How Interchangeable Core Programs Change Retail Operations

Authored by InstaKey

For retail organizations, maintaining the physical security of each retail location is vital to your loss prevention. But physical security can often be a balancing act between improving site security and maintaining cost efficiency. Determining what security options are working for your organization and what might need to be improved or overhauled takes time and oversight that can easily go unchecked.

Taking the time to examine the effectiveness of your physical security and key control can save your organization money and improve security in the long run. While it can be easy to ignore your physical security so long as it is functional, improved key control can have a considerable impact for retail operations. One of the components of strong key control that every retailer should consider utilizing is an interchangeable core program.

Retail Operations Interchangeable Core Picture1How An Interchangeable Core Program Improves Your Response to a Security Breach

Interchangeable cores in small and large formats are popular throughout commercial industries due to their effectiveness. If your retail organization is not currently utilizing interchangeable cores, also known as IC cores, you are likely spending more than you need to for less effective security.

What is an Interchangeable Core Program?

Interchangeable cores are designed to be easily and efficiently changed without needing any help from a professional locksmith. With a control key, a location manager can easily remove the interchangeable core from the locking hardware and insert a new core. Replacement cores can be ordered in advance and stored at each retail location so that every store is prepared in the event of a necessary rekey.

While you can implement an interchangeable core program for a single location, you will see the most success in regards to security and loss prevention when interchangeable cores are used across every retail store within your organization.

Why Interchangeable Cores Matter for Retail Operations

For retail organizations, your ability to quickly and effectively respond to a security breach plays a large role in your loss prevention efforts. Any unnecessary time wasted waiting for a locksmith to arrive or for a new core to be ordered and shipped affects your security. Whereas streamlined and efficient key control means that your retail facilities are prepared in the event of a security breach, and you can easily manage key security company-wide.

When a rekey is necessary, a key or facilities manager can take an identified replacement core set, either from on-hand storage or ordered from a key provider, remove the key core that has been breached, and install the updated key core. Once an affected core has been switched out, the keys associated with the new core can be easily distributed. Just like that, you maintain security within your retail operations without any professional assistance, hassle, or extended periods of affected security.

Maintaining Key Control With User-Rekeyable Interchangeable Cores

While an interchangeable core improves your ability to manage your key control in-house, the innovation does not end there. Organizations looking to streamline key control beyond the minimum requirement can implement user-rekeyable interchangeable cores.

User-rekeyable interchangeable cores allow a location or facility manager to change the locks without removing the key core from the locking hardware. Gone are the days of storing surplus key cores in preparation for a rekey. With user-rekeyable cores, you can change the locks up to 12 times, depending on the key system design you have installed, before ever needing to remove the interchangeable core from the door hardware. The step changes within a user-rekeyable lock have associated keys that can be kept on-site in a rekeying kit or ordered as needed from InstaKey. For large operations, the savings in time, money, and storage can grow considerably.

How InstaKey Can Help Retail Operations

InstaKey is a comprehensive key control provider, meaning that we have the locks, keys, tracking software, and support staff to build your physical security from the ground up. We are experts within the industry, so we also excel at working with organizations to optimize or update your existing key control.

Evaluating Your Key Control

To determine where your key control and physical security stand today, you’ll need to begin by gathering information. We start with a consultative discovery call to determine potential opportunities that can improve your program. This provides valuable information about the state of your current key control system along with how much it costs to maintain. From there, decisions can be made about where optimization may be possible and how to improve the cost-effectiveness of your key control.

Improving Key Control

There are a few ways we typically recommend organizations improve their key control. The biggest three are restricted keys, user-rekeyable interchangeable cores, and key tracking. Restricted keys allow companies to feel assured that the keys you distribute are the only versions in circulation by eliminating the possibility of unauthorized key duplication. We have touched on the impacts of user-rekeyable interchangeable cores throughout this blog article. And key tracking is the process of tracking all the locks, keys, users, and locations throughout your organization. These three components work together to maintain a closed physical security system that eliminates many of the hassles experienced by retail operations utilizing outdated lock and key hardware.

A Real-Life Example of InstaKey’s Success

We’ve worked with a number of retailers in many different industries to streamline and optimize key control. In a recent real-life example, we worked with an anonymous client to implement user-rekeyable locks and restricted keys in nearly 180 locations across the United States. The rollout was carefully coordinated by Instakey and resulted in an 80% savings increase per rekey after conversion. You can see the details of how InstaKey worked with our client to determine and coordinate the most effective key control updates to improve security while cutting costs significantly. Click the button below to learn more.

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