Access Control has always been around-people have been locking doors and putting up fences since the beginning of time, and people will always covet the protection of their assets. Today’s security technology not only offers protection, but can be used as a tool for a business and its strategic planning and operations. An integrated building serves as a template for efficiency and productivity. It just takes the right mind-set to create one!
Access control is seen by many as extreme and too advanced for most businesses, but the truth is any size operation can employ this technology. Anyone who simply wants to increase security and control (or is sick of making new keys every time an employee is fired) can utilize a system. The purpose of this article is to explain the basics of what access control can do for a business, and what you should consider when making this important investment. The end goal is a product that improves efficiency and simplifies your asset management.
Choosing the Right Service Provider
Access Control is not simply the purchasing of a product, but a comprehensive process that requires proper planning and execution. A quality firm can assist in all stages of the system planning, design, integration, installation, and end user functioning. Be sure to choose a company with qualified professionals and services for all stages of this process.
Devise a Plan
Begin with identifying your most vulnerable or sensitive areas. Would everyone be able to come to this area? Should only two or three have access? What times should they be allowed into that area? These are all questions to think about. The planning stage should include deciding what products are needed. Next, prepare a business case for how this new system will improve processes and functioning of day to day activities. If accounting employees were not able to go to the warehouse or break room during particular hours, would they be more efficient with their time? If cameras and controlled access for a building were in place, would this change the amount of security guards needed? It is also important to integrate as many building systems as possible. This is especially important with fire alarms systems. Many fire alarm providers use proprietary equipment that doesn’t allow for compatibility with foreign devices or systems. It is helpful to have one provider install and monitor your systems. Using different providers for your systems leads to logistics and service nightmares, as well as barriers for future additions and upgrades. Our company, Arkansas Protection Services, offers systems which can operate fire alarm, burglary, and access control from one system through one software platform. We monitor these systems locally and provide remote assistance for all components. This saves money, time, and simplifies the process. If you are using multiple companies, be sure they are collaborating together. It is also important that an access system is designed to work with procedures for fi re alarms and emergency evacuations. Most codes only require doors to unlock at stairwells and main exits. This could lead to unwanted liability issues.
Generally access door devices are powered magnetic locks or interior door strikes. A system can incorporate any physical access point including entrance gates, loading docks, or safes. These controlled access points allow managed entry with a proximity or swipe card (though biometric finger print and iris readers are becoming more affordable). Simple access keypads which use individual codes can be used, especially in smaller systems. The systems are connected to central control equipment, which is managed by software. Make sure the equipment you purchase can expand for further additions, which will save you time and money in the future. It is also important to have a system on a network connection, and be sure there is battery back-up in place. The final component is software and maintenance of your access control system. Employee turnover is inevitable. Who will take them out of the system? Who will add the new employee and their access card? A good service provider will assist in operating the software system internally and providing remote management when needed.
Detailed reports are one of the most useful features of an access system. Retail business can monitor sales traffic, employers can see who was the last to leave and when, one can even track the time lost for moving an object to another location. A simple system with the right implementation can truly lead to efficient management.
Whether starting with one door or integrating multiple buildings, an access control system is a great way to effectively encourage management and responsibility throughout. Be creative with it, and customize a plan to allow your resources to work for you.
Access Control: How INTEGRATION can lead to Simplicity and Peace of Mind
by Adam Prasse
As Published by Arkansas Business Magazine November 16, 2011
ARKANSAS BUSINESS Sponsored Report