When considering the implementation of an automated key control system, there are several points that need to be identified and addressed before that important final decision is made. Ultimately it comes down to four basic areas that can provide the foundation for a long-term successful key control and asset management plan. Those key parameters relate to key security, key access, key tracking and scalability.
- Key Security – Key security refers to the design and capability of the system to store and protect valuable keys. A professional key control system is virtually tamper proof and will sound an alarm if a user tries to force the cabinet door open or dislodge a key with force.
- Key Access — Key access refers to how authorized individuals gain admittance to a key control cabinet to retrieve or return a key. Most often, keypads, biometric devices and access card readers provide access. Other features such as illuminated key slots; random return, keys out and key find capability; large screen LED displays for messages and user prompts, and mounting options are just a few of the additional selections available that offer ease of access.
- Key Tracking – A key control software function, “key tracking” refers to the audit trail which indicates the time and date of every key accessed by a user in a given time parameter. Typically, keys are used with a locking mechanism and identification chip and the data is tracked via a software program. Having fast and easy access to the information can save hours of time when doing follow up.
- Scalability — Scalability refers to the capability for growth of the system. What may seem adequate today could well be insufficient key storage in a year or two. Having the ability to add on the exact components you need or change modules where and when you need helps protect your investment.