How Securitronics Is Saving Clients Money During Pandemic With Biometric Access Control

The integrator has expanded its access control offering to manage entry based on facial recognition and thermal scanning.

Securitronics, based in Rochester, N.Y, is a systems integration company that designs, installs, and services electronic security systems for the access control, video surveillance and intrusion marketplace.

The company has nimbly responded to the pandemic by expanding its access control offering and previously installed systems to include technology that manages entry based on facial recognition and thermal scanning. The purpose is two-fold: confirm masks are being worn and to ensure the requested entrant doesn’t have a temperature. This new offering is not only helping Securitronics thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is eliminating costs for clients and keeping employees safer.

Securitronics had a client with a facility that had reduced access to a single entry point due to the pandemic. “With entry points reduced to one, they were still looking at three people on staff taking temperatures and screening during normal hours — a first and second shift,” explains Securitronics President Terry Rivet. “Even with their small hourly wages, you’re looking at three times $30K annually, for a total of around $90,000 just to manage the door. Not only are you putting all those employees at risk, but it’s also very expensive.”

To eliminate that cost and help keep everyone safe, Securitronics turned to Atlanta-based ZKTeco and the company’s SpeedFace biometric readers, which feature both a facial recognition reader and a thermal camera. When someone stands within 12- to 24-inches of the device, it recognizes if they are a person in the database or a visitor, and the thermal camera takes and displays their temperature.

The readers can be customized to ask a series of screening questions as well. If someone has a temperature that is above the programmable threshold, the reader will alert via a voice prompt that they have an elevated temperature and trigger a red light, at which point they will have to go through a secondary procedure to be admitted. If they are below the threshold, a green validation light is given, the door is unlocked, and they are admitted to the building.

“If you were to purchase two of these readers for an estimated $6,000 each [as a one-time cost], you could eliminate or significantly reduce the salaries for manual temperature takers. This initial investment could provide a return on your investment in less than 35 to 40 days,” says Rivet.

He continues, “There is ROI beyond COVID, as well, because once we are through this, those readers can be repurposed as full access control devices. Then, if we have another COVID surge, they can be repurposed back again. We are confident our client can do a lot with these readers versus hiring employees.”

System Integrator Software Proves Key

Securitronics used these same biometric readers in another large project. The company has worked with the client since the early 1990s, and is a trusted supplier. The client was building a large new production facility on an existing campus and needed to maintain the level of security they have in other buildings. That originally meant access control expansion and video surveillance expansion, including a series of new IP-based video surveillance cameras and monitoring alarm points to provide security.

When COVID hit, however, Securitronics changed the design and added the ZKTeco facial recognition readers for temperature sensing and screening. “It was an adjustment we made on the fly to manage what was going on safely within the COVID world,” says Rivet.

After doing the first site, the client purchased 71 additional units and shipped them to locations around the world so they could reopen during COVID. “Now, we’re talking to every Securitronics customer to help them get back to work and have generated more revenue in doing so,” Rivet continues.

D-Tools’ System Integrator software proved to be a valuable asset for Securitronics as they standardized on this new equipment across multiple sites.

“We have many projects that are repetitive in their scope of work and equipment lists. Rather than come back and start from scratch every time, we use D-Tools software. I can go into an archived closed project or an existing project and clone it and have 85-90 percent of that project estimated in a matter of minutes,” says Rivet. “Efficiencies like this are amazing. I can save anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours for a 50-90% reduction in time spent designing a quote.”

That ability to standardize extends beyond scope of work and materials to cross-company, cross-industry and cross-project communication.

“Some of our partners also use D-Tools software as their current estimating system. Because we can send them files that look familiar, it makes our scope of work and our communications with those partners easier than it ever used to be,” says Rivet. “Our partners recognize what I am doing and know how to send it back to me so I can incorporate their contracts into mine. The more proficient we can be with information sharing and standardized information, the better.”

Securitronics is a member of the PSA Security Network, and through PSA they partner with National Deployment Program (NDP) members across the country. “We have successully adapted the D-Tools platform internally, and expanding that out to a client where we have to bring in subcontractors and NDP affiliate members is vital to maintain a level of information that not only my team can understand, but all teams can understand,” Rivet explains. “Because it’s never just one of us communicating to the subs or affiliates. One platform creates synergies for all.” 

Through innovative new equipment along with standardization of that equipment from quote to quote and project to project, Securitronics has successfully pivoted during the pandemic to become more profitable, while allowing hundreds to safely go back to work, cut costs, and stay healthy.

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