Shopping for and selecting a key control and management system can be a challenging experience. But it doesn’t have to be if a few simple guidelines are followed. First, determine what your needs are now and in the future. Next, research and compare what’s available. Finally, work with a reputable vendor/installer.

By sitting down and examining what the key control needs are today and what they are projected to be down the road, a major misstep can be avoided. Automated key control systems can be configured to exact needs, so it’s important to know what yours are. This includes determining who will be using the system to access keys, who will be administering the system and where the key cabinets will be located, in addition to knowing what other assets will need to be kept secure in addition to keys. If growth is planned for, systems can be seamlessly integrated with common usage of the data base. When they are designed as scalable systems, new key and asset modules can be added when needed.

The next step is research. And more research. Attend trade shows, explore vendor websites, get referrals and see actual product demonstrations. Key control systems are available in all shapes and sizes, from simple single key modules to those with lockers to enterprise-level systems and with features ranging from biometric identification access to illuminated color-coded key slots and user prompts. Accompanying key control and tracking software can also enhance the value of a key control and management system and should be part of the research process.

Working with a reputable vendor/installer can help ease the selection and implementation of a key control and management system. A vendor/installer partner will verify the system, and troubleshoot any issues prior to turning the system over. They will also offer support after the installation with ongoing preventive maintenance, software upgrades and regular communication.

Key control systems are more than just a way to control keys and other assets. They are an important security tool that can improve the safety and security of a facility. Knowing how to choose the system that is right for you makes all the difference when it comes to return on investment.