Key System Procedures – A Roadmap for Maintaining Your System’s Integrity

Best Practices > Key System Procedures – A Roadmap for Maintaining Your System’s Integrity

Hkey system, locknet, key system procedureave you ever gotten lost without a map (or Google Maps)?  It’s not a good feeling – trust me – it happens to me all the time.  A clear roadmap is always good to have.

The same holds true with key systems.  Trying to maintain a key system without clear procedures is much like driving without a map.  It’s astonishingly easy to get lost, slows down the trip, and creates a lot of unnecessary frustrations.

The most important thing to remember when setting up your key system procedures is that everyone involved with the key system, from your vendor, to upper-level corporate management, to store level employees, needs to understand and enforce them.

Key System Procedures:

1: How are lost/stolen keys reported?

It’s bound to happen – keys will get flushed down the toilet, a terminated employee will refuse to return their key, and occasionally keys will be stolen.  When the time comes, people need to know to whom they should report the incident so that the next step (key replacement or rekey) can be taken.

Do you want a cashier making the determination as to whether or not the store needs to be rekeyed?  Probably not, and you may not want a store manager making that call either.  The person who needs to decide what constitutes a key replacement and what constitutes a rekey is the one to whom people should report lost/stolen keys.

2: How are key orders executed?

Last week we discussed how many keys can be issued per store and who is allowed to carry those keys.  Now it’s time to lay out who can order keys and the authorized channel through which they do so.  That way, when your key system vendor gets a call from your shelf stocker saying they need a master key, they can politely decline the order.  The vendor knows the procedures, including who is authorized and how they are submitted.

3: How are rekeys executed?

This is a hefty topic that we will dive into next week.  Suffice it to say, this is a critical procedure.


It goes without saying that procedures are only as good as their enforcement structure.  If your key system vendor is lax in following the procedures, your system is bound to lose some of its integrity.  Keys will get into the wrong hands, unnecessary money will be spent on rekeys, and critical rekeys may not get done.

Do you have any questions?  Have you run into any issues with enforcing procedures?  Let us know in the comments!

Check out our Key Systems 101 article for more information.


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Check out the rest of our series:
The Five Critical Components of Key System Management
Key System Types: Restricted, Unrestricted, and Proprietary
Proprietary & Restricted Key Systems
Standard Cylinders versus Interchangeable Cylinders – What’s the Difference?
eCylinders – The Amazing, The Mundane, and The Considerations
Rekeyable Cylinders – Fast, Easy, & Cost Effective
Master Key Systems – Controlled Access With One Key
Key System Policies – Keep Your System In Tact
Key System Procedures – A Roadmap for Maintaining Your System’s Integrity
Rekey Policies & Procedures – Three Elements to Consider
Key System Records Management – 4 Cornerstones