There are a number of different titles who may have responsibilities within a facility for which they need to carry specific keys. Some individuals may use many keys over the course of a workday, while others may need only one or two.
Every time a key is taken from or returned to the central location where keys are kept, it is the duty of the person removing or returning it to perform the administrative task of signing it in or out. They may need to provide their name, time of day and other information, tasks which can be tedious and are easily overlooked when using a manual system of key control.
Some organizations may look to ensure adherence to these processes by hiring a security officer or other individual to oversee key management. While this is an effective way to make sure workflows are correctly carried out, it adds a significant expense for the business – and there is still potential for fatigue, lack of commitment or human error to cause mistakes. When it comes to key security, every mistake can have significant consequences including loss or theft of keys, the need for expensive re-keying, and missing information which reduces overall business intelligence.
The best way to control and manage keys is by using an electronic key control system.
This eases administrative duties in a number of ways, including:
1. Staff are not responsible for keeping track of details
Each employee has their own permissions when it comes to keys. These include which keys they will be using on any given day, how long they are allowed to keep each key out for use, when and where they must be returned and more. Electronic key control systems remove the stress and uncertainty by only allowing individuals to remove the keys for which they have authority at any time. The system can further be configured to inform them via notes of any additional important information.
2. Detailed automated reporting
Manual logs are notoriously lacking in information; personnel may be in too much of a hurry to fill them out or simply don’t bother because it is easier not to. However, data around the use of keys – when, how long and by whom – can provide a wealth of useful business intelligence to the organization. Electronic key control systems automate this process, ensuring none of that data is lost. A wide variety of audits and reports can be pulled from the system to provide insights on business operations, time and attendance etc.
3. Tracking down lost keys is easier and faster
When an important key goes missing, the organization is at risk. It may simply be in the pocket of an employee who forgot to return it – which is at the very least an inconvenience since it may be needed again before that person is back at work. However, it may also have been stolen, jeopardizing company assets. If it is a key to a main entrance, it could compromise cybersecurity, since one of the primary ways hackers steal data is through the theft of a laptop or server device. With electronic key control, an alert can be sent out to management as soon as a key is overdue for return – along with information about who removed it and which key it is.
By eliminating the need for staff to manage keys in person, and automating much of the process, electronic key control systems help to ease the administrative burden and ensure that organizations have a better understanding of how their keys are being used.