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3 things to keep in mind when selecting an access control system.

What you need to know when selecting a new access control system.

In a previous post, we talked about how access control systems protect your facility and keep your operations running smoothly. In order for an access control system to accomplish both of these tasks, it must be optimized for your facility and your situation.

Unfortunately, selecting the ideal access control system can be a bit tricky—even if you’ve done it before.

But there’s no need to fear, because we’re here to help!

Below are the top three things you should keep in mind when selecting a new access control system for your facility:

1. Number of employees.

How many employees do you have cycling through your facility every day?

This is an important number to keep in mind when selecting an access control system because the more employees you have, the bigger and more robust your access control system must be.

If you only have a handful of employees in a small facility, your ideal access control system will be much lighter and simpler than a facility with hundreds of employees who are coming and going at all hours of the day.

2. Company growth expectations.

How quickly is your company growing and how much do you expect it to grow in the future?

When selecting an access control system for your facility, it’s vital that you have a projection for your company (more specifically, your employee) growth. Like all security systems, access control systems require a capital investment. And if you neglect to consider your growth expectations when selecting an access control system, you may find yourself having to purchase and install a new one on a frequent basis.

Luckily, advancements in access control technology have led to dynamic systems that can be expanded as your business grows. However, before you decide to invest the time and money in one of these systems, it’s best to speak with an access control professional as there may be other options that are more cost effective and better suited to your needs.

3. Integration capabilities.

Will your current security and camera systems integrate with the access control system you’re considering?

You’ve got a facility to run, operations to oversee, and fires to extinguish. The last thing you want is to have an access control system that doesn’t jive with the rest of your infrastructure and processes (that’s just asking for trouble).

Save yourself time and headache by only looking at access control systems that will seamlessly integrate with your existing equipment and operations.

Conclusion.

Selecting an access control system for your facility can be a difficult process. Keep these three things in mind and you’ll be well on your way to selecting an access control system that will support your current and future needs.

Don’t get stuck with a sub-par access control system! Click the button below to have one of our access control specialists come to your facility, assess your current system, and help you find a new system that fits your needs:

 

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How an access control system can improve your facility’s operational flow.

Can access control systems actually make you more efficient?

Access control systems help protect your facility’s assets and mitigate the risk of insider threats.

That’s a well-known fact.

However, did you know that access control systems can also improve your facility’s operational flow?

It’s true. Contrary to popular belief, a properly installed and maintained access control system can actually increase the efficiency of your organization.

Here’s how:

Access control systems reduce redundancies and waste.

Our guess is that your facility houses sensitive and/or proprietary assets of some sort. And chances are, you don’t want every employee (or customer) in your building to have access to those assets.

So, what do you do?

Well, you could install a deadlock on every door that needs protecting and only issue keys to certain people.

Though this simple system may work for smaller operations, it is not feasible for facilities with numerous employees, intricate office layouts, and multiple clearance levels.

Think about it: If every employee has to have a key to get into the building, a different key to enter the corridor where their office is located, another key to unlock their office, and other keys to access certain rooms, it wastes time and halts your operational flow as employees need to fumble around to find the correct key for the door they’re trying to open (they also need to remember to lock the doors or the whole system would be all for not).

The lock-and-key system also causes problems when employees’ clearance levels are increased/decreased as you need to create/collect keys to ensure that they can properly do their jobs and that your risks are properly mitigated.

An electronic access control system abolishes both of these problems.

First, employees are issued one key card (or PIN) that allows them to access any room/area for which they have clearance, eliminating the need for multiple keys and locks, and improving overall flow.

Second, access levels within an electronic system can be changed instantly, which means there’s no delay when an employee’s clearance level changes—all you have to do is update the system to allow/deny control to the current key card/PIN.

Access control systems help you mitigate and respond to risks.

When improper people get access to certain rooms or information, it can cause a cornucopia of problems that can be costly and time consuming to fix.

