Cody Horchak 3 min read

Retrofitting Access Control Part 6: Work in Process

This is part 6 of a daily series on challenging conventions in the access control world and retrofitting our perspective on what’s best for people, businesses, buildings, and the world. Click here to start the series from the beginning. Stay tuned for part 7 on data coming tomorrow. 

There are a lot of rather obvious costs and complications involved in replacing an access control system, many of which I’ve already discussed in this series. 

However, some aspects of the process are often overlooked or difficult to quantify. One that comes to mind is the sheer amount of process required to rip out your old system and replace it with a new one. 

In other words, what I’m getting at is that a complete access control overhaul is just a huge pain in the &#!$ for pretty much everyone involved. 

A Complicated Path to a Simple Outcome 

On paper, replacing your access control infrastructure might seem like a simple process. You buy the new hardware, unplug your existing system, and install the replacement.  

If only it were that easy. 

In reality, there are a lot of dominoes that need to fall before that final step of plugging in the new system. And most of them are tedious, time-consuming, frustrating, and incredibly boring. 

New access and security systems are painfully expensive. That means getting organizational buy-in, budgeting meetings, and working with your finance and procurement departments. Basically, lots and lots of spreadsheets. 

Installing new low-voltage equipment often means getting certain permits and licenses. That includes fees, but what’s even more unpleasant is being at the mercy of local government bureaucracy to get a project started. 

Will the new system pass your security assessment? How does it communicate with the fire code back to the local municipality? How long will it take for new credentials to come in? Will your security integrator even support this technology? What needs to happen to get it working in sync with the rest of your BMS and security tech stack? 

The questions and problems just keep piling up the further into the process you get. And none of them are fun to resolve. 

Don’t Make Things Harder Than They Need to Be 

A common truism across businesses is “work smarter, not harder.” 

I tend to think that idea grossly oversimplifies reality. But there’s something to be said for choosing the path of least resistance if it’s going to get you the same result. Save all your hard work, focus, and energy for the real issues that arise, instead of exhausting yourself and your team on things that should be and can be streamlined. 

A retrofit access control solution requires almost no changes to your existing standard operating procedures. Every tool and process that’s been tested, used, and refined by your organization stays in place with no disruption. You receive all the perks of a brand new system (mobile access, enhanced security, superior data generation) without the headaches.