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The Best Locks for Your Multi-Site Organization

Managing access and security across multiple facilities is a challenge. Implementing key control for your business can be a financial commitment that can affect your key management into the future. Keeping track of keys and access is a frustration experienced by many in facilities, loss prevention, asset protection and security. The more sites and key holders there are to manage the more difficult it becomes to maintain security and control access. With effective key control, including the best locks, the latest innovations in key cores, and key management software, controlling access and security for your organization can be easy (and more cost-effective).

We understand how important it is to make sure you’re choosing the best locks, key control, and key management for your multi-site organization, so here’s how we stack up against a few of the other big names in these industry categories.

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The Best Interchangeable Cores

InstaKey and BEST Access Solutions have been at the forefront of interchangeable core innovation for the last hundred years. BEST  invented the interchangeable core back in the early 1900’s and InstaKey built upon their innovation with rekeyable interchangeable cores

Best Access Interchangeable Cores

The small format interchangeable core (SFIC) was invented by Frank Best, who was Head of the Manual Training department at a large high school. He grew tired of how time-consuming it was to change the locks after every misplaced key. Unlike standard cores, which require a locksmith to take the lock apart each time a rekey is necessary, interchangeable cores can be removed and implemented easily without the need for a professional locksmith. 

With a control key, interchangeable cores can be removed from the lock housing and a new core can be put in place. This makes lock changes significantly easier than with a standard core, but there are still limitations. For businesses managing multiple sites and many points of access, lost keys are a common occurrence and shipment and storage of large quantities of interchangeable cores can be a hassle.

InstaKey Rekeyable Interchangeable Cores

Interchangeable cores were an important innovation for the lock and key industry, but didn’t solve all the frustrations of changing the locks, particularly when managing multi-site organizations, where swapping out cores in multiple access points can quickly become an expensive, time-consuming hassle. Not to mention the need to store a number of cores on-site or deal with long shipping times to replace cores. 

InstaKey created rekeyable interchangeable cores, which significantly streamline the rekeying process. InstaKey’s rekeyable cores are also interchangeable, so still won’t need to call in a locksmith to change the locks. Unlike Best’s interchangeable cores, InstaKey Rekeyable Locks can be rekeyed without having to replace the core or remove it from the housing. When a key is lost and you need to change the locks, a step change key can be inserted into the core and turned to re-combinate the lock. This changes the pins within the core and can be done up to nine times, before a new core is needed. Instead of storing and keeping track of a mountain of interchangeable cores and associated keys, with InstaKey’s rekeyable cylinders you only need to store the next set or “step” of keys with the Rekeying Kit. Ordering and shipping is also easy and fast with InstaKey, so your security is less likely to be affected when you need new keys or cores in a pinch.

The Best Restricted Keys

With multiple sites to manage and many employees with varying levels of access, key duplication is a concern for most multi-site organizations. When the keys that you provide to employees can be easily copied, you are left with very little security or control over who has keys. The simple answer to this problem is restricted keys, which are keys that can’t be duplicated without authorization.

InstaKey Restricted Keys

InstaKey provides restricted keys that cannot be copied. The InstaKey key blanks are not available on the open market, which means that if a key were taken to be copied, no key blank would be available to make the copy. This ensures that duplicates aren’t being made without your knowledge. Our key restriction is tightly controlled through licensing agreements instead of through patents, which prevents problems that occur when a patent eventually expires. When keys are restricted, the practice of getting keys back from key holders transitioning out of the organization makes it so a change of the locks is unnecessary. When a key is lost, rekeying is easy with our rekeyable locks.

InstaKey’s restricted keys are also uniquely serialized. This allows you to use the serial number to track keys to key holders with ease. Combining serialized keys with a powerful cloud-based key management software streamlines key control with employee turnover, cutting new authorized keys, and key distribution. When you get a key back, you can know exactly what door it opens and the history of its custody. 

Arrow Lock and Door Hardware Patented Keys

Arrow Lock and Door Hardware also supplies restricted keyways with their interchangeable cores, but their cores aren’t rekeyable and have to be swapped out with each lock change needed. These restricted keys are patented, but patents expire. When this happens, users of a patented keyway will be forced to convert cores to a new patented keyway or go without key restriction.

Medeco Patented Key Control

Medeco also offers patented key control, which doesn’t allow for unauthorized key duplications, with their KeyMark small format interchangeable cores. The cylinders can be installed and master keyed into existing Medeco systems. Medeco interchangeable cores are not rekeyable, so lost or stolen restricted keys can still create a rekeying hassle. Again, these restricted keys are controlled, for a limited time, through patents. Upon expiration, keys blanks become available on the open market. If you want to stick with key restriction, you’ll need to convert cores over to a new patented keyway.

Schlage Primus Patented Restricted Keys

Schlage offers key restriction with their Primus line. This key restriction is similar to the key systems offered by manufacturers listed above. Restriction is patent based and that eventually expires, leaving customers with a decision: convert hardware to a restricted keyway again, or go unrestricted. These restricted keys are patent controlled, like Medeco’s and Arrow’s, carrying with them the same issue of expiring patents and forced core conversions.

The Best Key Management Software

When managing keyed access across multiple sites, keeping track of who has what keys becomes very important. Without effective key management software, your site security can be compromised and completing a key audit, rekeying locks, or changing access as employees join and leave your organization can be a painful and time-consuming experience. 

InstaKey Key Management Platform

InstaKey developed a patented, cloud-based key management software called®. It provides real-time visibility into key and user tracking data, program performance analysis, order tracking, freight cost analysis. No matter which lock and key manufacturer you partner with, this software can be used to track keys to key holders, using unique identifiers on keys. Comprehensive key tracking makes key audits and day-to-day key control much less of a headache.

Medeco Key Wizard Software

Medeco offers their Key Wizard software, which was developed for locksmiths and end users. It features easy to navigate screens and tracks information about keys, locks, and door hardware. 

The Best Locks with Comprehensive Key Control

InstaKey is dedicated to helping multi-site organizations simplify and maintain key control. We do this through restricted, serialized keys, rekeyable locks, and tracking keys to key holders with key management software. But there’s one more element needed for comprehensive key control: program management.

Controlling locks and keys is a big job, when done well, and many organizations don’t have the resources to comprehensively manage a program like that. Luckily, for you, we pride ourselves on partnership. Depending on your needs, we will be the extension of your team that supports your program and handles all the heavy lifting when it comes to data administration. We work within the culture of your organization to maximize the performance of your program, support compliance and make sure you have the materials you need when you need them.

On top of that, we work with several industry suppliers to fulfill orders on almost any small format interchangeable lock, with easy ordering, fast shipments and competitive pricing. So, even if the InstaKey brand is not the right solution for your organization right now, our key control specialists can help design and implement a program that is unique to your organization’s needs. 

Wondering if Rekeying Locks or Rekeyable Locks are a better fit for your organization? Read our article, by clicking the image below, to help you decide.

Rekeying Locks vs. Rekeyable Locks CTA image