Friday, November 21, 2014

Are You Adequately Securing Your Dealership's Keys?

So you've purchased and installed an electronic key management system at your dealership. That's all you have to do to secure your keys, right? Wrong. Your system will only serve its purpose (protecting your keys and the cars on your lot) if you use it properly.

We have outlined below some common mistakes that dealership owners make (and how to fix them) when employing electronic key management systems.

Not Keeping All Keys in the System



keys with "NO" symbol
Whether it's the spare key kept with the owner's manual or valet keys, some dealership owners choose to keep some of their keys out of electronic management systems but secure others inside of it. Some cite limited space in their systems (though some electronic systems can hold up to 5,760 keys) as the reason for not securing every key tightly. Convenience is another common reason, although there is nothing convenient about paying up to tens of thousands of dollars in rekeying costs if keys are stolen from your dealership.

Make it a best practice to fill your electronic key management system with every key that unlocks a car on your lot.

Not Monitoring the Area Where Your System is Kept


Once you have secured all of your dealership's keys in your electronic management system, you need to find a secure area for the system itself. Just like banks don't keep their vaults unmonitored, you shouldn't keep your system in an unmonitored area. Placing it in a back room or an off-site location reduces user accountability.

Place the system where there is little customer traffic but where it is accessible to authorized users, such as a manager's office.

Not Setting up Authorization Levels


authorized personnel signAfter putting all of your keys in an electronic management system and keeping the system in a monitored area, you may think you're finished as far as secure key control. If all employees have authorization to check out any key, you're opening yourself up to unnecessary liability risks. Unfortunately, there's also the possibility of internal theft (which costs dealerships nine dollars per employee per day) to consider.

Set up varying levels of authorization to lessen the chances of internal theft. Employees on the sales floor, in the service department and other areas should only be authorized to check out keys relative to their duties and responsibilities.

What are you doing to make sure that you are using your electronic key management system correctly? Let us know in the comments.

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