Why Access Control Matters Greatly for Offices, Apartments, and Retailers

Posted by Matthew Clark on August 19, 2021

Even if everyone gets vaccinated today, we'll likely never return to 2020 normal. If there's one thing you can count on is that we'll have a different reality. Many businesses have pivoted and may switch to a hybrid work setting where employees would go into the office a few times a week. Others may return to their offices full-time.

Whatever happens, health and safety protocols will have to change, if they haven't already. It may have been 100 years between pandemics, but businesses want to avoid having to shut down again. That requires changing health and safety processes, such as adding contactless technologies and being able to switch to social distancing or remote working in an instant.

Offices, apartment buildings, commercial properties, and retail all have to find ways to ensure everyone remains healthy and safe. They also need to protect their assets whether anyone is on the property. Obviously, apartment buildings and retailers will most likely rarely be vacant. Still, they must protect their people at all hours.

How can companies and property managers achieve these goals with security without letting it affect business? By investing in a modern access control system and touchless technologies.

This is the best time to add or upgrade an access control system. Many older access control systems don't work as efficiently as the current ones. They may not work with a business's other technology.

Why Access Control Systems Matter More Than Ever

Access control systems act as the first line of defense for your business. They control who has access. Their job is to grant and revoke access to locations and resources. Old methods of access won't work anymore because they're not contactless. Modern access control systems don't require swiping badges or entering PINs.

This is especially true when you integrate video surveillance. Security cameras can put eyes on the people entering the property. The operators watching the cameras can grant or deny access without being in the same room or same city.

Businesses have learned the importance of being able to change in an instant. Access security systems are scalable, customizable, and flexible. Cloud-based access control makes all of this possible. Previously, if someone needed temporary access to the building, you'd have to call ahead and request access.

Now it can be done on the spot. Contact the person who provides access or walk up to the front doors of the building and talk to someone on camera. Once the information is confirmed, the employee can use their own phone or computer to grant access. It doesn't matter where the employee is located. The cloud allows for managing access from anywhere.

Cloud-based access control systems can also revoke access, unlock a door, monitor the health of the system, audit potential security breaches, and monitor events in real-time. A business with more than one location can manage it all from a single dashboard. Some access control systems can even provide access based on a time limit or scheduled unlocks.

The new environment also demands that businesses have the ability to secure their building onsite and offsite 24/7. Remote video surveillance and access control can do this easily.

3 Biggest Benefits of an Access Control System

Here are the three biggest benefits of implementing an access control system in offices, retailers, and apartment buildings.

1. Controls Access

Obviously, the key advantage of an access control system is to control who comes and goes into an apartment building, office, retail center, and other commercial properties. Additionally, an access control system removes the need for touch-based keypads and remembering codes to enter on a panel. This ensures the process is contactless without depending on memorizing the code.

With the right access control system, you won't have to worry about anyone getting locked out. At the same time, it will prevent unauthorized people from entering where they shouldn't go. An advanced access control system virtually eliminates human errors.

2. Manages Access from Anywhere

An effective access control system can do much more than control who can get in and out of a building. Many offices, commercial properties, and even multifamily residential buildings have areas and rooms where only some people can enter. They may contain sensitive material, customer data like in a server room, or be limited to apartment residents.

The right access control system can determine who can and cannot go into these limited-access areas. You may even be able to control an individual's access based on times or days of the week. For example, if no one should have access to the off-limits room overnight, then the system can send an alert to the on-call monitoring operator when someone enters the room outside of work hours.

Many options for a comprehensive access control system exist to make it challenging for businesses to select the right one. Before starting your search, document your access requirements. Make a list of who should have access to where and when.

Remember that other people besides residents and employees will need access, such as customers, visitors, delivery people, and workers. Another thing to consider is determining if you need a mobile-based and cloud-based access control system. They make it effortless to manage access from anywhere on most devices.

3. Works with Other Business Systems

Do you have remote surveillance with video monitoring or plan to add it to your business? You can look for one that integrates with an access control system. This integration offers multiple benefits.

