When you think of access control you probably think of the security aspect - after all, locked doors are normally there to keep unauthorised people out and valuable items safe! However, modern access control and integrated security systems have more to offer than this – especially when it comes to large commercial sites, where they can help a business manage its facility more intelligently.
Guiding traffic flow
Integrated security can track the movement of authorised people. This gives a highly accurate model of pedestrian traffic and is especially useful in a busy facility, where this a crucial consideration for facilities management.
Take a large office for example. It is possible that the majority of staff will start and finish their work at the same (or similar) times. Much like the road and public transport networks, this can result in a huge volume of people/vehicular traffic at set times and lead to congestion. Monitored access control gives an excellent overview of this and is the perfect basis for the Facilities Management team to plan access routes to cope with the influx.
Certain locations may create bottlenecks – be that access doors, lifts/escalators, canteen/retail areas or indeed even the car parking spaces outside the building. This can be made even more complicated if the organisation runs shifts – whereby people and vehicle traffic may be coming and going during a number of busy periods.
The Admiral Insurance Example
You may have seen in the press that our partner Sovereign Fire and Security has recently installed TDSi’s EXgarde integrated security solution at the Headquarters of Admiral Insurance in Cardiff. Of particular interest in this project is Admiral’s use of EXgarde to advise employees of their best route to their floor/office space when they gain authorised access upon entering the building. The software intelligently plans the fastest/best route for them to follow including the designated lift.
This solution makes it quicker and easier for employees to reach their desk and log into their network access, but it also improves the overall traffic flow of people around the building – which is ideal for the company as well. Additionally this saves power consumption (lifts make the journey with the right capacity of people) and improves the time management of staff – which obviously equates to cost savings for Admiral.
Rather brilliantly this is all made possible by existing security protocols - information that is already gathered and is ready to use. At the same time these controls can be applied to the keypad on the lift, so for instance, access for certain individuals can be restricted to authorised floors only and changed at a moment’s notice by the security team.
Because it is a fully integrated security system this level of control can be applied to other areas of the facility, such as car parks for example – ensuring the security team is fully aware of who is entering or leaving the facility and when.
Integration gives commercial properties greater control
There is no doubt that commercial facilities can really benefit from using the most effective integrated solutions together. Because of the way security and access control systems work, they gather information on the intricate workings and usage patterns of a facility in a way they would be difficult to gauge otherwise.
Being able to reduce congestion saves employee frustration and saves the business valuable time. The smart move is doing so by using the systems already in place to improve facilities management and the working environment.