Access control is vital for the integrity of your business. Good physical access control is seamless for members, guests and staff, allows only appropriate personnel into various areas and allows you to rapidly deal with those who are no longer members in good standing.
As your business grows, however, your access control needs to change. Not only do you have more members and employees, but you are running larger events, have an increased need for tiered access, and may even expand to multiple facilities.
The Issues with Scaling Traditional Access Control
Many traditional access control systems do not scale up well. You may find you need to update as you increase membership. Issues include:
- The need to create more cards and access devices. Cards are not always reprogrammable, and when they are, departing members seldom return them.
- A likely increase in tiered access. Adding a VIP membership that provides access to more amenities, or access at different times, can require a rework of the entire system.
- Lack of integration between employee and member access systems results in having to maintain and upgrade multiple systems.
- The need to set up an entirely new system if you add a location or satellite facility.
- Technological changes can leave you behind.
All of these can result in the significant expense of having to do a major update or even purchase an entirely new system
Buying a smart access control system with scalability in mind from the start is much cheaper in the long run, as well as being less hassle for you and your staff.
How To Get Scalable Access Control
Making sure your access control is scalable and future-proofed as much as possible is a challenge. One of the best things you can do is choose a cloud-based access control system. This means you don’t have to worry about the cost and maintenance of an on-site server. More to the point, to a system in the cloud, widely disparate geographical locations can be functionally the same place. You can add a new facility much more easily.
Also, look for:
- Support for mobile access As smartphone usage approaches 100%, more and more people would prefer to use their phones rather than having to carry a card. These systems also use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), which has a higher range than RFID, making it more flexible, especially for vehicle access.
- Support for role-based access, which allows for tiered access, access to employee areas, etc. Role-based access means you can grant and revoke access to areas of the club quickly.
- Audit where to put access points so you get it right the first time, and plan for the future. If you know an expansion is likely, putting in card readers ahead of time can be cheaper.
- Make sure that the software used to manage access allows for scalability. Does it have the features you might need in five years?
Scalability is something you should talk about with potential vendors before you make your choice. A good vendor considers scalability and even interoperability for club partnerships. Choose a vendor that makes it part of their business…after all, they want you to stick around and continue to use their products and services. Avoid “saving money” by getting a cheap standalone system you will only have to replace.
CardLock offers cloud-based and mobile access solutions designed to expand as you do. We customize our smart access control solutions to your needs, so you can buy what you need now and then easily add both hardware access points and software features as you need them. If you are looking for a scalable access control system for your private club, contact CardLock today.