Every business entity needs to be concerned about access control implementation for obvious reasons. Access control safeguards the business premises from intrusive outside elements and it enables businesses to put a boundary on certain spaces or areas, limited to authorized individuals only. Therefore, when it comes to Access Control Implementation, careful planning is second to none. One has to grasp on the concept of access control and its deployment process to avoid spending a whole lot than they need for an access control system. Rather, with careful and tactful planning, the system of choice must be able to reduce the cost, reduce the deployment period, and complete the security objectives set by the customers. Going into access control deployment recklessly without having proper knowledge and doing sufficient research could be costly and risky.
This article is intended to provide you with some pointers on factors to consider before implementing an access control system in your premises.
1. Why Access Control?
You need to specify the reasons of why you need to install a door access control system at your premises? Do you solely want to protect your asset and your workforce from potentially dangerous situations? Do you want to boost your company image in the process? Do you want to install a security system to protect certain areas such as your inventory store but you are not really concern about the front entrance which receive plenty of visitors daily? By knowing exactly what you need in an access control, you can save a lot of cost and time figuring it out your requirements with the supplier. For companies with branches and employees working in different hours and different buildings, it would be beneficial in the long run to come up with the access control installation plan and set the objectives right.
2. What System is Already in Place?
Have your premises been installed with an access control system before? It’s crucial to know the type system you are currently having and how many percent do you plan to add another system on it. If the expansion exceeds 30%, would you consider deploying a totally brand new system or you want to extend it on the existing system? It’s a rather tricky question because expanding the existing system could be costly when the system is proprietary. If the system can be integrated with other solutions, it would be a better choice going forward. Hence, calculate all the additional customization and integration cost before you take comfort that you have made the right decision.
3. What Kind of Access Control Readers You Need?
Don’t answer this question first before looking at pointer No. 5, because data communication is important in your decision. Determine the level of security you require for certain designated areas in your premises. For restricted areas such as server room, the stricter the access, the better. Hence, biometrics is recommended. For less restricted areas, card readers could be the system of choice for the cost is much lower than biometrics. However, biometrics can also be considered throughout the premises but the restriction levels are differentiated by the hardware settings. On top, nowadays they are other options like IoT smart lock and controllers that are tapping on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology and smartphone app for access control. By knowing your premises structure, your employees and your company’s requirements, the answer to this question could be made effectively.
4. Do You Need to Integrate?
You can’t seamlessly match the system that you are currently having just to suit the new system that you bring in. Some sort of integration is required to ensure the smooth flow of process and data. Hence, the big question is to integrate or not to integrate. If an access system cannot integrate with the vital system that’s running in your company, no matter how good the system is, you need to decide on which one to let go. You need to make sure that the integration process is smooth for your long-term operation, so you don’t lose big in the end.
5. What Communication Type Required?
Although the most widely used communication type for readers would be IP (Internet Protocol) connection, there are still instances in which certain individuals would choose to stay with serial connection. IP readers do not need control panels and can operate independently. The function of a simple IP reader is to transmit card numbers to a panel. Assuming that the control panel fails, the basic reader will stop working. An IP reader has inputs for monitoring a door contact, exit button and a relay for controlling an electric lock. It also has a section for internal memory which is used to store the database of users, configuration parameters and recording events. Another option available these days is cloud, which require the readers to have push technology, wifi connectivity and such to transfer the data to the cloud server without interruptions. The beauty of having a cloud system is that it gives you data at all times, anywhere.
6. Do You Need Monitoring?
Again, you need to know the objectives of installing an access control system. Is it sufficient to have a system that only allows authorized individuals to enter or do you need a system that has constant monitoring, audit trails, that are able to produce detailed records and reports for reference? Your decision will determine the type of system you’ll be having and other additional peripherals required such as CCTVs or IP Cameras.
7. How Many Access Points?
The quantity and quality of doors must be researched beforehand to determine the type of locks, bolts and accessories that will be required to complete the installation. Single leaf and double leaf will require different kinds of locks and the cost will differ as well. The door frames and material may be customized to your liking too. The materials that are used include glass, wood, aluminum and fiberglass. If you are going for readers that uses BLE technology, smartphones to access the App must be compatible to the system you prefer.
8. Wired or Wireless?
There are pros and cons in both options. For instance, wired connections may take a longer time to set up as the wires used will need to be tucked and hidden from plain sight but the connection is technically stable and reliable as the connection source is direct. As for wireless, while it is neater and faster to set up, there are instances whereby the wireless connection may not be available at certain areas. These blind spots can be detrimental but boosting the signal of your Wi-Fi is now made easier with the usage of a Wifi repeater or extender. When installing access system that’s using BLE technology, the smartphone connection to the BLE is vital and has to be tested to ensure smooth operation.
9. Are Credentials Types Important?
What is your decision on credentials? Does everybody need to carry a card with a photo ID for inspection? Or would biometrics identity provides a better verification and sufficient identification? This decision will determine a few things in your plan, cost included. While it may seem that there are many factors affecting the decision-making process, the best way to ensure that you get the best deal out of any access control device is to always ask, shop around and research on the brand’s reputation in the market.
10. How About Maintenance?
Last but not least, decide the type of maintenance that you would need for the system to run smoothly. Find out the warranty terms and conditions, the type of spare parts you need to replace and the incurable costs. For example, biometric readers may sometimes be sold at a lower price. You may buy the readers at a bargain but discontinued stock may cost more in the long run as it’s scarce and hard to obtain. Therefore, you must always arm yourself with some knowledge on the models and readers that you plan to purchase. Don’t be afraid to ask manufacturers what kind of support are they providing as they may be more than glad to share with you what are the after-sale services they offer to customers who have purchased their products.
Still unsure on which access control model you should invest in? Allow FingerTec resellers to solve your security concerns. Through their years of experience by serving consumers from different trades and background, they are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to recommend you the best security solution at an unbeatable rate. Contact them and let them propose some solutions based on your requirements and get the best deal in town.