As you search for the ideal access control system, ask vendors about system compatibility. There's no need to reinvent the wheel or customize integration. You can most likely find a system that's compatible with your business's company-critical systems and alarms.

You can further increase security by integrating remote video monitoring. The more layers you have in your security, the harder it will be to break through them.

An integrated security system may contain some or all of these:

  • Access control system
  • Remote monitoring
  • Video surveillance
  • Audio warning speaker
  • Video review and analysis

These features can work together. For instance, the system can match the time stamp of a person's entry on the access control system with the associated video. It can cut down the time needed to search footage. Integrated security simplifies security management and reporting while bolstering security.

Moreover, combining remote video surveillance and access control can offer more security advantages and for a fraction of the cost of most typical security solutions including security guards and courtesy patrols. When you choose a complete access control system that seamlessly works with your other business systems, you'll help enhance security while reaping the rewards of a faster ROI.

What's the Next Step to Getting an Access Control System?

Now that you're sold on an access control system, where do you go from here? How do you identify the right security solution for your retailer, office, apartment, or other business? What works for retail won't necessarily work for office buildings. Requirements vary by industry. You might want to check out the free security resource page to look for resources specific to your business.

If you decide to contact Stealth, we can walk you through the entire process. Our security consultants can do an evaluation of your business and its requirements, create a solution, install it, maintain the system, and manage it.

Incorporating video surveillance will help boost your access control system and security. With cameras strategically placed around your property, the system works to spot suspicious activity before anything happens. It can and has successfully deterred crime while preventing damage. Unlike most security systems, remote video surveillance with access control is a proactive security solution. This system relies on a combination of analytics and human intelligence to catch potential problems. They can stop intruders before they do damage.

Having employees' eyes on your business is a great start. They always won't notice suspicious things as they're busy with their daily responsibilities. That's where an access control system and video surveillance can close the gaps. Together along with analytics and off-site human monitoring operators, they'll pay close attention to everything going on the entire property, both inside and outside.

This complete solution can monitor places where workers can't always see. A business security expert can make sure you get the greatest amount of coverage with the least amount of equipment possible.

When a trespasser approaches the property after hours, the system notifies the trained monitoring operator. Located in a safe place away from your business, the operator can send a warning over an audio speaker. If this doesn't deter the trespasser, the operator can call law enforcement and stay in contact until they've arrived at the property.

It also helps with employee, customer, and visitor safety. Video surveillance can help identify hazardous problems and lapses in safety protocols. The security operator can report these issues to the contact at your business who then takes care of it. Video surveillance records everything. Thus, the video can be used as a resource for training and tightening operational processes.

Internal theft is a problem for many industries. When you conduct employee training, they need to know about the access control system and video surveillance. It's better to be transparent and they'll be less likely to steal. Companies with successful security programs document processes and train employees on those processes.

All it takes is one employee or resident to let an unauthorized person into the building to render your security useless. Video surveillance can capture the employee's or resident’s face as well as the person they allowed into the building. This lets you have a conversation with that individual and review processes. Consequently, you'll be able to track down the suspicious person.

To ensure everyone follows health, safety, and security protocols, keep it simple and hold training on a regular basis. It'll increase the chances of adoption while minimizing relapses. Our security consultants have implemented access control systems and security in commercial properties across North America. They have experience in creating effective and efficient solutions for your type of business. Best of all, you could see a quick ROI.

So much happens in offices, apartments, and retail buildings. No one can keep an eye on all of it with its many health, safety, and security challenges. Implementing the right security system can actually help grow your bottom-line and business reputation. It also helps mitigate liability and protects your assets. Some businesses have seen a reduction in their insurance premiums. Most importantly, effective security technology helps everyone feel safer.

To learn about access control systems, video surveillance, and security solutions that meet your needs, please contact us.

Posted in: Crime Prevention, Video Security Systems, Video Monitoring