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By Stephanie Kalina-Metzger, The Sentinel – June 21, 2013.
M3T Corporation Project Manager Scott Witmer watches a live feed during Jubilee Day in Mechanicsburg.
MECHANICSBURG — Much has changed during the 85 years Jubilee Day has been in existence.
What was once strictly a farm event has grown into a street fair. Up until last year, you were simply out of luck if you didn’t physically get in your car and drive to the festival.
Technology, however, has changed that.
Thanks to M3T Corporation, people who can’t make it to the Mechanicsburg festival can log in via their computer and experience the event — or check out the crowd and vendors before they even arrive.
“We started this last year,” said Karla Brutko, web/marketing designer for M3T. “We donated our services and installed cameras at various stops along the route so all people have to do is log on. This was the first year we set up a booth.”
Though Brutko noted the festival was a fun event as she busily handed out balloons and literature to visitors, she also described the webcams as proactive from a security perspective.
“When people see them, they know they’re there, and they are less likely to do damage as a result,” she said. “Because they are always recording, they also provide forensic evidence — so if something does happen, we can pull the video and send it directly to the police.”
Much of people’s minds, however, were focused on the rides, music and, of course, the food.
Thousands crowded Main Street in downtown Mechanicsburg for the annual festival, known as the largest, longest-running, one-day street fair on the East Coast.
The free event is held annually every third Thursday in June and runs from the morning to well into the evening.
The weather was a little more gentle this year, cutting back on the temperatures while also clearing out the rain from earlier in the week.
For the third year running, vendor spots were sold out. About 325 merchants were featured this year, according to the Mechanicsburg Chamber of Commerce, which estimated that a total of 60,000 people attended the event.
Parents, siblings, friends and grandparents carved out their spaces, sometimes jostling each other as they walked along. Lemoyne resident Amber Moose, 16, took a break to sit at a picnic table in front of Joy’s Ceramic to watch her 3-year-old brother, Wesley Schindler, paint a ceramic elephant.
“I bring the kids every year and was born and raised in Mechanicsburg,” said Amber’s mother Jami Schindler.
Closer to the lunch hour, lines began to form at the food vendor stands, and the choices were plentiful. Hungry patrons seemed to have a hard time making up their minds when choosing among the variety of offerings, which included chicken kebabs, pizza, gyros, ice cream, cheesesteaks, hot dogs, hamburgers and ice cream, to name just a few.
Students from Trez Music Education Center, located at 50 W. Main St., didn’t have to travel far in order to take center stage to entertain the lunchtime crowd. They were later followed by jazz and R&B bands.
Washington Fire Company opened its doors to the crowd to sell sodas and pulled pork sandwiches, along with games of chance. Firefighter Sean Forsythe said all the proceeds will go into the company’s general operating fund.
August 1, 2012 – The problem is ageless − you want outstanding security to protect your organization’s assets, but where does the money come from? CSOs across the globe have to petition their CFOs and other C-suite executives for appropriate funding to meet compliance requirements, keep software up to date and, generally, keep the right doors closed.
So riddle me this: If budgets are tight and pocketbooks are closed, how do you keep card readers functioning and facilities locked down?
For many, the key is in not necessarily what you buy, but how you buy it.
Depending on your vendor or integrator, you might be able to cut a deal by either working out a payment plan or installing an access control system one door at a time.
Keystone Biofuels in Camp Hill, Penn., was looking for the bare-bones security system. The company had recently moved from their old plant – a rented rail shed where the only form of access control was a pull-down door and a lock – to a larger facility with rail access and several million dollars worth of brand new equipment, fuel and stock.
But, by the time Keystone Biofuels was finished building its facility, it was time to consider security, and at that point, there was the problem of cash flow.
“We told our vendors what we could afford and what we were looking at, which was the absolute minimum we could do in terms of security,” says Denise Lewis, the executive administrative assistant of Keystone Biofuels, and the ad-hoc security monitor in the company of 19 employees. “M3T, our integrator now, is the one that came back and said ‘For the value of the assets you’re trying to protect, maybe you should consider a 36-month payment plan.’”
It’s essentially an ongoing security-as-a-service plan – Keystone gets four HD cameras and proximity card readers from RedCloud on each of five doors. All of the access logs and surveillance footage is stored offsite and monitored 24/7, which in a company of 19, “is definitely the selling point,” Lewis says.