Organizations who use a traditional lock-and-key situation are exposed to risks that can be difficult to prevent and eliminate. For instance if an employee copies or loses a key and it falls into the wrong hands, the only practical way to mitigate the damage is to change the locks on all of the doors that were exposed and issue new keys.

With an electronic access control system, if a threat arises you can immediately isolate it and eliminate it. If a key card/PIN falls into the wrong hands, it can be shut down and made completely useless—no need to change the locks or stress over who might have the key card/PIN—saving you time and money.

Conclusion.

As you can see, access control systems can do more than provide protection. When implemented correctly, they can improve the flow of your operations and ease your mind.

Does your access control system allow your operations to flow freely? Want to know for sure? Click the button below to sign up for a FREE assessment of your access control system from one of our specialists:

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3 factors to consider when selecting drive-up equipment for your facility.

How do you find the perfect drive-up equipment for your facility?

Now that we’ve covered the big indicators that it’s time to upgrade your drive-up equipment, it’s time to talk about how you can go about selecting new drive-up equipment for your facility.

Though it may not seem like it, there’s a lot that goes into choosing the drive-up equipment and system that will keep your operations running smoothly and your customers (and employees) happy.

Below are three factors you should consider when selecting new drive-up equipment for your facility:

Factor #1: Transaction volume and type.

How many drive-up transactions does your facility usually handle in a day? What types of transactions do you handle?

Most drive-up equipment manufacturers offer a variety of different commercial units, each suited for a particular volume range and transaction type. For example, some drive-up systems are designed to enable the transacting of paper and boxes of coins, while others are specifically intended to handle high volumes of paper transactions.

Knowing the volume of drive-up transactions and the types of transaction that your customers are performing can go a long way when selecting new drive-up equipment for your facility.

Factor #2: Facility and parking lot layout.

Where is your drive-up equipment currently located? Does it disrupt traffic, or does it allow customers and vehicles to flow freely?

With most financial facilities, the drive-up equipment is located right next to the building. Though this may work well for buildings with larger, independent lots, it is not ideal for some facilities.

Facilities that experience congestion and a lack of flow from having the drive-up unit adjacent to the building can benefit from installing “remote” drive-up units that sit further away from the building. Thanks to advances in drive-up technology, two-way video units can be installed to give the unit a person-to-person feel—helping your customers stay happy and your employees work efficiently as they can accurately identify the customer.

Being conscious of your facility’s building and parking lot layout is key to selecting the proper drive-up equipment for your facility.

Factor #3: Equipment options.

Do you have a specific drive-up equipment brand or manufacturer that you buy from? Or, are you open to other options?

As is the case with most products, there are many drive-up equipment manufacturers who specialize in a variety of units and systems.

Understanding the differences and nuances between manufacturers—and how they will impact your operations—will help you select drive-up equipment that fits your needs.

Conclusion.

When it’s time to upgrade your drive-up equipment, don’t fret! Just keep these three factors in mind and you’ll be well on your way to finding drive-up equipment that keeps you and your customers happy.

Unsure of your drive-up equipment needs? No need to fear, we’re here to help! Click the button below to have one of our drive-up equipment specialists help you find the perfect drive-up system for your facility:

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3 Signs that your facility’s drive-up equipment needs to be updated.

Is your drive-up equipment starting to wear?

When was the last time you upgraded your facility’s drive-up equipment?

If the answer to this question is, “I don’t know,” or “It’s been a while,” then this post is for you.

You see, drive-up equipment is like a car. Every day, you put the key in the ignition and you expect it to start—you don’t think anything of it. But the moment you put the key in and it doesn’t start, the world around you begins to collapse (metaphorically).

You probably even mutter (or yell) the phrase, “It was working yesterday, what happened?” And then you proceed to think of all the other times the car started that you took for granted.

The same phenomenon happens with drive-up equipment. When your drive-up equipment is working properly, all is well. Customers are happy, employees are productive, and your facility is running efficiently.

But, when your drive-up equipment stops working, customers become unhappy and operational efficiencies drop.

This is not a situation you want to be in. It’s bad for customers. It’s bad for your employees. It’s bad for business.

So, how do you avoid it?

