Key tracking is one of the foundational components of your larger key control system. Establishing good tracking practices can improve the day-to-day management of your mechanical keys, locks, and key holders, which contributes significantly to the effectiveness of your physical security and loss prevention.
For large organizations tracking keys across many locations and facilities, the process of managing key control can be more complicated. An easy way to simplify your key tracking process is by assigning designated management at each location. By empowering your Location Managers with the knowledge and responsibility to track all the keys at their single location, your data company-wide will be more accurate.
How Key Tracking Empowers Your Location Managers
For large, multi-site companies, the organization of your individual locations can have a significant impact on the success of the business and bottom line. A single location with poor physical security can lead to theft, loss, and unnecessary security breaches. While an occasional security breach due to a lost key is expected, when many rekeys are necessary in a month, quarter, or year, the business is taking a hit. Leaning into the training of your individual location managers can help to eliminate or significantly limit the number of lost or stolen keys by implementing key tracking best practices.
Prioritize Physical Security Company-Wide/h2>
Key tracking is one of the most effective ways to ensure that your business isn&rsquot taking unnecessary security risks. By tracking keys at each individual location, not only will key, lock, and user data be more accurate, but this practice prioritizes physical security across an organization to limit the number of expensive and unnecessary rekeys. With higher-level oversight, it can be too easy for individual facilities to de-prioritize physical security by assuming it is someone else&rsquos problem to deal with. By assigning key tracking responsibility based on location, it puts responsibility and the accountability in the hands of the employee who best understands their individual facility.
Maintain Accountability Up the Hierarchy
When you assign responsibility for single-site key tracking to your Location Managers, using and maintaining key data up the chain becomes streamlined. Depending on the internal organization of the company, you can assign key control oversight to Area Managers, members of your loss prevention, facilities or operations team, and even c-suite level stakeholders who can use your accurate key data to contribute to reporting and decision-making.
Manage Temporary Key Holders
While we recommend limiting your keyholders to only the employees who need keyed access, there are occasions when a company has temporary hires who need access to your location. For retailers or multi-site facilities, this can include seasonal hires who fill in during the busy holiday season.
Enabling your Location Manager with key tracking power can streamline the process of providing mechanical keys to temporary hires and, even more importantly, getting those keys returned. If your key manager is at the district or corporate level, hiring temporary employees who need key access can very easily become complicated. With most physical security measures, simplicity typically provides the best security.
Accurate Data Capture
Key tracking is valuable not only for the ease of managing many keyholders in one software program but for the insight key data can give to your operations and reporting. But in order to use your key data, you need to know that it is accurate and up-to-date.
While it may seem counterintuitive to assume that more people inputting key data improves accuracy, in the case of multi-site organizations with a large number of keys and doors to track, it can be true. Relying on your Location Managers to input data for their specific facility means that you&rsquore not relying on a less-informed Territory Manager to do the job.
When assigning key tracking responsibility to new or existing Location Managers, there are key tracking best practices that should already be in place within your key tracking software that Location Managers should continue to follow. This includes the necessary information to capture with every key, lock, door, and user.
Tracking Interchangeable Key Cores
Assigning key management responsibilities to Locations Managers doesn&rsquot have to stop with key tracking. An individual manager can also hold responsibility for handling rekeys when your company utilizes interchangeable key cores. Interchangeable cores allow for a rekey without the assistance of a professional locksmith. When a rekey is necessary, a new lock can be ordered, pulled from storage, or changed with a step-change key, depending on whether standard or rekeyable interchangeable cores are installed. All of this can be handled by a Location Manager, who can then record any changes in key data about the updated lock, newly distributed keys to affected key holders, and any rekeying data the company is tracking.
A Downloadable Guide to Key Tracking
Key control and key tracking are not the most exciting components of loss prevention and overall security, but they are a foundational piece of ensuring that your company isn&rsquot suffering unnecessary losses.
While simple, in theory, the details of key tracking are where it is necessary to implement best practices to ensure that you aren&rsquot creating additional or unnecessary work for your Location Managers along with higher-ups. Whether the company is using an established key tracking software or beginning the key tracking process anew, implementing key tracking best practices as early as you can helps make key management easier for everyone involved. And having good practices in place is especially important when you have multiple Location Managers and other stakeholders implementing and using the data stored in your key tracking software.
With years of experience designing and implementing key control systems for commercial operations, our key experts have put together a downloadable key tracking guide to support lean physical security and loss prevention teams in implementing effective and efficient key tracking. Learn about key tracking best practices and see real implementation examples in our patented, cloud-based software program, SecurityRecords. Download your guide with the button below.