Access Control is any electronic means of restricting access to an area or buildings. It could include outside gates, doors into a building or access to areas within a building. HR might need a restricted room for employee files, or the facilities team may want to limit access to a storage supply room.
Whatever access control needs your business has, it’s important to keep in mind that not every business, facility or organization needs an access control system.
We've identified a few things to consider before purchasing an access control system, because your business might not yet be large enough or have a justifiable need.
8 Things to Consider Before Installing Access Control
1 High Attrition of Employees – Keys are easy to duplicate, but access cards are not. If a card is lost, access can easily be removed from that one card without having to replace the locks on all your doors.
2 Goods With Street Value – If you have anything with resale value, access control cards will let you know the history of people’s coming and going, which is perfect for laboratories, doctors’ offices, clinics, pharmacies, veterinarian offices or any organization with pharmaceutical drugs or other dangerous chemicals.
3 Lots of Employees – When every employee doesn’t know every other employee on a first name basis, it’s time to upgrade to access control to prevent strangers from slipping in undetected.
4 Afterhours Shifts – If you have multiple shifts with large groups of employees coming and going at odd hours, access control will help organize the chaos.
5 Sensitive Information – Companies with trade secrets or sensitive information, especially government contractors, should consider access control to restrict areas in which secure data is held.
6 Unsafe Location – If your business is in downtown Richmond or an area of town known for having higher crime, access cards allow people to enter and exit a building quickly and without having to fumble around for keys, which presents an ideal time for muggers to strike.
7 Restricted Areas – Access cards let you give certain employees access to specific areas within a facility. HR can have a file room. Facilities can have a secure supply room. Sterile labs or areas that require special hazard equipment can avoid having someone walk in by mistake.
8 Multiple Buildings or Locations – If your business has multiple locations or is starting to acquire additional buildings at your headquarters, it is officially time to invest in an access control system.
Access Control Isn’t Just For Businesses
College campuses, apartment complexes, country clubs, community centers and even residential storage or parking garages all find valuable use of access control systems. When old tenants leave, you don’t have to worry about replacing locks or lost keys, and someone that doesn’t belong in a particular area will have a more difficult time opening doors, gates, etc., especially at places like college campuses or country clubs.
What About Fingerprint Scans and Voice Recognition?
You won’t believe it, but VCU is using iris scan technology for various purposes around campus. You can even pay for your lunch with a quick eyeball scan! Although eye, finger and voice security exists, it is still too cost prohibitive to make sense in smaller organizations and small to mid-sized companies, unless there is some added reason for the extra security. But just like most areas of technology, the price of these systems continues to fall, so we may all be opening doors like James Bond before you know it.