Determining how much an access control system will cost is based on many factors, including, first and foremost, the number of access points you need to secure and the level of security needed at each of these access points, which usually includes a mix of low and high security areas and integration with other systems, such as video surveillance systems. There will also be a mix of different product choices that will factor into the overall cost, for example, such as with hardware, software, monitoring, analytics, etc.
Calculating the Cost of an Access Control System?
What is important to remember is today’s access control can be highly scalable and customizable to the needs of each business/end user, allowing a business to start with the most critical access points and add more readers and cameras as the budget allows. Bringing access control online also allows for streamlining of employee and visitor management (more on this later), eliminating the need for keys, which provides great savings in both cost and labor. Plus, an employee’s credential can be removed immediately, for example, or added on a computer with the click of a mouse.
Access Control Hardware/Reader Costs
The level of security needed at each door or secured area will determine the cost per door, as you will have different requirements throughout a facility and costs can range from several hundred to more than $1,000 per door based on which access control systems you are using. Installing readers with proximity and Bluetooth capability will future-proof your facility for many years to come. Even if you aren’t using the Bluetooth technology today, for example, when the time comes and you want to start using the technology, you will be able to easily. For example, many schools, military, and government facilities are already transitioning to smart access technologies at a faster pace each year.
In terms of locks, there are a number of options available in electronic and smart locks, including locks from access control specialists such as ASSA ABLOY that use up to 90 percent less energy. This is especially important with new construction, helping to meet LEED building standards in sustainability. ASSA ABLOY is the sister company to HID Global, a leader in the area of mobile access and credentialing, so the world is moving in that direction, from businesses and hospitals to schools and government/military facilities.
Biometrics and Multi-Authentication Access Control Equipment
The cost of biometrics continues to come down, making this technology something that is worth considering for certain high-security areas where added security, including dual authentication, is required. While fingerprint technology is probably the most widely adopted biometric for access control, facial and iris technology are growing in popularity, as it provides even greater reliability and accuracy than a fingerprint. For example, hospitals, where touch-less is the ideal solution, using iris or facial recognition solves many problems and provides both convenience and high security. By combining different access control technologies, such as a smart card with biometrics, provides that extra layer of security.
An experienced security company can show what are the best and most economical solutions for any area, including highly critical areas such as:
- Medicine rooms and cabinets
- Data Centers
- HVAC & electrical equipment rooms
- Security centers
- High-value inventory
- Employee records
Access Control Software Costs
Employee and visitor management software should also be considered when trying to calculate the overall cost of an access control system. Beyond the initial cost of the software, which can be several hundred dollars, upgrades are usually included. One of the great values of upgrading your access control system is getting rid of the need for keys, allowing business owners to control their entire onboarding process and access privileges electronically on their computer, laptop or phone. So not only can you give access to certain employees for certain areas during certain times, you can also revoke those privileges or change them over time, as needed. This is especially helpful when an employee is promoted or leaves the company, for example.
With the ability today to integrate systems and bring the data into one platform, it allows a business owner to turn all of this data into actionable info using analytics, including the number and frequency of visitors, busiest times, busiest areas, traffic flows, etc., helping a business to streamline operations, increase sales while lowering theft and shrink.
Monitoring Costs of an Access Control System
Most likely, you are going to be monitoring a combination of security, access, fire and video systems. To maximize security and overall return on investment, while giving you greater control over your operations and business, it is essential to pair up video surveillance with your access control system, as this allows your monitoring center, for example, to minimize false alarms using video verification. Being able to verify if the breached access point is a false alarm or a real emergency is key in today’s world. It also gives you more control over managing your facilities and employees, allowing you to check in on things remotely, or give access to someone remotely. This integration allows you to control different systems, from access control and video to lighting and HVAC.
The Monitoring Association is a good resource for any additional questions you may have on monitoring concerns.
This is where all of the real savings and ROI start to be realized, as bringing everything online and together on one platform allows you to achieve operational efficiencies and anticipate issues before they happen, whether it is a maintenance issue or an access control issue.
Access Control Warranties, Upgrades, and Managed Services
Some other hidden and often unforeseen costs that need to be considered include warranties on the various hardware and software, as well as any future upgrade costs and any monthly or annual maintenance and upkeep costs for any equipment or managed services.
Access Control Systems for St. Louis Businesses & Institutions
For business owners in St. Louis looking to add a modern access control system, be sure to leverage today’s technology to secure and save. You want to make sure that you are working with a security dealer that has experience with commercial access control, as well as the integration of those systems with security, fire, HVAC, etc. Contact a local security dealer to discuss the variety of options available today, as well as a cost that is scaled to meet your budget.