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By Daniel O'Neill
Security Article Use Policy
Once the access control system has been selected, the design and integrator selection process can begin. This typically includes the following steps:
1. Conceptual design – description of the system, conceptual layout, drawings for each facility, devices schedule (list and count of all devices), programming schedule, and pricing estimates.
2. Design development – 90-percent-complete written security system specification, drawings, device schedule, programming schedule, and pricing estimates.
3. Construction/bid documents – 100-percent-compete specification and supporting documents that are appropriate for sending to security systems integrators.
4. Integrator selection – evaluate proposal, compare pricing, interview shortlist integrators, review and confirm the contents of the design and select the most appropriate integrator.
Having a detailed specification and design is necessary for getting the most out of the access control system. The specification should provide details for installation, parts, integration, programming, support, maintenance, and warranties. At this point, pricing should also be negotiated for future installations as prices may go up if left undocumented.
When selecting an integrator, consider their understanding of the requirements, experience with the systems being installed, access to certified programmers and technicians, college and university installation expertise, financial stability, quality of references, and value pricing.
System manufacturers typically can provide a list of certified integrators in an area that are highly qualified to install, support, and maintain the access control and other security systems being installed. Security consultants will also typically have relationships with high quality local, regional, and national integrators that can provide exceptional service.
Some colleges and universities may have existing security systems integrators. When considering large projects, it is advisable to seek multiple quotes from qualified vendors. This will help normalize pricing and ensure high quality installation, support, and maintenance over the long term.
Typically, colleges and universities install systems over the summer months when the student population is low. Ensure the systems integrator can fit your project into their installation schedule.
The quality of the project manager usually makes or breaks a project. Be sure to meet the project manager and ensure that the person has a detailed understanding for the project prior to awarding the project to an integrator.
To avoid problems, ensure that you have an access control system commissioning and punch list plan. Check each door to confirm that all equipment is installed, programmed, and working properly.
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