Keystone pays M3T to print their access control cards, which can be reprogrammed for new users to save on costs. The card readers provide entry analytics and auto-lock capabilities, and the cameras are positioned outside and inside the plant to verify alarms and detect any unwanted behavior.
According to Mark Clarke at M3T, a comparable system’s hardware and installation alone would cost an end user upwards of $20,000. Keystone Biofuels pays less than $1,000 a month, including the monitoring costs, installation, training and a warrantee, with no up-front cost.
But small companies are not the only ones keeping a close eye on their pocketbooks. CoorsTek, a manufacturer of technical ceramics, has facilities in North America, Europe, South America and the Pacific Rim, but each facility has been left primarily to its own devices in terms of security, partly because of their incredibly diverse locales. Through occasional acquisitions through the years, CoorsTek facilities were operating under equally diverse access control systems, using client-server systems and lots of bandwidth, and many were too expensive to maintain and couldn't integrate with other systems. So when Scott Weisgerber, CoorsTek’s Regional IT Manager, was looking for more unified accountability from the buildings, he started to investigate solutions that could be implemented bit by bit.
“The individual facilities maintain their own budgets, their own time schedules for integration,” Weisgerber says. “We don’t roll out a complete plan for door security. Coming down to the local plant manager, they want to be able to budget that in. With Infinias and Intelli-M, they can do it one door at a time.”
That one door, including hardware and the installation, costs just less than $1,000. If the controller or reader is the only hardware update required, the price drops to a mere $300.
“In most cases, we are able to use the existing prox readers and the locking mechanisms, so it’s pretty easy to fit a few doors into your retrofit facility,” he adds. “A lot of your time and labor is in the locking mechanism, so by reusing those, you can save a lot.”
By using Power over Ethernet (PoE), the solution requires less wiring and installation costs, and the project gradually integrates all of the sites into one global system.
Access records through the system are centralized for the entire company, giving the corporate side of CoorsTek more accountability for their branches.
Also, when an employee leaves the company, CoorsTek only has to remove one record and security clearance is removed for all facilities.
However, one day, if the stars align in just the right way, you might find the absolutely perfect solution to your problem at a practical, optimal price.
Jim Govro, director of Facilities Management for Charter Communications, is certainly thanking his lucky stars for his teamwork with access control provider RS2.
Charter Communications has more than 4,600 locations and needed a non-proprietary card access system that reused as much equipment as possible. Charter adds approximately 100 locations every year, between retail, customer service, manufacturing and offices. Out of those, 60 are retrofits.
With such a sprawling enterprise, Govro has to keep costs down. So instead of calling an integrator for every error message, GS2 trained a team of Charter employees to troubleshoot the access control panels, which cost $700 to $1,000 each.
“Even though it’s a low cost product, it’s a very high security value,” Govro says. “You don’t have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars when you can spend $10,000 and get the same effect. For us, it works. If I just want to do one door, I can, and I can do it a couple different ways without spending too much.”
Access control systems can also give back to the company to improve ROI and reduce risk, even on a dime.
Govro’s system features an auto-dial or email alert program that, when there’s an equipment failure at one of the facilities, sends a notification to the repair company so the technician can arrive on the scene and start repairing the damage faster.
The new system also slowed shrinkage at warehouse and distributing centers for Charter, as an automatic email is sent to the facility manager when a door is keyed open at 2 a.m., for example. The email arrives with the employee’s name and phone number, so the manager can call the person directly and inquire why they decided to take a late-night stroll to work.
“That gives us the best ROI – just knowing what’s going on onsite, and having a report on hand in a matter of minutes,” Govro says.
At CoorsTek, also, the access control program is working double-time to improve conditions in factory settings, as it helps to keep a running record of who is checking possibly toxic waste water.
“We had a waste water station, where things had to be tested before it’s drained,” Weisgerber says. “We added the controls so it couldn’t be drained without someone keying in that it had been tested for pH levels.”
Added uses add value, which helps to offset your, albeit modest, investment in the latest access control, and adds to your department’s reputation as a problem solver, not just a cost center.
So when evaluating what kind of new access control you can fit into your budget, don’t settle for the bare-bones solution. Instead, start asking your vendor and integrator if they can make you a deal you just can’t refuse.
Author, Claire Meyer. (2012, August 1). Achieving Effective Access Control on a Tight Budget. Retrieved from http://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/83346-achieving-effective-access-control-on-a-tight-budget
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