Access Control Technology Unlocks Profits
They snuck in the back door. The next thing Michael
Grzegorek knew, his employees were being solicited to buy
briefcases. "With only 40 employees, I know everyone
who should be in our offices. But I didn't recognize these
guys," explains Grzegorek, VP at
(Chicago), a VAR that specializes in photo ID card
solutions. "Our company is located in an industrial
park with a lot of other businesses. These salesmen were
just walking in and out of any doors that weren't
After escorting the two intruders out, Grzegorek decided
his company would become the first test site for a new
access control solution he was developing. From then on, a
person needed the proper ID card to gain access to
Identatronics. The result of this experience, aside from no
more unexpected visitors, was a realization that companies
of all sizes have a need for access control solutions.
"A lot of integrators only focus on large enterprise
accounts like Coca-Cola or Proctor & Gamble,"
states Grzegorek. "We have found there are very few
VARs offering a total solution that includes implementation
and ongoing support to smaller companies [fewer than 1,000
employees] in the United States. Actually, the majority of
our access control clients have between 50 and 250
Integrate Door Controllers, Locks, Readers
When Identatronics added access control technology to its
product line, it received some help from its parent company,
Ban-Koe Companies (Minneapolis), which has been in the
access control business for nearly 20 years. Ban-Koe helped
Identatronics choose some features for the latter's new
vIDix security package, which was released in April 2003.
Ban-Koe also offered training assistance to Identatronics'
service department staff for access control products. For
instance, installation of door controllers,
electric/magnetic door locks, and ID card readers requires
basic PC hookup and some electrical wiring knowledge. The
controllers are connected either to a PC or network running
the access control software.
IDaxxess became the name of the access control module of
the vIDix security package. The system's software enables
users to program doors to lock or unlock at a set time and -
possibly most importantly - define whose ID card will work
with the system. "Once an employee quits or is fired,
often companies will have to shell out the money to have the
whole building rekeyed," Grzegorek explains. "An
access control system eliminates that problem by enabling
you to disassociate a person's badge from the system so it
no longer works."
Photo ID, Visitor Management Natural Add-Ons
For Identatronics, access control was a natural addition to
the company's existing product offerings, which include
photo ID software/hardware and visitor management
software/hardware systems. The company also manufactures ID
cards of all kinds (e.g. smart card, proximity, magnetic
Identatronics sells vIDix as a complete suite of
products, but each (photo ID, access control, visitor
management) can be purchased individually. Private clubs are
a good example of how all of these modules work well
together. Club members use their photo ID cards to gain
access to the club. A maitre d' then swipes the member's ID
card in a guest/visitor management system (software from
Identatronics) that displays the member's photo and his/her
preferences (e.g. martini, shaken not stirred). "This
type of system provides the personal attention people who
belong to private clubs expect," claims Grzegorek.
Sometimes private clubs use an access control system not
only to increase facility security, but to offer subtle
reminders to members. For instance, usually a club invoices
members monthly for any food or drink consumed during that
time period. If a member is consistently late in paying
these charges, the club can restrict that person's access.
So, instead of the door automatically opening with the swipe
of the ID card, the member would have to ring a buzzer/bell
to gain entrance. This action would prompt a visit and
explanation from the club's management as to why the
scenario was occurring.
Access Control Requires Solution Sale
The addition of access control technology and the creation
of the vIDix suite required Identatronics to change its
sales force. In particular, the company added 8 new
employees to its sales team, bringing the total to 16.
"We wanted people who had experience in solution
selling," Grzegorek says. "It has been a tough job
market the past few years, so finding qualified people has
not been difficult for us."
Grzegorek cites one recent experience as proof that this
solution-oriented sales model is paying off. A customer
phoned Identatronics and wanted a technician to come and fix
a printer. The sales representative who fielded the call not
only arranged for the printer repair, but also sold the
customer the entire vIDix suite and landed the service
bureau business for the customer's membership badges.
"We went from a small repair bill to a $20,000 sale,
which is a nice-sized deal in the non-enterprise
space," says Grzegorek. "I think many of my
competitors just would have fixed the printer. Or, they
would have sold some of the system's components and given
the customer a book on how to install everything."
In addition to the efforts of its internal sales force,
Identatronics attends the ISC (International Security
Conference), ASIS (American Society for Industrial
Security), and CardTech/SecurTech trade shows to find new
leads for its vIDix solution. However, the company's many
existing customers using its photo ID solutions comprise the
largest portion of sales for its access control product.
Identatronics has sold 50 copies of IDaxxess in the past
year. Grzegorek expects to sell at least 100 copies this
year. This type of success has shown the company that
customers of all sizes want to secure their workplaces and
are willing to combine ID badge, visitor management, and
access control solutions.
Business Solutions, April 2004