If there’s any topic that we’ve covered extensively here on LockBytes it’s definitely key systems. It’s such a hot topic and is easily our number one inquiry at trade shows. A large portion of the facilities interested in implementing a new key system often have many of the same questions. Most notably, the Facility Managers aren’t asking exactly what they need to be asking their key system vendor.
This post is going to outline some of the basic information you should get when it comes to deciding on a key system vendor. A facility’s key vendor manages the records and supply of keys and cores. Depending on how you arrange your relationship will determine how policies and procedures are enforced.
Questions For Your Key System Vendor
Do You Offer the Type of Key System I Want?
This one seems like a no brainer, but you would be surprised how many people go into a relationship with a key vendor assuming they have exactly what they need without pressing the details. Do your research beforehand and have an idea of what type of key system that you want. Once you have that narrowed down, you can eliminate potential key vendors based on the key systems they offer.
Can You Help Me Develop Policies and Procedures?
Most facility managers and owners aren’t experts on key systems, and that’s ok. They don’t need to be. This is why key vendors play such a vital role in the relationship with your facility. Your key vendor needs to be able to help you develop policies and procedures that align with your goals for the key system. These questions include (but definitely aren’t limited to):
- How many keys should be issued per store?
- How are key orders placed?
- How are lost or stolen keys reported?
Have a list ready to go when you meet with your key system vendor. This will take the pressure off of having to come up with all your questions on the spot and will allow you to be sure you cover everything you wanted to go over.
Can You Help Me Enforce the Policies and Procedures I Decide to Implement?
It’s great to talk a big game up front, but you need a key vendor who is going to be willing to help you when it comes to enforcing the policies and procedures upon which you’ve decided. If you decide only two people in the entire company are able to get copies of keys made, you need to make sure your vendor understands that. On your part, you need to keep your key vendor up to date on any changes you make so that nothing slips through the cracks. Communication with any vendor is key.
Who Retains Ownership of Your Key Records?
Believe it or not, some vendors retain the right to your key records and should you decide to move vendors, you’re in a mess. This means you’ll have to implement an entirely new key system if you ever decide to move vendors, which is going to ultimately end up costing you money. Verify before going into an agreement with any key vendor that you, yourself, are going to retain the rights to your key records.
Regardless of who you decide to use as a key vendor, just make sure that their goals align with yours. Key systems can be complicated and it’s understandable to feel a little overwhelmed. Having a knowledgeable key vendor is only going to make the process flow that much smoother.
As always, if you have any questions regarding key systems or key vendors, give us a shout and we’re more than happy to point you in the right direction.