Polished Security by ProdataKey | Warehouse Case Study
An Architectural Showcase Merits Only Best-In-Class Technology; PDK Delivers the Access Control
The owners of one of America’s fastest-growing multi-level-marketing companies recently sought the guidance of Blue Cable Networx, of St. George Utah, to strategize the security plan for their new corporate headquarters. The company employs over 300,000 consultants in the U.S. who sell affordable jewelry accessories at home parties as well as online.
They have grown from 85 employees to over 700 in the past five years, driving the need for much larger facilities to support their operations. Its new headquarters spans 80,000 square feet and includes a warehouse, office space and showroom.
Mike Ebert, President and CEO of Blue Cable, says of his customer, “Their new building is a real showplace. We didn't want the card access system to be an afterthought. Everything about it is top-quality and the security installation needed to be consistent with that standard.”
The customer’s IT Manager says that when evaluating possible solutions, ease of use was critically important.
“With so many employees, we were looking to do away with countless keys, and we needed reporting that could tell us when doors were accessed, who was coming in and out, along with time stamps.” The system would also need to easily scale up as growth continues. And, it would need to be very simple to enroll new employees and quickly deactivate individual cards, when necessary.“
In the past, if an employee lost a key fob, it was a disaster,” he says.
Before construction of the new HQ even began, the customer signed off on Blue Cable’s recommendation for a cloud access control solution from prodatakey, along with electromechanical locking mechanisms at all controlled doors – mechanical locks assisted by electrical power. “We showed them the benefits of going with a cloud solution like pdk, and it almost sold itself because they could see the ease of use,” says Ebert.
The new HQ was constructed using “tilt up” panel walls, meaning the walls are build horizontally, on the ground, and then each panel is lifted vertically and secured into place. This required Blue Cable to coordinate various construction teams, making sure that all panels and doors were prepped, ahead of time, to support the electric transfer that would support the door latch and push bar mechanisms.
“We feel this is a far superior, more secure technology than maglocks,” says Ebert, “and it’s Blue Cable’s policy to install it whenever it’s feasible. And then, when the walls were up, we put in the prodatakey parts with the card access components and the readers, that that was the bulk of our work; just setting up the readers and installing the door controllers. We ran those back to the main controller, taking care in the design process to make sure that everything has a space and looks tight, clean and organized. I know that pdk also offers a wireless version of its system. But, just like Blue Cable’s preference to steer clear of maglocks, we also prefer to use hard-wired systems whenever possible. Pdk provides both options. It’s very straightforward and easy to install.”
Securing the Space
The 60,000 square foot warehouse section of the building features 30-foot ceilings. It’s a massive space with dozens and dozens of shelves and shipping workstations. There are six egress doors within the warehouse that are running the card access system and, in the 20,000 square foot office space and showroom section, there are an additional 16 doors. Some, but not all, of the front offices have doors with the card access control. Credentials are also required to move between the warehouse and the front half of the building.
Once the system was up and running, Blue Cable worked with customer’s management team to determine how to best set up the system to accommodate various user groups. For instance, the people working in the warehouse, picking orders, have very different access needs than those working in the front offices.
Based on workflow, time schedules and varying access needs, users were categorized and assigned access permissions and parameters.
Ebert says that once the customer saw the ease-of-access and use offered by the system, they were “blown away.” With their previous system, each time an employee was added, the system administrator had to individually check every box that defined the employee’s permissions. Now, they’re just dropped into a user group and, with a few clicks, they’re ready to go.
Training took very little time; the IT Manager was fully fluent in the system after just a few hours. He can now modify schedules, add and remove employees, change credential parameters, monitor card use, call up events, remotely lock and unlock doors and much more.
Ebert describes his customers as “very busy people who are always on the go.” He says that this system provides a touchpoint from anywhere in the world, and they love that functionality.
The IT Manager can attest to that convenience firsthand. He cites an example of an employee who had to make an emergency trip to a hospital to visit a relative and, once there, lost his access card. He called in a panic; not only had he lost his card, but he needed to return to the office later that night to retrieve some belongings. The IT Manager was unfazed.
Right from his phone, he was able to immediately deactivate the lost card and told the employee to call him when he arrived back at the building. Again, from his phone, he was able to remotely unlock the door and let the employee in.
The pdk system also simplifies monitoring, providing instant alerts when doors are propped open or left in a state they shouldn’t be. Ebert says, “In the warehouse, there’s an audible and on-screen alert notification we receive, and for other doors, we receive an email or text.” By “we,” Ebert means that parties at both Blue Cable Networx and at his customer are notified. Another perk of the pdk cloud platform is that it gives managed service providers, like Blue Cable, the ability to offer security monitoring as part of their managed services.
Blue Cable recommended pdk’s solution both for its ease of use and its cloud platform, which eliminates the prospect of aging software and servers failing to perform over time. However, an equally important benefit is the cyber safety the platform provides. Ebert says “It’s a PCI compliant solution that could run right alongside your credit card transactions, if you wanted it to. For this particular installation, we’ve been able to isolate it within its own network, but that’s not always possible with all customers.
I understand that prodatakey is very committed to building a solution that is 100% secure and safe to implement alongside any of your network traffic, which is really great and contributes to the simplicity of their set up.”
The Road Ahead
Ebert says that there are already plans underway for an additional building to be constructed, on site, that will add another 50-60 doors to the system. Once that’s complete, team will also work to integrate the pdk system with other security solutions, particularly video surveillance.
“Pdk is a quality product that I highly recommend. It simplifies our life, and the lives of our customers. Everything is moving to the cloud for a reason, and prodatakey has done it right.”
Pdk is a team of security integrators with decades of hands-on, in-the-field experience. Pdk believes that the best technology is created by professionals who know what it takes to secure a facility properly and provide the end user with a solution that instills confidence and safety.
Pdk is passionate about creating technology to enhance the security, safety, and overall experience of both the professionals installing electronic access control and those that live with and use the system. Pdk continues to create technology every day to enhance its products and the products of its technology partners.