Build Facilities Management Awards 2016

Build 2016 Facilities Management Awards 24 n example of one of the key processes which is often neglected is key management. Almost every organisation has an access control system, and may be on their second or even third gener- ation system. Keys should be an extension of an access control policy, but in most facilities they are treated in an outdated way, being issued from the wall mounted key press which is itself managed with a key that likely lives in an office desk drawer or is owned by security personnel. The key press is opened in the morning, but what happens if the designated holder is off sick? And how are the keys accounted for as they are used? The answer is that sometimes such auditing is never in place, and if there, it often involves signing in a manual log. Key management is without doubt the most under-automated and antiquated process in almost every facility. However, the technology now exists to provide access control to those keys at a fraction of the cost of a full blown access control system. At a time when businesses are analysing every cost very close- ly, facilities managers cannot afford to take this kind of inefficient approach. Something as simple as losing keys can cost a considerable amount of money. This was highlighted when a set of Wembley Stadium’s ‘laser keys’ were lost, which potentially cost tens of thousands of pounds to replace and at the same time presented a very real security risk. If you are going to manage access to buildings, rooms, riser ducts, lifts, basements and equipment using keys, then you have a duty to find a way of ensuring the keys are looked after properly. So what steps can be taken to help keep keys safe and thus improve opera- tional efficiency and reduce expenditure? And how do you even know when the keys are lost or mislaid? Firstly, the risk of human error needs to be taken out of the process. Automated key management systems have been adopted by supermarkets, schools, universities, prisons, utilities, retailers, banks, casinos, car dealers, police forces and airlines and they have all realised the wide variety of bene- fits these systems can offer. These organisations use intelligent key cabinets that automate the dispens- ing of keys within their organisation and electronically recognise their users. A key vending system automatically ensures that only an authorised user has access to a specific key or set of keys. The benefits include improved customer service, more efficient processes, better insight into operational performance, greater employee accountability, and reduced maintenance and replacement costs for equipment and vehicles. Another key factor is to ensure keys never leave site. They should be secure- ly managed within the electronic cabinet and access is restricted to each authorised user. When a user needs the key, their ID grants them access. If the person then accidentally leaves the site with the key, it is easy to find out from the system who took the key, so a quick phone call is all that is needed to get the key returned. Facilities managers know who has a key and the user knows they know, so inherently more care is taken to replace the key after use and to look after the asset the key accessed. Furthermore, there is the safety aspect. Keys are very often used to restrict ac- cess to equipment or higher risk areas. Even simple things like ladders need to be restricted to trained members of staff, let alone the maintenance key for the elevator, the chemical store and the many hazardous items that exist in most organisations. Keys are the only sensible way to unlock the padlock or room. But how do you ensure that only trained staff accessed these items or areas? It is almost impossible to police, so an electronic management system takes care of the whole process. The manager defines the access rights and the system takes care of everything else, declining access to those who do not have valid licenses and appropriate training, and automatically recording the use and return of the key. A clearly defined process to manage the risk is enforced reliably and efficiently. Best Key Cabinets & Locker Systems Provider 2016 There are numerous times when the sheer number of challenges involved in managing a facility becomes almost too difficult to handle. Whether you’re a distribution and manufacturing plant, a rail depot or a hospital with organisations looking to reduce costs where possible, fewer and fewer staff are left to oversee a building. But with so many tasks piling pressure on facilities managers, it is often the seemingly simple processes that cause problems. A FM160048 Company: Traka Web Address: Email: [email protected] Telephone: 01234 712345 Head Office: 30 Stilebrook Road, Olney, Buckinghamshire MK46 5EA UK