Fleet managers literally hold the keys to the kingdom for their businesses. The success of their operations depends on the proper use of equipment. That isn’t possible unless the keys are in the right hands at the right times. Yet that’s easier said than done, whether a fleet has five vehicles or 500. Keeping a close eye on keys is essential for protecting equipment, reducing liability and extending the lifespan of assets. Fortunately for fleet managers, electronic key management systems can be the solution for all of these concerns.
How It Works
The traditional way to track keys is to store them in a locked cabinet. Unfortunately, this can lead to a number of problems for fleet managers. It may not always be apparent who took a particular key, or when. The employee in charge of signing them in and out may lose track of where they are, and it can be a time-consuming process. It’s also too easy under the traditional method for equipment to be misused.
With an electronic key management system, these problems are eliminated. The cabinet only opens if an employee has the PIN, swipes a keycard or uses biometric verification. Some systems take a photo of the user every time they are accessed. Inside the cabinet, lights and sounds can direct the user to the specific key needed. Each one can be attached to a fob that can be used to track its whereabouts.
How It Helps
Installing an electronic key management system can do a lot to make a fleet manager’s job easier. Here are three ways in which it can improve operations:
- Greater efficiency: Because the system is fully automated, fleets no longer have to dedicate manpower to keeping track of keys. Every activity is recorded in the system’s memory, eliminating the need for paper records. This also means that fleets don’t waste time searching for keys or equipment.
- More accountability: These systems protect the reputation and equipment of fleets. That’s because managers always know exactly who has access to all equipment at any given time. This helps prevent misuse of vehicles, extending their lifespan. It also creates a trail managers can follow in the event of damage to assets.
- Enhanced security: Fleet managers can rest easier with an electronic key system because they won’t have to worry about unauthorized access. Keys are locked away unless the user presents a valid authorization credential. If any unsanctioned access is attempted, the system can notify the manager. The system also can provide alerts if keys are not returned at the scheduled time. These features help prevent theft as well as inappropriate use of vehicles.
Fleet managers have an immense responsibility. Electronic key management systems can help them keep track of their equipment and streamline procedures. As a recognized leader in the industry, KEYper® Systems can help you with a key management solution that fits your operations. For more information or to get started, contact KEYper® Systems today.
KEYper GO Mobile App
Last year, KEYper® Systems formally announced the release of their mobile key management app, KEYper GO. The innovative new app brings the simplicity and convenience of KEYper’s industry-leading electronic key management systems right into your hands. Once the app is downloaded to your mobile device and paired with your KEYper key control system, you can view the status of all keys and assets in your business in real-time. With the touch of a button, keys can be selected for immediate checkout, or reserved to be picked up at a later time. If the key you need is currently checked out, KEYper GO will notify the current keyholder with an SMS message, letting them know you are looking for that key.
KEYper GO with VIN Explosion
Now, KEYper® is revolutionizing mobile key and asset management once again with the introduction of KEYper GO’s newest feature – VIN Explosion. With VIN Explosion, managing your vehicle sales data has never been easier. Simply scan the VIN using your mobile device. Vehicle attributes (make, model, year, etc.) are then extracted and uploaded into the KEYper GO app, without the need for additional integration. Data can then be synced directly from your KEYper GO app back to your Electronic Key Management System. Eliminate the time spent inputting vehicle information manually, as well as the potential for data entry errors. In addition, vehicles can easily be added and deleted from your key system using the VIN Explosion feature.
Access to Additional Vehicle Sales Data
Along with standard specs, KEYper GO with VIN Explosion also provides supplemental sales data for the specific make and model of vehicle (available interior/exterior colors, drive type, engine information, etc.). With that knowledge at your fingertips, you can quickly provide customers the information needed to make a decision.
“The ability to scan and pull VIN data for vehicles is a feature our customers have been requesting for some time, and we’re excited to be able to bring it to them.” – Ric Stone, President and CEO of KEYper® Systems
April 4, 2018
The world has become increasingly focused on security in the world of information, and the threat posed by physical vulnerabilities has not been forgotten as technology moves forward. Key security is integral when your business relies on allowing your customers and employees to use large, valuable assets. Failing to maintain proper control of your keys will inevitably result in lost time and revenue. That is an unfortunate statement considering there are effective and reliable methods and tools available to make key management easier than ever.
How Are Keys Lost?
While it may seem like an obvious question, it’s still important to take stock of every potential way the security of your keys might become compromised. Misplacement is the most common culprit, such as when an employee forgets to actually place the key back in the secure locker before heading home, or the keys going missing entirely. Mismanagement is the leading cause of misplacement; this happens when the key isn’t properly tracked in the company system, whether it is actually missing or not
The Costs of Poor Key Management
There are three primary ways that poor key management results in damage to your business. The cost that most businesses expect from poor key management is the incidental cost that comes from replacing lost keys. For homes and other rental units using a traditional lock system, losing the keys means at least one lock will need to be replaced at a minimum of $10 – more depending on the exact model of handle you wish to use. A new key card is easier and less expensive to replace at just a few dollars per replaced card in the most common hotel keycard systems. Most cars use a computerized key system so the entire ignition lock doesn’t have to be replaced when you lose your keys, but replacement car keys can cost upwards of $400 or more, depending on the make and model.
