Five Essential Questions for Planning Facility Access Control

What Project Planners and Employees Can Often Overlook.

Are you a security manager looking to protect your facility from intruders? Or a human resources manager looking to integrate your time and attendance system with access control? Or did your organization recently have an incident that an access control system may have prevented?

Security projects are frequently reactive. Seeking solutions that employ access control requires significant resource coordination. A properly planned and implemented access control system can significantly mitigate risk and potentially improve efficiencies to the bottom line, unless the system is either overkill or insufficient for the specific needs it is intended to address.

To help you out with your planning process, we’ve put together a quick list of these five essential questions you’ll have to answer when planning your facility access control solution.

1. Who will oversee the project in all of its phases?

Trying to parcel out the necessary tasks like project planning, oversight, contract negotiations, and interactions with contractors can sometimes be a significant misstep. Even in small office environments, access control projects will touch many departments and systems: building management, fire alarm systems, and human resources, to name a few.

These aspects of the project should be handled by an individual or by a coordinated team if practical. Poor project oversight will result in misinformation and wasted time, so identify the responsible and accountable party(ies) upfront to alleviate any issues down the line.

2. Who will need to be involved?

As mentioned above, access control projects require coordinated efforts of numerous individuals and departments. An individual knowledgeable about your facility layout will play a critical role. This person will need to convey requirements to the access control system integrator and should be familiar with your fire alarm system, electrical systems, and general building systems.

In specialized environments, other individuals must also take part identifying requirements, such as building management personnel in leased environments or the Human Resources department when integration with time and attendance systems is on tap. A missed requirement by a crucial individual or department can easily cost weeks of time to correct.

Note: For key employees, involvement will extend through the later stages of the project. Understanding and communicating these requirements now will help set their expectations and will help you schedule necessary meetings, inspections and signoffs down the road.

3. Are you overlooking your information technologies department?

All access control systems require access to a number of specialized devices throughout your workplace, and almost always transmit data across your local network and to the cloud.

Ensure that your information technologies department is involved in the facility access integration process. Consult with the IT group during the planning stage and schedule their involvement during the later system implementation phase to ensure you aren’t investing in redundant systems, and that any new devices will have the clearance they need to operate on your secure workplace network.

4. Do you have enough copies of your blueprints?

Blueprints are oftentimes the bane of an access control project. Have your facility blueprints available in duplicate copies, enough for all your bidders and other parties to work with. Blueprints usually take a long time to obtain and typically need to be sent out to a third party capable of producing quality copies, ideally digitally.

Without blueprints, your contractors will be making pencil sketches of your facility, and you will not have an accurate layout of your system for future use. Proper planning can ensure your access control implementation goes smoothly.

5. Who will manage the access control database (and how will it be interfaced)?

In the planning stage, you should put together your list of employees who will need access to the facility. You should give particular thought to the organization of this database. Almost all access control systems will have a very granular ability to manage your employees’ access through the various controlled doors in your facility.

It is practical to set up employees’ facility access in accordance with their schedules, while also taking holidays into account. Be sure to account for temporary employees, janitorial services, and any other non-employees who may need access to your facility.

Having as much detail as you can available during the planning stage will save considerable time later when you program the system. If you are switching to a new access control system, be sure to save the databases in existing systems for the transition.

Connecting your access control database to regular business systems doesn’t have to be a hassle, though. With a robust workforce time and attendance and scheduling solution, like those offered by Journyx, you can integrate facility access control with employee authorization, scheduling, and workplace hours of operations effortlessly and automatically.

For more information on how Journyx can improve your facility access control solution through integration with workforce data and timekeeping, contact us to schedule a demo today.

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