Accessing Light Commercial Sales


Security contractors who haven’t already recognized light commercial facilities as prospective customers for electronic access control are missing a potentially lucrative profit source. Consider: Retail stores, manufacturers and service organizations in communities everywhere have a need for access control to protect employees, customers and assets.

If the facility needs to provide controlled access to multiple users sharing access to multiple openings, programmable electronic locks and trims are a solid choice since many of these types of customers cannot afford to provide online access to larger numbers of doors. Most likely they have a few critical doors, such as outside entrances, access to computer server or records rooms, or where they store valuable merchandise. Tighter access may also be necessary for many other types of rooms, such as the boss’ office or the office supply area.

Such customers are perfect for selling complementary offline locking systems. Ranging from traditional door openings to individual cabinet and keypad locks, there are myriad opportunities to offer customized security solutions to light commercial customers. By providing a mix of security, convenience and costs, electronic locking systems can add thousands of dollars of revenue per installation.

Electronic Locks Are Key

Electronic locking solutions are the first step in a migration from mechanical key systems to fully electronic access control. For instance, the first priority for any right of entry plan is to establish control over the origination and duplication of mechanical keys. That can be a job of the past. Whether for a storage closet, lab, office or records room, a programmable locking system provides a simple-to-install, affordable alternative for distributing such keys.

At an installed cost starting around $650 per door, programmable electronic locks provide a solid choice for facilities with a limited number of users and access points. A step above the traditional generations-old strictly mechanical pushbutton lock, they are standalone, microprocessor-based, battery-powered locks that provide increased customer value. Until it receives an authorized code, the clutching lever simply gives way, discouraging vandals and others from breaking it to gain entry.

They also remove the worry of using up the capacity of the 17 or 19 codes that are currently available on older locks. These electronic locking systems are also at a similar price point of mechanical single code locks that require a cumbersome process to change codes.

Staffers can quickly program electronic locking systems with up to 100 individual user codes, right at the keypad. Administrators can easily add or delete users in less than a 10-second process. The programmable locking system operates on four off-the-shelf, AA alkaline batteries, which provide 80,000-plus cycles or about three years life.

For instance, the Schlage King Cobra Series features iButton ports, 12-button keypads and standard builder’s cylinders. Models are available for use with a wide range of doors, latches and exit devices, including narrow stile aluminum doors.

By providing iButton keyfobs in addition to access codes, managers achieve a higher level of security by preventing unauthorized entrance. Now, an access control administrator can choose to require a pin code, an iButton, or both a pin code and iButton to gain authorized entry. It’s not just what you know that gets you in the door, but what you have as well.

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