Like a car, your equipment must be properly maintained if you want to minimize downtime and get your money’s worth of mileage out of it.

If you’re unsure about the status of your drive-up equipment, look for these three signs that it’s time for an update:

Sign #1: The carrier is continually getting stuck.

Your drive-up equipment runs on tubes and vacuums. In order for these vacuum systems to work properly, they need an appropriate amount of pressure.

If the carriers within your system begin to get stuck, it means there isn’t enough pressure in the system—which is a good sign that your drive-up equipment needs a little TLC.

Because pressure loss can be caused by a variety of factors (e.g. air leaks, blown motors, etc.), if you’re experiencing this problem, it’s best to reach out to a specialist (like us!) for diagnostic and repair help.

Sign #2: You have to make an excessive amount of service calls.

If you had to take your car into the mechanic every week because new problems keep arising, you’d probably consider cutting your losses and buying a new ride. The same is true of drive-up equipment.

If you find yourself making an excessive amount of service calls to keep your drive-up equipment operational, you should consider putting in a new one. Every time your drive-up equipment fails or malfunctions, you lose money—not just from the cost of having it repaired, but also from the loss of business from unhappy customers.

That being said, if your drive-up equipment is continually breaking down and driving customers and employees crazy, it’s a good sign you need an upgrade.

Sign #3: Your equipment doesn’t reflect your brand image.

Chances are, you make your employees dress nicely. After all, you’re running a financial institution that depends on people trusting you with their money. And if your employees look sloppy or unkempt, your customers may begin to question the safety of their money in your hands.

That being said, you should never forget that your customers also interact with your drive-up equipment, too. And if your drive-up equipment looks old and dilapidated, it will not only tarnish your brand image—it will make customers think twice about doing business with you.

If the appearance of your drive-up equipment is driving customers away, it’s a sign that you need an upgrade.

Conclusion

Keeping drive-up equipment well maintained and serviced is an important, yet often overlooked task. Lookout for these three signs that your drive-up equipment needs to be updated to save yourself time, money, and headache.

One last thing…

Running a financial institution is hard work. Keeping your operations running smoothly while also worrying about the health of your drive-up equipment is tough. That’s why we offer a free drive-up equipment assessment.

If you are unsure of the health or effectiveness of your drive-up equipment and you want to get a professional opinion, click the button below to sign up for a FREE drive-up equipment assessment:

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3 Tips for optimizing your camera system to get 90 days of retention.

Getting 90 days of retention out of your camera system.

Security and surveillance cameras capture a lot of data. Although modern camera systems can retain more footage than ever before, their storage capacity is still finite. Once the camera system’s storage device is full, it begins to overwrite the old data with new data.

Though this may not seem like much of a problem on the surface, it can cause significant issues—especially when you’re trying to query something from the past that has been overwritten. When it comes to camera retention, nothing is more frustrating than trying to pull a recording that you could’ve sworn you had, only to find out it has been deleted in order to make room for new footage.

So, it stands to reason that most facilities that utilize and rely on camera systems to protect their business and employees would want to get the most retention as possible. Though infinite retention is the dream, 90 days of retention has become the de facto gold standard.

In this post, we’ll give you three tips for optimizing your camera system to reach the gold standard of 90 days of retention:

  1. Make sure each camera view is masked correctly. Don’t try to capture every movement with every camera—that’s a surefire way to quickly fill up your camera system’s storage. Eliminating areas of movement that are not critical greatly reduces the size of your footage files. If you stop recording computer screen savers, busy traffic areas or plants that move with the HVAC system you’ll have a lot more storage space for the video you actually want to retain.

    Optimizing your camera masking can be difficult. We recommend you have professionals (like us!) take care of it to ensure it gets done correctly.

  2. Adjust the frame rate and resolution. When camera systems are installed, they are typically set to record at their maximum frame rate. Though this may not seem like a big deal, recording at a high frame rate can eat up your data storage. The human eye doesn’t really see a benefit from anything above 20 frames per second (fps). If you’re recording at a frame rate above 20 fps, you can increase your camera system’s storage simply by lowering the recording frame rate.

