Electromechanical key systems are now very widely accepted in the security landscape and used in a vast array of applications through our region. They provide a hybrid type of access control combined with the functionality of a mechanical master key system. The upfront price for an electromechanical cylinder is about 4 times the cost of a mechanical cylinder and access control is about 3 times the price of an electromechanical cylinder. All three solutions have their place in securing organisations, but this article is to do a back of the envelope lifetime value comparison between Mechanical and an Electromechanical system.
To do the comparison I first need to set the bench mark pricing.
Then I need to make some assumptions.
- That at least one key is lost per year.
- That the life of both systems is 10 years.
- The lost key will open at least 50% of the locks
- A lost mechanical key requires that at least half of the system will require rekeying to maintain the “as new” security value of the mechanical system.
The cost to rekey and replace lost keys is based on the assumptions above are set out in the table below. It must be stated that in an electromechanical system a lost key can be deleted via the software system.
The financial value when Table 1 and Table 2 are combined shows an almost equal cost for both systems over 10 years are shown in Table 3 below.
The above is an example of rekeying based on one scenario, that is, one lost key. Typically, to plan for financial risks, an organisation needs to cater for multiple scenarios such as a disgruntled employee leaving with a key, duplicated keys, contractor keys that disappear, and even unaccounted keys that you didn’t even know that are missing. If you must rekey more than once, the value of an electromechanical system well eclipses mechanical.
Table 4 represents a saving of over $47,000 by choosing an electromechanical system when two rekeys of mechanical systems have been done.
Now let’s only assume one rekey occurs over a 10-year period and if the financial costs are very similar how can I claim that the value of the electromechanical system is greater over time. I can claim this because of the functionality.
- In an electromechanical system a lost key can be deleted in seconds and does not expose the business to the security risk whilst waiting to rekey a mechanical system that can take weeks to organise.
- The electromechanical system has a full audit trail. The mechanical does not.
- The electromechanical system can integrate with other management systems such as contractor management systems and access control systems to streamline operations and reduce management cost.
- And most importantly from a Work Health & Safety (WHS) point of view, every user can have their own tailored access profile in an electromechanical system allowing them only to open the doors they are authorised or qualified to open. As an example, we do not want a cleaner opening restricted high voltage area.
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