Control is through a network appliance that delivers a user interface using only a common web browser. This makes it more feasible for use by many.

But, even with this new technology, more is needed.

Everyone has a part in providing security today. People need to look around at co-workers, other students, even strangers. Notice their behavior. Strange behavior or changes in behavior can be warning signs that need to be addressed. Changes can include a sudden lack of interest in friends, family or school; depression or mood swings; anger or violence of any kind, especially towards animals; isolation; sullenness; talk of death or fascination with weapons. Any suspicions, no matter how difficult it may be, need to be reported to authorities. It’s especially important to have anonymous reporting mechanisms in place for the reporting any concerns. Minor incidents should not go uncontested.

Management needs to make sure that anger management incidents are immediately addressed. Every business, school and public building needs to put security and emergency plans in place, and most importantly, they need to make sure that these plans are practiced and followed. This includes restrictions on visitors and tightening the environment until there is total confidence in the security of the premises and its occupants. Every business should conduct security assessments that look at the big picture, including physical surroundings, IT and employee security measures. Develop a thorough crisis plan, building mapping, and conduct emergency training for all employees and staff. High tech security devices need to be implemented, including methods for identification and for allowing access to the premises.

No one likes it, but in today’s society there is no such thing as too careful.

Jul 012011

Liferage is a phrase coined by Mr. Timothy Dimoff of SACS Consulting and Investigative Services.   It’s meant to describe, in broad terms, the anger and frustration that every American feels towards a world they really believe is spinning out of their control. Unfortunately, it’s also the way many of us feel everyday.

We have all heard stories about employees killed while at work.  However, you may not know the scope of the problem.  The last three years averaged close to 600 workplace fatalities PER YEAR as a result of violence.  This includes worker-on -worker violence, harassment and bullying.  Approximately 18% of all reported violent crimes happen in the workplace.

Don’t let a “Liferage” moment allow enraged employees to turn your good company culture into a bad hostile working environment.   The ones who suffer most when this happens are your “good employees”.  They will often find it difficult to be productive under those circumstances.

SACS Consulting provides polices and training to identify and remove possible threats to a company’s stability.  Whether the problem already exists or you just want to be a pro-active force at your company, call us now for trainings, investigations or to order copies of Timothy Dimoff’s book, LIFERAGE.

Do what you can NOW to curb the problem LATER!

Sign up for one of our SACS Consulting, Inc. seminars (click here).