- Measure your risks against the potential benefits of sensors
- Review access control systems and permissions, and surveillance capabilities
- Consider replacing or upgrading hardware tools
As the year winds down and you prepare your business for the road ahead, don’t forget a quick run through of your technology investments. Now is a good time to make sure you have your needs covered before another year gets rolling.
√ Sensor Essentials Covered
Whether it’s just a few days or a week or more, many companies give their teams time off during the holidays. Unlike the rest of the year, your business may be closed or reduced to a skeleton staff, and largely left vacant for an extended period of time. It’s the perfect opportunity to think about deploying sensing technologies so you can still monitor your property even when no one’s there.
Sensors are a smart way to protect against sudden, expensive problems and even disasters without busting your budget. For just a fraction of the cost of unexpected repairs, a sensor subscription can deliver the peace of mind of early detection when the first signs of trouble materialize. Early detection means cutting the risk of walking into your business after a long break and finding frozen pipes, a devastating water leak, HVAC failure, chemical leak, or air quality fluctuation that’s damaged sensitive equipment.
While especially valuable during long holiday breaks when no one’s around, sensors continue to prove their value all year long with 24/7 monitoring of vital systems and conditions at molecular levels. Rather than just hoping vigilant employees will notice a developing crisis, you can shift the responsibility of early detection to specialized technology designed with much greater speed and accuracy than human senses.
Deploy sensors in all the right places with the help of a knowledgeable technology partner and watch your risk of surprise emergencies plummet as your control over environmental conditions rises. Sensing technology is nothing new, but the way sensors can now be packaged to match the particular needs of your business is something you may not know about. Ask any manager or business owner who has invested in customized devices, and they’ll tell you it’s money well spent.
√ A Firm Grip on Access Control
If you haven’t switched from traditional metal keys to an electronic access control system, you’re long overdue. Keys are not worth the hassle or the security risk they pose to your business. Even small businesses can do much better with an access control system that truly allows you to monitor and manage who’s coming and going.
If you’ve already deployed an access control system, now is a good time to tighten up permissions. Review who can get into your business or enter sensitive areas. During busy times of the year, it’s easy to allow access control management slip, so catch up during seasonal down time with a close look at staff permissions. Make sure former employees are removed and new employees are added and properly assigned.
More advanced access control systems may offer you the advantage of analytics that can reveal insightful trends. Make time to explore these analytics to discover new opportunities based on movements within your facility. Maybe employee schedules need to shift to relieve overstaffing or beef up support during peak times. You also might find that too many managers, or not enough, are allowed to lock and unlock doors remotely.
Finally, if you’re already using access control, consider moving from key cards and pin pads to biometrics using fingerprints or retina scanning for an even greater sense of security and more precise control. And it could also be the right time to finally connect your access control system to your surveillance cameras. You might be surprised to see employees propping open doors or property being removed from your business without permission.
√ A Sharp Eye on Surveillance
Your business has likely changed in the past year. Maybe you’ve done some remodeling, purchased large pieces of equipment, or changed operating processes. All of it can impact your surveillance system. Make sure your cameras still have clear, unobstructed views. Now is also a good time to consider additional cameras, or upgrades to existing cameras, to match the needs of a growing business.
The expertise of a technology partner allows you to effectively select, install, and deploy surveillance cameras, but blind spots are not always easy to identify until your system has been in use for awhile. Ask your technology partner to give your system a second look to make sure you have sufficient visibility into critical areas of your business that isn’t compromised by unusual lighting, inadequate positioning or technical issues.
Do you need a complete system overhaul? Modern, commercial surveillance cameras can now be configured to actively search for specific people, objects and even license plates across a large parking lot. If you’ve got a system that feels frustrating, maybe it’s time to step up to make the most of your surveillance investment and do a better job of securing your business based on your particular needs.
√ Tools That Match The Times
Speaking of upgrades, a general review of your hardware tools is always a good idea at the end of the year. There can be tax benefits in buying new equipment as well as a boost in confidence that comes with knowing you’re doing your best for your business. Be honest about what you have and how it’s working, and be sure to ask employees for their points of view too. Tools that are on their last leg, or not working hard enough for the demands placed on them, can not only hurt productivity, they can also hurt employee satisfaction.
Are there dead zones in your wireless networking? Do your printers need to be repaired or replaced with more capable industrial models? Do barcode scanners, rugged tablets, and other wireless tools need new batteries? Maybe your two-way radios are showing their age as your business grows, and you could now benefit from radios with more functions and greater range. Is your FCC licensing in order, and are you sure your devices are operating within their legal limits? Old software may be bugging you too, and holding your business back.
It’s hard to find an ideal time to review various technologies within your business. But if you don’t make time, you’re asking for costly emergencies, downtime, lost productivity, and unnecessary security risks. The end of the year makes all of us think about where we’ve been and where we want to go. Include your technology in your thinking and turn it into a year-end habit to ensure you’re doing all you can for your business each and every year.