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Effective Security Technology Solutions for Facility Managers

 Effective Security Technology Solutions for Facility Managers

One of the most crucial responsibilities of facility managers is to provide and maintain a safe work environment for all employees. Daniel O’Neill, the president of Applied Risk Management, emphasizes that “facility executives should seek a balance of sustainability and security from the beginning of the design process.” The most effective security technology solutions for facility managers involve the company’s building design, alarm systems, video surveillance systems, security personnel team and smart technology integration.

Building Design

The best facility managers know that a building’s design and office layout play a big role in employee productivity and satisfaction, but they may be surprised to learn that these traits are potential solutions to building security issues. The WBDG Secure/Safe Committee believes that “protective measures are generally achieved through principles of structural dynamics, nonlinear material response, and ductile detailing.” Bollards, protective glazing, setbacks and structural hardening are all measures that can be taken to improve upon a building’s structural integrity. Recent new articles around the globe indicate a rising trend of weaponizing automobiles, and a simple solution like bollards can effectively protect employees and property from any vehicle damage.

Alarm Systems

One of the most commonly sought out solutions to security issues is the installation of an access control alarm monitoring system. Ronald Ronacher, an associate principal at ARUP, agrees that alarms are “something most companies will start with because it helps address the basic security principles of deter, detect, delay and deny.” Alarm systems manage entry into entire buildings or certain rooms to ensure that only those with proper authorization can access areas. Basic alarm systems will alert individuals when unauthorized intrusions occur. Alarm systems are versatile and can be integrated with various other technologies such as video surveillance, audio control and other smart technology. IML Security, a diverse security solutions company, specializes in commercial, corporate, industrial and institutional access control systems, master key solutions and other such services.

Video Surveillance

Facility managers should take note that efficient night-time lighting and video surveillance will deter theft and reduce trespassing. In addition, video surveillance ensures OSHA compliance, reduces liability issues and monitors all incoming and outgoing visitors. Video surveillance systems are a huge deterrent, so many suggest placing some cameras within plain view. It isn’t necessary to resort to expensive systems. Current technology allows for cost-effective solutions depending on the needs of your facility. High quality images may not be necessary for all situations, and analog cameras are much less expensive alternative.

Security Personnel

Your employee’s safety is more than a legal obligation. It should be seen by facility managers as a major priority and solution. While hiring security guards is a long-term expense, it can be cost-effective for facilities at risk for criminal attackers, emergencies or handling of high-priority, expensive property. Each facility manager should create a checklist of potential risks when analyzing the benefits that security personnel could offer their company. Robert Sollars of Silvertrac explains that security officers are “the backbone of the security industry…[who] maintain control, provide customer service, and remain constantly observant.”

Smart Technology

Smart technology integrates current security technology with the Internet of Things. Devices such as key systems, video surveillance, audio recording, light switches, drones, A/C Units and much more can all be connected and compartmentalized into a single control center. Adding robots to your security team can be very beneficial. Autonomous data machines can provide benefits like constant coverage, immediate alerts, improved information sharing and much faster response times. An additional benefit to moving your company’s security needs to the cloud is that it is much more cost-effective to have wireless protocols protecting your building than physical ones like security officers, key-locks or proximity cards. This ‘new world’ of security technology provides more effective protection systems, more efficient streamlining, better information sharing and an overall easier ability to manage security issues.

The most effective security technology solutions for facility managers involve the company’s building design, alarm systems, video surveillance systems, security personnel team and smart technology integration. While most systems of the past relied on implementing physical security measures, this new internet-based smart technology is slowly creating a new security paradigm that facility managers need to stay up-to-date on. Integrating the older and newer security models can be cost-effective no matter your company’s size.

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Mail Management in Today’s Work Landscape

Mail Management

There was a time when sorting and delivering a package or letter was as easy as pushing a mail cart throughout your building. Employees worked in offices or other dedicated work spaces and maintained a specific and consistent schedule. Most often, the parcel was handed directly to the recipient at their desk, or, at worst, left with their secretary or co-worker.

