Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Don't Get Caught in the Dark During a Power Outage

Stormy skies
Rolling blackouts or brownouts, nearby thunderstorms, transformer failures — there are a number of things that can cause power outages, and most of them are fairly unpredictable. That's why it's important to always be prepared for an interruption of power when it comes to your electronic key control system.

Here are some tips that can help you continue serving your customers even when you're suddenly in the dark.

Use a Manual Override Key


If your machine has a manual override key, it's important to know exactly who has it and where it's kept. In the event of a power outage, the override key should be the only way to access the drawers, preventing thieves from trying to take advantage of your bad situation.

Designate one person as the administrator of the machine who is the keeper of the manual override key. An override key should be stored securely away from the machine but somewhere it can be accessed by the administrator or a manager quickly during an outage. If the administrator leaves the company, make sure you know where the key is and assign it to a new administrator or manager.

Run Inventory Reports


The physical key tags in your electronic key control system shouldn't be labeled. This keeps keys anonymous, so if they are ever lost or misplaced, they can't easily be linked to a specific vehicle. However this also prevents you from matching keys with cars during an outage, which is why it's important to run regular inventory reports.

Inventory reports should provide a list of the keys that are in the drawer along with the keytag ID associated with each one. Having a recent report available is crucial to your dealership's ability to manually track keys during an outage. Due to the descriptive information, an inventory report should be kept with the administrator or manager at all times.

Use an Uninterruptible Power Supply


A backup of the system should be done at least once a day. That's why it's important to connect your system to an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), which will provide emergency power for a short duration in the event of a primary power source failure.

A UPS should provide power to the system long enough that you can run a manual backup and get an updated inventory report immediately after an outage. Running the backup after an outage should be the system administrator's responsibility, and a line of succession should be designated in the event that the administrator isn't available.

To make sure you don't lose any data during a power outage, we've come up with a few tips.