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By Jeffrey Refinati
Facilities Management Article Use Policy
If the key situation at your facility has you supplementing your morning coffee with Tylenol, you are not alone. Mid- to large-size facilities can have hundreds if not thousands of keys in use to open the numerous secured areas on the property.
With all of these keys floating around, the potential to lose control of security is significant. Contractors walk away with keys. Employees resign and never hand over the office key they had. Keys fall out of a pocket on the subway. Spares end up in the bottom of a pocketbook or a desk drawer. Lost keys, loaned keys, and keys that never get returned are all a part of the equation in any facility's key control program.
If you’re in charge of keeping your facility secure then you might be constantly wondering about who still has access to your buildings. Unaccounted for keys can quickly become a liability if the situation is not handled. Facility managers should understand how a key management system can help address those issues.
Take a minute and think about how many people currently have keys to your facility. Do you know how many have been issued to the front door, the loading dock, or the parking lot gate? Who has them? Bill, the delivery guy? The part-time weekend cleaning crew, the secretary and her assistant, or the maintenance staff, perhaps?
The challenge lies in balancing the daily operational needs of your facility while still maintaining control of who has what keys, when they have them, what they can access, and when they are returned. Aside from having a full time staff member for that specific role (otherwise known as a Key Control Officer) you’re going to need another option. One that is secure, convenient, and efficient. One that includes an element of automation with reporting capabilities.
Think of an electronic key cabinet as your own automated key control officer. He’s distributing, receiving, denying, and logging every transaction behind the scenes. When you need to look up a specific transaction, he’s right there for you with organized reports in his electronic hand.
Understanding Key Management Systems
Important Features Of Key Management Systems