Thank you to our host for the meeting, Oskar Bucher who is the Plant Manager for Northwest Christian University. Our primary discussion topic for the meeting was access controls, with additional topics being discussed including: roof replacement, repairs, vendors and consultation
Our January 2017 LFMC meeting started with a tour of the recent card lock upgrades to the Morse Events Center at Northwest Christian University. This access control upgrade was a collaborative effort between facilities management, IT and their trusted vendor (and LFMC contributor) Eddie Martinez with Eugene Lock & Safe. As many facilities managers are familiar with the process of tracking physical keys is cumbersome and leave more potential for missing keys in the hands of unknown persons. With the new system there are only a few NCU personnel who have master keys while nearly all other staff, students and vendors have card lock access which can be easily assigned, managed and maintained by the University.
One organization noted that when they tracked the physical keys they estimate that only as high as 60% of keys are returned. For those that are still utilizing keys, the proper labeling of keys is essential to any form of tracking. Another organization noted that a master key was turned in and was left in an open drawer in a high traffic area. Management of any key and/or access control system requires collaboration with multiple departments in the organization, some facilities managers noted the frustration of trying to get support from leadership to enforce tracking.
An area of exposure that still exists with an updated card lock system is tailgating at an open door where multiple employees will enter with only one card swipe, demonstrating that regardless of how advanced your system is there is always potential for human overrides. Key card access enables much greater ease in creating access, tracking authorized persons and eliminating expired access or cards. Many organizations have either auto disable from extended periods of lack of use or will go through access review in set intervals, this may require collaboration with human resources to update when an employee is no longer with the organization or has received a reduced access level.
Card lock systems call enable lock down features for a building or in the case of NCU for campus wide lock out that will occur within seconds of entry of the hot code. Many systems will interact with ADA features in a variety of ways which is essential for many organizations. A downside to some systems that was noted by Eddie Martinez of Eugene Lock & Safe is that many major manufacturers will discontinue after 5-7 years which is an important area to identify when selecting a system. Knowing whether the hardware will change, whether parts will be available and whether the system will integrate with other systems are all important items to identify when selecting an access control system.
Encryption systems, wireless frequencies and security requirements are also important considerations. Most wireless access control systems run on a frequency that is different than standard wifi and will also have additional encryption build into the the software. Understanding your needs as an organization is important when selecting software systems. A question was raised about the costs associated with maintenance of software based systems which was primarily discussed as a benefit when compared to locksmith related costs and the ease of wireless based software enabling 24 hour access to the system. With many alarms being noted as false alarms, several managers were able to reduce costs and needless response by changing initial notifications being directed to local building managers prior to escalation.
A side discussion was brought up as another member organization is dealing with a failing Steven's membrane roof on their building. Discussion about local vendors, roofing types, repair approaches and a potential consultant that other organizations have utilized.
NEXT MEETING: LFMC February 2017 meeting will be hosted by Mark Schmidt and RG Media (Register Guard) we will have a brief tour of the facility and then will discuss Return On Investment ideas. Keep updated on the details through our MEETINGS page.
If you are a local facilities, maintenance and/or risk professional and either have not applied for membership or haven't renewed your information this year, please do so at your earliest convenience HERE. To read and understand a bit more about the ideology in the formation of our peer driven group, you can read the article published through Facility Executive HERE.
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