To date, the shift from traditional locks and keys to electronic access control systems for cabinets has focused on mitigating security vulnerabilities and risks.
There’s no doubt that best-in-class electronic locking systems surpass mechanical predecessors in safeguarding such items as jewelry, medications, cash and confidential records stored in cabinets. Innovative solutions can deliver up to four times more reliable protection than traditional CAM locks, and locks can be hidden from thieves.
But the value of upgrading to cabinet electronic access control extends beyond stronger security – potentially affecting an entire enterprise. By carefully selecting and directing a transition to a smart, discreet locking system, a CSO can orchestrate positive multi-departmental business results leading to higher efficiencies, sales and profits.
The move helps an enterprise abandon inefficiencies of traditional locks and keys, and replace them with streamlined processes favoring employees and customers or other users.
Here are four cross-departmental advantages of switching to an innovative electronic cabinet-locking system, powered by radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology:
- Facilities management and finance: Greater operational efficiencies, due to labor and maintenance savings.
Operations employees forgo time-consuming, costly installation, maintenance and use of outmoded locks and keys. New plug-and-play locks are simple to install, integrate with existing or new cabinets, and don’t require callbacks or expensive repairs. Employees no longer have to contend with hard keys being lost, stolen, broken or copied, requiring rekeying.
An RFID-driven system can be installed twice as quickly as its predecessor. Employees typically don’t need special knowledge or training to operate an electronic locking system, and technical support and customization are available. Some solutions can be incorporated into cabinet drawer slides or installed inside cabinet doors. They also work with existing alarm and video surveillance systems, reducing total cost of ownership.
System administration is convenient. Access privileges can be added, changed or deleted in seconds. Employees don’t need multiple key cards, and an electronic access control token can be affixed to an existing ID badge.
Automatic relocking cuts down on management monitoring, as well as susceptibility to theft.
- Sales and customer service: Faster transactions – boosting customer experience and sales.
Employees traditionally have wasted time searching for metal keys or calling on supervisors to unlock cabinets containing valuable merchandise, medications, cash, sensitive records, and the like. Or employees have had to retreat to backrooms for these items. Almost half (46%) of consumers say the retail process takes too long, 32% dislike waiting for a sales associate to unlock a cabinet, and 17% are uncomfortable when a salesperson uses a key, according to a retail consumer study by the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
An electronic locking system lets a sales associate, nurse, or bank teller unlock a cabinet immediately to show jewelry, dispense medications or provide cash, respectively. Stocking and product retrieval time decrease, and customer service improves. Loyalty, sales and profitability stand to benefit.
- Interior design and human resources: A more attractive, pleasant environment for customers and employees.
Visible locks and keyholes not only invite thieves, but they also undermine the sleek, relaxed look becoming increasingly desirable for stores, healthcare organizations, financial institutions, hotels, schools and other establishments.
Concealed electronic access control enables clean cabinet fronts that contribute to elegant décor.
In addition, a new system with auto-open, touch-release and soft-close features makes locking and unlocking furnishings quiet and unobtrusive, all of which bolsters employee and customer satisfaction.
- Legal and finance: Reduced risks of penalties for noncompliance.
Employees commonly forget to relock drawers as they move from one cabinet to another. Accidentally leaving a drawer open exposes an enterprise to two major risks: theft, and, for certain kinds of establishments, such as healthcare providers, government fines. In turn, public knowledge of those penalties can erode trust in an institution.
A system that locks a drawer automatically after a given time period solves the problem.
In summary, upgrading to an advanced, invisible electronic access control system offers an opportunity to break free from expensive constraints and significantly improve enterprise-wide operations. Along with enhancing loss prevention, such a system has the power to help an organization spur productivity, control costs, enhance the customer experience, raise employee satisfaction, and boost sales and profits – ultimately increasing business viability.