Second, there is the doomsday scenario in which poor key control leads to a thief gaining access to the secured object. A stolen car is thousands of dollars in losses in the best case, and it will more likely be in the tens of thousands. If a hotel guest loses their belongings due to poor key security, that information will undoubtedly make its way to other potential guests, and cascade into lost revenue to competitors without the blemish on their record. In a more sinister situation, if a criminal were to gain access to an occupied room, and proper key management procedures could have prevented it, the liability and danger to human life are monetarily immeasurable. For government and high-security situations, malicious actors may find a way to steal or attack where one was never expected and cause immense amounts of damage.
Lastly and most insidiously, is the incidental time loss from keys that are not lost so much as they’re not where they are expected to be. There’s no cost for replacement, but access to an asset may be unavailable until the original finds its way back or an emergency spare is acquired. For example, a supervisor may forget that a vehicle is needed and keep the keys on hand just in case. Or, an employee may take the keys to a company car home overnight, preventing the next shift from completing all of their tasks for the night. The keys aren’t lost or misplaced in either case, but they are mismanaged in a way that cuts into productivity.
Applying Operational Security to Your Keys
Modernizing your key management is one of the easiest ways you can improve your key security. Electronic key management systems from companies like KEYper Systems are far superior to any chit system, or pen-and-paper logbook for a wooden key locker secured with a simple padlock. Each KEYper electronic key management system starts with a sturdy key vault with electronic access control for each key, tamper seals, secure fobs, and a digital camera to capture and record every login attempt, functionally removing the ability for users to take a key without proper access. The key track system lets you know whether a key is in or out, and provides a detailed log of every user who accessed it. Additionally, customizable reports provide a simple way to analyze your key, user and asset activity. You can access the status of every key in real-time, online or through the KEYper GO app on your mobile device. You can also use the online admin to create custom access groups and schedules. Creating a schedule for key availability is a task that most supervisors have undertaken, but KEYper Systems can use that schedule to control access to keys. For after-hours key management needs, the human element can be minimized by automating key dispensing entirely, allowing 24-hour key exchange without additional staffing or security risks.
The key security offered by KEYper Systems pays for itself over time by reducing and eliminating the lost time and money from poor key management. For more information on KEYper Systems’ products, you can browse the KEYper store online, or you can schedule a free online demo to become more familiar with the products in a more interactive and personalized setting.
Protecting your business with high-quality security systems is always a great way of keeping yourself protected from theft. However, few companies take the time to install essential key systems in their business. This oversight is a huge mistake because key storage can be a crucial way of keeping you safe from theft.
In this article, we’ll take a look at a few instances in which stolen keys impacted a person or business. Then, we will discuss a few solutions for managing these problems. In this way, you can keep your keys out of the hands of criminals who would love to gain access to your assets.
The Dangers Of Missing Keys
A variety of recent news stories illustrate the dangers of losing your business keys. One showcased a thief returning to a home multiple times to burglarize it. Now, imagine that situation occurring in your business. Losing your main set of keys and having a thief find them could leave your company open to repeated robberies. Even if you have cameras located in your building halls, a dedicated burglar could still steal a lot of goods from you or access sensitive information.
In another story, it was found that burglars would steal keys right out of cars and use them to enter homes. This situation was typical when people parked their car outside their house and didn’t take the time to bring in their keys. The same situation could happen in your business. For example, one of your employees could have a key ring filled with essential business keys. If this gets into the wrong hands, your company will be open to criminals who would take advantage of this access to rob you blind.
As a result, key systems are an important tool that more businesses need to understand. Implementing an effective and high-quality key storage method will make sure that your company is safely protected from robbers. Even better, it will make it easier for you to track where these keys are located and take steps to ensure that you aren’t getting robbed by your employees.
How Key Control Saves You Money
Safety from robbery attempts is not the only reason to keep your keys safely stored. For example, a recent threat at a Massachusetts school was inspired by a 16-year-old student getting access to the school’s master keys. While this student was not connected to the threat, he was able to access delicate areas of the building during a dangerous time. In fact, he was able to locate sensitive records and other types of paperwork all through his school.
As a result, the school had to install new keys throughout the whole school district. This cost the district over $50,000 in wasted funds. So even if you notice your missing keys in time to prevent robberies, you’re still going to be in a situation that will cost you a lot of money. As a result, it is crucial to take the time to understand the various management systems you can use for your company.
Ways To Avoid Key Control Problems
The simplest way to keep your keys protected from robbery or misuse is to secure them in a safe area. Just placing them in office drawers, hook boards, hanging key cabinets or unmonitored lockboxes is not effective enough anymore. These storage options leave them open to theft from just about anybody who walks into your office.
It is also essential to keep a usage log for your keys to ensure that their presence is accounted for at all times. In this way, your employees won’t be able to steal them without implicating themselves or others in a crime. Make sure that your log is regularly updated to ensure that all the keys in your business are tracked. And thankfully, there are several storage systems which you can invest in for your business.
