Electronic key management eliminates the guesswork of who checked out a key, when they checked it out and if they returned it. With an electronic system, employees must enter a valid password, swipe a proximity card and/or scan their fingerprint to gain access to keys. The likelihood of human error is significantly reduced, as an audit trail is created when a key is removed, noting who removed the key, the date and time the key was taken and when or if the key was returned.
It's a common misconception that electronic key control systems are complicated and take too long to operate. This assumption could not be more wrong. On average, an electronic system is about twice as fast (or faster) than a manual process. It would take anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes to locate and remove a key from a pegboard or lockbox and manually update a log sheet. Conversely, it would only take 15 to 60 seconds to perform the same transaction with an electronic system.
In addition to providing accountability, increasing security and saving time, an electronic key management system can also reduce liability. Employing a secure system decreases the likelihood of theft or more horrific crimes for which your business could held liable. Consider this:
- An apartment complex was found liable in the death of a former tenant after the handyman used a master key to enter the tenant's apartment and murder her, resulting in a $10.8 million verdict.
- The Phoenix Fire Department lost 850 master keys that access about 9,000 business throughout the city, resulting in $50,000 in re-keying costs.
To see the benefits of electronic key management in action, check out our key and asset management solutions overview video.