What does Access Control Cost?
Most of the inquires we get from small business owners about access control are related to cost more so than capability and technical features. So I’ve laid out this guide by budget. It is of course a generalization.
$1000 per door-You need something simple so you can stop issuing or carrying keys. For this application a stand alone lock like the Schlage CO100 or Kaba Powerplex would be an excellent choice. Cost around $1000 installed on your door. You can put dozens of different users in the lock, and delete users via the key pad, so no special equipment is needed. The PowerPlex is a electronic lock that has no batteries! It powered by the user turning the lever. One downside about having a pin number only access system is that combinations are easy to pass around. Usually locks at this price point don’t have audit trail capabilities.
$2000 per door-You want to control what times employees/customers come and go. For this application something like the Schlage CO200 or the Kaba Eplex would work well. With the appropriate software and accessories you can control when your employee’s credentials will work and when they don’t (for example, so your people can get in just before and after work, but not in the middle of night). With this level of hardware and software you can pull audit trails from the lock to see who was going in at what time. Schedules and audit trails are valuable for more sensitive areas of a business (like a cash room or tool room) or even general access control. With this kind of offline access control you will have to go to every lock and program it if changes are necessary, so it doesn’t work for system with more than 20 or so doors if there are changes very often. With this level of hardware you can choose if you want to use pin numbers or fobs or both. There is more flexibility and control at this level and it is suitable for most businesses.
$3000 per door-You need centralized access control over your business. This price point didn’t used to be an option until technology caught up. 10 years ago if we wanted centralized (on-line or real time) control over a system it meant a hardwired system. Now with wireless technology and efficient engineering we can have an expandable, full featured access control system with features like real time lock down (or unlock) and centralized management of users (so it is easy to add and delete people from the system) for a manageable cost. With the Kaba Eplex Wireless system most locks are battery powered and contain all programming on board, so even in the event of a power failure the locks will still function from the last update (and retain audit trails so when the system is restored you can still see who was accessing your business!). Because the locks are wireless, it is possible to add real time access control to an existing building for less cost than a hardwired system.
$5000 per door-You need the best. A hardwired access control system offers the most control. Using various kinds of sensors and hardware all hooked to up to a server, you can control just about every access and security feature of a facility. From elevators, to intrusion alarms, and camera integration, products like Keyscan’s Aurora software can run any kind of facility imaginable. These systems are difficult to expand and are normally put in during building construction. They can be added after the fact, but are costly to install.
There are lots of considerations with access control and there is certainly no one size fits all solution. With some planning and a good handle on your business’s needs, it is possible to get what you need without overspending. Please give us call with questions about access control.
Curtis Taitinger, CJL