Other network-based systems can instantly adjust access to various locations in a building to specific individuals. Whether a building must be locked down completely or access needs to be limited to only certain personnel, it can be done quickly and easily because the commands can be programmed into the software.
Making the rest of a facility run efficiently is now one of the main goals in security, and the human element – meaning that the people who need to make decisions and respond to building issues are doing it intelligently – is an important part of that.
Much of the focus of security systems – access control in particular – is how buildings facilitate the movement of people. In the past, that has typically manifested in locks that simply allow or prohibit entry. But the movement of people has expanded beyond this definition and has complicated many facets of a facility’s day-to-day operations.
These methods can then be adapted and innovated into other practical applications as well. One needs to look no further than at compliance to see where security systems can make everyday processes more efficient and simpler for personnel. Rather than always needing to bring in inspectors, video capabilities can simplify the process. Edmunds explains, “In the arena of compliance, a lot of customers we’re talking with need to have video and access control of their facilities.”
In particular, FMs working with government agencies that require oversight and compliance like the FDA can look at locations on video to regulate and monitor the personnel entering and leaving certified areas through access control audit trails.
Edmunds recalls one client who required regular assessments from a specific inspector located in Mexico City. Flying him to Utah on a regular basis was inefficient and inconvenient for everyone involved, so they installed high-definition cameras that allowed them to do the same inspection over a conference call.
The university setting has been an especially fruitful venue for innovation along these lines. Edmunds works with universities and has been able to simplify testing schedules and staffing by installing cameras in examination facilities, allowing for proctors to work remotely, with more students and more oversight to ensure intellectual integrity.
Similarly, Ray Bernard, President and Principal Consultant of Ray Bernard Consulting Service in Lake Forest, CA, describes one example where a warehouse was using video analytics to detect when trucks needed to be loaded. From within the office, account managers could tell when pallet staging spaces were ready to be filled for a shipment and when the trucks had been loaded.
“They were updated on critical shipment statuses without having to keep walking down to the warehouse and back,” Bernard says.
Buildings with high foot traffic over the course of a day can use security technology to move visitors more effectively and to staff personnel more appropriately throughout the day.
“Our visitor management systems can identify the times when the most visitors are anticipated, and we can prepare our staffing to deal with those peak loads,” says Ahrens. “Rather than staffing for a worst case scenario, we can predict staffing needs based on actual visitor load.”