Be Prepared For Your Card Access Installation:
If you have made the decision to replace your current key system with a new card access system, congratulations! There is no question that the technological benefits of a card access system outweigh a standard keying system, so you have made an excellent choice. If you have a greed on a price and set a card access installation date, then you might think that you are done and the rest is up the installer. However, there is still work to be done on your end, and by being prepared for the day on the installation, you will help ensure that the system is up and running smoothly and exactly as it needs to be from day one. Keep in mind, that the card access installer does not know your schedules and employees. He or she will make sure everything functions, but they are relying on you to give them detailed information, in order to make the system work. By gathering this information prior to the card access installation, you will save yourself from having to scramble around on installation day and making costly mistakes.
The first step is to compose a list of all employees who will given access cards or codes. Try to remember EVERYONE. I know this might be difficult, but if you miss any employees, you will certainly hear about it later! Once the card access installation is complete and the technician has left, you will be paying for extra service calls, to make any tweaks or additions for people or things you may have missed. That is why it is crucial to get a list going of everyone who needs access before the installation. The card access installer will make sure that all the appropriate people are given access and working properly. Secondly, you will want to place people into “groups”. For example, if there is a large chunk of your work force, that enters the building at 9:00 and leaves at 5:00, you can place all those people into one group and simplify the card access system. These systems can handle multiple time zones, but having a different time zone for each employee will be extremely cumbersome and confusing when you need to make changes, later on down the road. Try to think of the system as a work schedule. Group 1 will enter between 9-5, Group 2 is the late crew, that works 12-8, and Group 3 are the big shots who have 24/7 access. Break it down as best you can, without going into different increments like 9:02 – 5:03 and 8:55 – 4:47. Either set access five minutes earlier or later, and group those people together. Trust us, it never works well when you get TOO detailed on the time zones.
Check your door closers – all of them! That might sound silly, but the whole point of a card access system is gone, if the door isn’t closing. If Joe uses his card in the morning and enters the building but the door doesn’t latch behind him, everyone else is just coming and going without using the credentials. This means anyone can enter the building at any time and the lock is not keeping a record of who came in at what time. It literally renders the whole system useless. The same goes for “propping” doors. Employees may not like having to tap an ID badge or fob every time they enter the building, but if you see them wedging the door open, you will have essentially paid a lot of money for nothing. The doors must remain closed, all the time.
Lastly, talk to your employees. You might have an idea of how the system should run in your mind, but the reality of the times might be different than what you think. For example, here at The Flying Locksmiths, we do a lot of work for day care centers who have card access systems. The parents are given a code, that allows them entrance to drop their children off in the mornings. The center director wanted that code to work from 7:30 – 5:30. So, that is how we set it up. However, she received several complaints from the parents who were unhappy with the time restraint. Many of the parents watches or phones would say 7:30 but according to the lock, it was only 7:27. So, the parents had to stand outside the door for three minutes and when you are a busy mother or father, trying to get to work on time, waiting three minutes feels like an eternity.
In conclusion, a little preparation will go a long way! Don’t scramble last minute to gather details. Instead take a few minutes out of your day and sit down and think about how you want your system to work. You will be happy you did!