The Benefits Of Key Management Systems
A professionally-installed key management system will place all of these essential items in a safe area that cannot be breached. For example, a mechanical key management system uses a few simple control mechanisms to store your keys safely. This step also improves productivity by keeping all of your office’s keys in the same location, thereby making it easier for your employees to find them.
You can also install a drop zone where your customers can place business keys after hours. This drop zone will lead to a carefully-sealed area that will keep your keys out of the hands of unwanted people. Not only is this convenient for your customers, the process is streamlined for managing after hours key drop off and creates a better user experience for your customers.
The same idea also applies for customer key pickup. There are also services like automated key dispensing systems that work somewhat like an ATM. These key systems place your business keys in a stored area that cannot be broken into without a lot of work.
Combining all of these systems in your business can help to avoid the kind of key theft that can be so be traumatic for your company. It keeps your essential locking items in an area where you can find them, tracks who is using individual keys, and creates a simple system for protecting your business. As a result, it is worth installing these key storage units in your store.
Finding The Right Key Management Solution
There are several places where you can find these types of storage systems. While we provide all of these methods at reasonable prices, it is essential to find one that works for you. Take a few moments to assess the ways you manage your key use in your business right now.
After you have spotted potential problems, you can contact us to learn more about a solution for your key management system needs by contacting KEYper Systems. We can assess those needs, install the right key management system for your business and maintain them for you after getting them in place.
In a business that needs to keep keys secured and organized, you need to make sure you have a solid system in place to manage them. Without this in place, it can be easy to misplace or even lose keys. Whether you own or manage a business in the real estate industry or the automobile industry, this can become a massive problem. Lost keys means lost time and money. For years, many businesses in industries like these have been using a traditional hook board or hanging key cabinet to manage all of their keys. While this may have been a great option before technology improved, it is now an outdated system that can cause a lot of security issues.
The Faults of the Hook Board and Hanging Key Cabinets
A traditional hook board, while it does work well to house keys, does not do much else. It also leaves a lot of room for security breaches and leaves you with no way of tracking where your keys are at any time. Because your traditional hook boards and hanging key cabinets are missing this tracking component, you never know who has taken any missing keys or where they went. This can be a big problem because if keys are missing, you may not know how long they have been missing. They could have been gone for a few days and you only realized that they were missing when you went to get them. Another problem is that you have no way of tracking who actually took the keys out. While you can always ask your employees who grabbed which keys, you leave some room for confusion. If someone does not remember if they took the keys or when and they are missing, then you will have some trouble tracking them down.
The last major problem that is created with a hook board is that it is typically only locked with a simple key on the box, if at all. If there is no lock on the key box of your hook board, then anyone can go in and grab the keys at any time. With this, there is absolutely no security for your key system. Even if there is a lock on it, anyone who has the key to the box can give it to someone else who is not supposed to have them. They could also lose their keys to the box and someone could get them that may abuse them. These last two are definitely worst-case scenarios but that does not mean that they cannot happen using a traditional hook board.
What Key Management Faults Can Cost Your Business
With any type of outdated key management system, you can stand to lose not only keys but a lot of money as a result. If you are losing keys due to your management system, then you will have to face the possibility of changing the locks and keys for the asset those keys accessed. Since this is a mistake that happens as a result of your management system, this is a cost that you will need to bear and should not pass on to your clients. While having this happen once or twice may not be a lot of money, if this happens several times a month, then it can really add up and can cost you quite a bit of money over time. You want to avoid this additional cost and overhead for your business if at all possible. The best way to prevent these costs is by using a form of mechanical key control. Even with the added costs of changing over your hook board to a mechanical or electrical one, you will still save a lot of money over the course of a year. Not to mention, you can also prevent added stress and other security issues.
Reasons to Consider a Mechanical or Electrical Key System
With a mechanical or electronic key management system, you can eliminate all of the faults that come with a traditional hook board or hanging key cabinet. To start, you can keep track of all of your keys at all times. You can keep track of who has taken out a specific key as well as when. With this, you will know who to go to if you are looking for a specific key. You can also customize who has access to the system, and provide multiple keyless options for accessing the key cabinet. You can set different codes for each person so they do not have to keep up with their own keys to the box at any time. In addition to PIN #s, employees can access the system via biometric fingerprint, or with a prox card. When a user attempts to log in, a digital camera captures and logs a picture of them.
Not only that, but you can secure each key individually in this type of system. This allows for even more security within your system. As part of this type of system, you can even prevent tampering so that people who try to gain access to the keys are unable to do so. With this type of security, as well as real-time and historical key tracking technology, you do not have to worry about where your keys are at any time or how long they have been gone. This is the way to ensure the best security for your key system, so you can focus more of your time on building up the business instead of trying to find a set of keys that has gone missing.
A mechanical or electrical key system is now the best option that you can have for your business. It allows for increased security measures for your keys, and it allows you to keep track of who took the keys that are not currently stored in the system. This way you can keep better tabs on the keys that you have and allows you to have more peace of mind. If you would like to change your outdated peg system over to one that allows you to save money and keep track of your keys with more accountability, contact KEYper Systems today to get started and find the perfect mechanical or electronic key system for your business.