25 Nov Selecting the best entrance control system for your office or leisure facility
There are many options when it comes to selecting the best access control system for your organisation. It is important to make the right decision because your system can be in place for a long time. Here are the main things you need to consider.
Work out where the gates are needed and how many people will need access
Think about where your building’s public access points are and how many employees, customers and other visitors will be coming in and out of your premises daily. This will help you determine which areas you need access control gates, and how many lanes you might need.
You’ll need to consider the speed with which you require people to go through the access gates, and how you will monitor the system once it is installed. For example, you will need to determine which staff members will be responsible for making sure the system is running smoothly, as well as issuing new access cards when required. The better the system, the easier it will be to monitor, and the quicker people will be able to get in and out of your building.
Next, determine which entrance control system will best meet your needs.
Whether you choose turnstiles, speed gates, swing gates, entry gates, or fast lane door detectives, each system has unique strengths and weaknesses that need to be considered. According to Centaman Entrance Control General Manager, Michael Bystram, “Each client has unique requirements for their entrance control system. There are the varying levels of security, freedom of movement, and the aesthetic requirements of your organisation that need to be weighed up. I recommended getting an onsite consultation to simplify the whole process and ensure that you are aware of all your options”.
Consider the safety and security implications
Emergencies and security breaches are an unfortunate part of daily life. They do happen, and you need to be prepared. Consider what will happen if there are breaches to your system, or if emergency services will need to get into your premises in the event of a fire or other emergency. It is important to get some advice around these issues as your entrance control gates will likely need to meet specific building codes and regulations. Most systems can be monitored remotely or on-site, as well as being linked into third party systems if required. For example, gates produced by Centaman Entrance Control can interface with many popular building control systems used by corporate offices, as well as popular leisure management software such as Envibe, Centaman and Gladstone, used by leisure centres.
Make sure your gate is disability friendly
The design of your access control system should consider the legal requirements under the Disability Discrimination Act (Australia), and the Building Act 2004 (New Zealand) so that your system is accessible for people with disabilities. Some access gates aren’t wide enough for wheelchair access (and many turnstiles don’t allow for it), while other gates will allow this functionality. Having disability-friendly gates will ensure access is easy for staff and customers with disabilities, or mobility issues. This is another important area where an onsite consultation will help.
Don’t just consider your current needs. Make sure to consider whether the system you choose can be scaled up should your business grow and add staff or have an increase in customers. According to Mr Bystram, thinking long term can save your organisation large amounts of money in the long run.
“Spending more money upfront now can significantly pay off in the future, especially when you consider the long-term maintenance costs, and the ability to scale your system to meet business growth. We’ve seen businesses have to replace relatively new systems because they haven’t factored in future scalability”.
The other issue to consider is if your system can be upgraded and serviced without much interruption to your business’s operations, and without exorbitant costs. For example, how will your provider be able to replace faulty parts and who will be responsible for training and re-training staff that are responsible for managing the system?
Don’t forget to consider the logistics of installation
You will also want to consider how long it will take to install your new system or upgrade your old system, and if you require significant customisations. Generally, it will take a lot longer and be more difficult to complete installation if you require customisations to be made or third-party product integrations to be set up.
Mr Bystram explains, “lead times are typically 14-16 weeks for standard products and 16-18 weeks for products with customisation. Lead times can be reduced to 8-10 weeks for standard products and 10-12 weeks for products with customisation if you choose air freight over shipping”.
Making sure you get the right balance between a speedy installation and a robust system that will last for a long time is a very important consideration.
We hope that this gives you a good starting point for working out which access control system is best for your organisation. A lot of care should be taken to assess your security needs and to then select the most appropriate system to ensure your buildings and employees are safe.
Choosing the right system can be laborious, but the team at Centaman Entrance Control are ready and waiting to assist you through the whole process. For help working out which product is right for you, call +61 (02) 9906 7522 or email us.