By Lynn Wood
But these facilities can present unique challenges when it comes to implementing security technology. Manufacturers often have large, complex environments with a variety of components that need to be taken into consideration such as safeguarding inventory and supply delivery areas, storing finished products and even protecting company data from cyber attacks and internal threats.
An innovative access control solution is paramount to the efficient and effective security of the facility. It can help protect against theft, regulate access for production areas and ensure the entire campus is safeguarded. Access control also helps to protect a business’s most important asset: People.
So what are some of the advantages that access control delivers? While there are many, here are four key benefits that illustrate why an access control solution could be your business’s most valuable tool.
1) Authorized access to specific areas: In many instances, manufacturing facilities have controlled production environments where access is limited or possibly restricted to specific personnel. To effectively maintain the integrity of these spaces, access control solutions can provide detailed reports allowing businesses to ensure only the necessary, approved staff members are allowed to enter. Manufacturing facilities can also leverage access control to monitor visitor and vendor activity with the ability to lock all doors with the push of a button in the event of an unauthorized person on the premises or a security emergency.
2) Reduction of theft: Theft is an unfortunate occurrence any organization can face and manufacturing facilities are no exception. When internal staff are made aware security systems are in place, the risk for this type of activity can be significantly reduced. Despite this, if your organization is still targeted, access reports can be a tremendous resource when investigating a possible theft incident. Access control systems can provide information on who accessed the area where the theft occurred, the time the area was accessed and how long the intruder remained in the area. These details can then be used to refer back to video surveillance footage to explore further evidence. Better yet, if an access control system supports video integration, that information can be easily available at your fingertips without having to log in to a separate system.
3) Controlled costs: The traditional method of providing employees physical access to a manufacturing facility can be costly and time consuming. The time needed for a building or operations manager to leave the facility to get copies of keys made, for example, results in decreased time to complete more important, meaningful tasks. Couple this with the costs for keys to be created — and in the worst case scenario, re-key your entire facility if keys are lost or not returned — and these expenses can add up quickly. With more modern access control solutions, manufacturers are able to digitally activate a key fob or key card for employees, easily granting them access to assigned work areas. With the use of smartphones, granting access to employees and visitors can also be accomplished remotely. Additionally, if an employee is covering a shift for someone in a different area or is assigned to a temporary project, temporary access to other work stations in the facility can easily be enabled with a few clicks of a mouse.
4) Integrated systems: While access control itself is a valuable resource, the ability to integrate it with additional technologies such as digital video surveillance, alarm monitoring systems, photo ID badging, visitor management, offline and online locks and reporting platforms can allow manufacturers to meet all of their facility’s security and operational needs within a single platform. Integrated security management systems provide these organizations the flexibility needed to scale their systems for growth while supporting real-time monitoring and audit trails for all facets of the business.
The supplies and materials, personnel, vendors, restricted access areas and distribution and delivery spaces can make for many moving parts for manufacturers, but ensuring a secure environment does not have to be a challenge.
A solid access control plan can help reduce the complexity in securing these critical spaces and reliably protect your manufacturing facility, setting up a solid foundation for your organization’s success.
Lynn Wood is the product portfolio manager at Vanderbilt, and has over 20 years of experience in the security industry.