Today, employees rarely spend all of their time at the office. Studies report that approximately 60% of employees now work outside the office at least part of the time. Job-sharing, telecommuting and multiple office locations have led to a much more chaotic and frenzied work atmosphere. ‘Remote work’ is booming.  And whether they’re working from home, a favorite coffee shop, a coworking space, or somewhere else entirely, it is apparent that the 9-to-5, 40-hour work week is gone. And it’s not coming back.

Ensuring that important mail gets delivered on time to the right person is more difficult now than ever. Luckily, there are resources available to help facility managers streamline the mail delivery process. Here are three steps to successfully execute mail delivery as the workplace and mail management landscapes progress concurrently with technology.

Implement Mobile Tools

In order for your mail delivery system to be successful, your team must be equipped with the right tools for the job. That means supplying your mail staff with barcode scanners and mobile applications to create a more efficient and reliable mail cycle.

Barcode scanners digitize incoming mail data and enable mailroom employees to sort and track each piece of mail faster and more easily. Mobile apps that can easily be downloaded to cellular phones or other handheld devices easily capture signatures, dates and timestamps in real time as mail travels from source to recipient. This allows building personnel to deliver mail with greater efficiency, accountability and visibility.

Computerize the Mail Management Process

Mail management software has made it simple for organizations to automate tasks such as data entry, item indexing, storage, routing, tracking and sending receipts. There are many software options available for facility and building managers to choose from. This software can send an automatic email notification to the employee letting them know they need to retrieve their package, cutting down on the time team members spend tracking down mail recipients.

Facilities can also install kiosks to assist recipients with mail retrieval. Streamlining the mail distribution process will help ensure prompt and proper delivery in spite of the challenges of a mobile workforce.

Utilize Digital History to Combat Mail Delivery Issues

Prior to the development of mailroom software, undelivered or misplaced packages caused a headache that often required a substantial time commitment to solve. Thanks to current technology, well-equipped mailrooms are able to keep a record of every move a piece of mail makes from arrival to delivery.

Automation apps monitor each step that a package or letter takes in real time. If an item fails to reach its destination, FM’s have the ability to track its history and determine its location. Real-time monitoring also helps mailroom personnel provide specific and accurate delivery estimates.

Today’s business landscape is both complicated and dynamic. Facilities managers are facing greater challenges than ever before. Adapting to our client’s needs requires flexibility and foresight. Fortunately, technology is leading the change, offering heightened knowledge and mobility. With the right tools in place, we have the power to improve efficiencies on an organizational and individual level, establishing ourselves as industry leaders in the process.

By following the suggestions above, you can create a mail delivery system that is efficient and adaptable. Your team and your customers will benefit from greater consistency and accountability, a reduction in human error, lower operational costs and the peace of mind that comes with knowing the job is being done right.

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Smart Sensors Will Bring Facilities Management Into a New Era

Long Island Smart Buildings

New technologies mean that complete building automation is coming sooner than most think. These innovative developments will usher in a new era for facility management, allowing large scale networking and digitization to manage commercial buildings.

The impact that the Internet of Things on the facility managment industry is wide sweeping. It will allow the delivery of a whole new range of solutions and services to facility managers that are revolutionary in their application.

A recent article from Facility Executive explains that "smart sensors" installed throughout modern buildings will aggregate data that will help FMs manage their spaces with mush greater efficeincy.

"The digital transformation in commercial buildings has already started and is gaining momentum. Facility managers will be among the first to benefit from the IoT revolution in driving down operating costs while improving safety and security. As smart sensors are key enablers for building intelligence, the process of identifying and selecting the proper sensors is critical. New types of smart sensors, with compelling advantages, are emerging and deserve special attention."

To read more on the subject, head over to Facility Executive's website to read the complete article.

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