For decades physical keys have been and still are being used throughout the business world yet many do not realise the cost if not properly managed.
How your business looks after your keys can make a big difference in how much unplanned expenses you face. If a key is lost, stolen, misplaced or unaccounted for this can impact on your staffs’ productivity, security of assets and information and even has the potential to jeopardise staff safety.
Your staff, assets and information are all valuable assets and if they are not safe, secure and accessible to the right people you’ll find yourself spending unnecessarily. Here are some of the most common ways keys could be costing your business.
Utilising staffs time to secure your keys
Your employees are an investment, so ensuring their time is spent productively is important.
Many organisations use staff to monitor and issue keys, taking them away from their daily duties. As a business you pay your staff to perform a specific role, but whether you use one person all week or switch it between staff you are still losing that time from their duties.
For a business open 9am-5pm 5 days a week, you’re using a total of 40 hours a week for somebody to watch keys and hand them out. Your staffs skill, knowledge and time is invaluable to your business so why use it to man a process that can easily be automated?
Using unreliable manual systems
Key signing sheets are a popular method of recording key use but not necessarily the most trustworthy.
As a low-cost method of monitoring your keys, a key register is often the popular choice. The problem is that even with a physical presence to issue the keys there is a lot of room for human error. Whether purposely done or not the data on the key register loses its validity, making it difficult to make staff accountable and the costs falling back on the company once more.
The other issue with key registers is that in order to make it secure you will need to spend money on key storage and potentially additional staffing. What appears a low-cost system actually ends up becoming expensive with keys still at risk!
Not monitoring your keys
When your managing a large quantity of keys it can be easy to not notice if one is not present.
Keys that are forgotten about can easily start costing your business. If there is no management in place a key could be missing for days before somebody realises. Within that time the key could easily have been used to damage or steal assets and information.
With no traceability your business will have to handle the costs and there is the potential the perpetrator could still be working for the company. What could have been a simple accident where someone left a key out, could result in major consequences if a key fell into the wrong hands!
Reduce your businesses costs incurred by keys
Making staff accountable for their use of keys can help reduce the number of keys lost and misplaced.
If there is no records or monitoring of the use of keys then when something happens to one there is nobody you can hold accountable for the costs the business face. Therefore if you create accountability then the business will not be responsible for the costs and staff are less likely to perform actions that create costs.
One of the most reliable ways you can create accountability with keys is with an electronic key management system. An electronic key management system is an automated method of storing, monitoring and controlling the use of keys. You can learn more about what they are and how they are important in our Introduction to Electronic Key Management.