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ID America Partner, Identatronics, featured in Business Solutions magazine

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 Go to Original Business Solutions Magazine Article Identatronics Inc. (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 locked."

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 Mike Grzegorek, Vice President of Ban-Koe Companies 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 employees."

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 stripe).

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


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