    Though this may sound easy, it’s not. Before you fiddle our with your camera system’s frame rate, we recommend you reach out to an experienced technician (like one of ours!).

  3. Add storage space. In 1980, a gigabyte of storage would have cost you around $437,500. Today, it costs less than $0.02. As digital data storage technology continues to improve (and costs continue to fall), camera system retention should naturally increase. However, most businesses don’t have the time or resources to upgrade to the latest camera system technology every year. Luckily, most modern security camera systems allow for data storage expansion. By adding the correct hard drive to your camera system, you extend your retention instantly.

    Don’t try to do this yourself. It should be noted that there are a variety of factors involved in expanding your camera system’s storage capacity—it should only be attempted by an experienced technician. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, please contact us.

Conclusion

Increasing your camera system’s retention doesn’t mean you have to buy the latest technology. By following the three steps mentioned above, you should be well on your way to achieving the gold standard of 90 days of retention.

Though the tips mentioned above are intended to help, they are not guaranteed to work. If you want to increase your camera system’s retention and improve your facility’s security, it’s best to have a professional security company (like Hunt Enterprises Inc.) help you out:

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3 Ways you can get more out of your access control system.

Getting the most out of your access control system.

Access control systems are used to manage access to tangible and intangible assets. In its most simple form, an access control system is comprised of a gate and a gatekeeper. The gate creates a secure barrier between its contents and the outside world, while the gatekeeper checks the credentials of anyone looking to go through the gate. Those with proper authorization get to enter—everyone else is turned away.

Though access control systems have come a long way since the gate-gatekeeper systems of old, most businesses still view their access control systems as primitive—only useful for metering the flow of people and information. The truth is, modern access control systems are capable of much more than simply letting people into or out of a building. In this blog post, we will highlight three ways you can get more out of your access control system.

Tip 1: Recording time.

Your employees are humans. Humans make mistakes. In the world of business, one common mistake employees make is clocking in and out. Though this forgetfulness is not the end of the world, it can cause headaches for supervisors, managers, and HR personnel alike. Thankfully, most modern access control systems can help mitigate this problem.

Most modern access control systems collect time stamp data—when someone scans their access card to enter a building, the system records the date, time, and card information (i.e. the card identification number, employee name, etc.). If you have a secure facility where employees are required to scan into and/or out of buildings or departments, the data collected from your access control system can help solve timecard problems.

Tip 2: Database integration.

The panel that you use to scan into your facility every day may not seem like an exquisite piece of technology, but the truth is that modern access control systems are quite sophisticated. Most modern access control systems not only capture a treasure-trove of data, they also have software that enables them to integrate with other programs.

This integration capability is specifically important when it comes to HR. When properly integrated with an HR system, employee credentials can be updated from one central location. When employees are promoted, their authorization can be easily extended. When employees are dismissed, their authorization can be revoked or restricted. With the integration capabilities of modern access control systems, this can all be done from the HR team’s preferred program—there’s no need to log into multiple systems to make a simple update.

Tip 3: Arming / disarming alarm systems.

Though the ability to keep time and integrate with other software is nice, the reason you invested the money in an access control system was to protect your business and your employees. Chances are high that if you were willing to invest money in a state-of-the-art access control system, you were also willing to spring for some kind of alarm system. At first, these two systems may seem incompatible—after all, you use your card to scan in and then type a code to disable the alarm system. However, most modern access control systems and alarm systems can be securely integrated. This means you can program your access card to disable the alarm system, saving you time and hassle. Understanding specific security requirements, some institutions have implemented swipe plus PIN to ensure an even higher level of security.

Conclusion

Yes, the primary function of your access control system is to manage access to tangible and intangible assets. However, modern access control systems are capable of so much more. We hope this blog post helped you discover more ways your access control system can be used to save you money and improve your company’s efficiency.

Are you getting the most out of your access control system? Want to know for sure? Click the button below to sign up for a FREE assessment of your access control system from one of our specialists: