Keeping a building operating in a safe and secure manner involves a lot of different things. For those with a need for security, access control systems allow for the careful control of who has access to a building or to specific parts of that building. Today's access control systems rely on modern technology to function at their highest capabilities, and there are numerous benefits that this technology can offer. However, without routine maintenance all the technology in the world will be of little consequence.
While most building maintenance managers or system administrators know that routine maintenance on the hardware associated with the access control system is important, managing central system processes is important as well. Along with door maintenance and card reader maintenance, it's vital to take care of database maintenance and other similar factors.
For starters, regular database maintenance is a must. In most of today's systems, the database is used to control who is allowed access into buildings or into specific areas within the building. Obviously, keeping this database as up to date as possible is a must. Employees who leave the company must be deleted from the system in order to prevent them from gaining access later - especially if their access cards aren't returned as needed.
Along with employees that have left, it's also important to keep track of changes in the facility or in an employee's duties. Employees that get promotions or move to other departments may need new access controls, or if a facility section changes its focus or functions it may change the access restrictions as well. In these cases it's important that all changes are quickly entered into the control system to keep a facility operating as it should.
Obviously, keeping track of all the changes within a company can be very difficult to do. As a result, companies should conduct regular reviews with access control department leaders in order to make sure that all employee information in the database is accurate and set to the proper level of access. Most companies do this on an annual basis, but more frequent meetings may be needed if changes occur before the annual review.
Backup is vital as well. Regularly backing up a database is important in the event that a system failure occurs and information is lost. Rather than having to re-enter information manually the backed up database can be reloaded to simplify the process and prevent the chance of serious errors. Backups are usually done on a monthly basis, but in large companies or companies that have a higher than average turnover rate a weekly backup may be a better idea. In either case, it is an important way to prevent the loss of database information and keep a facility working properly.
The benefits of regular maintenance are obvious. Along with being able to increase security and prevent unauthorized access, keeping a database and system as well maintained and up to date as possible can also increase productivity within a facility. By making small changes as needed to the system, the need for massive overhauls is eliminated. And by backing up information, the chance of a huge manual recreation of the database is reduced as well. In short, it's a must to consider all levels of maintenance.
If a business or facility has already invested time and energy into working on maintaining its hardware - doors, readers, and more - it's also important that as much attention be paid to the access control system's software and central database. Taking the time to keep everything updated and well maintained could make a much bigger difference than a facility manager realizes.