New expenses aren’t exactly something that most small businesses welcome. Though the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy notes that small businesses comprise 99.9 percent of all American firms, they face existential struggles year after year. One out of five small businesses fail within 12 months of their founding, and only half make it to the five-year mark.
Those aren’t exactly heartening statistics, so the suggestion that a business needs to spend money on something more might sound suspect. But that’s exactly what we’d like to do. If your small business has vehicles regularly coming and going on your property, we’d like to urge you to consider a gate access control system. Why? Well, the best gate access systems not only protect businesses from theft, they can also lower operational costs. Read on to learn more.
Improves Business Operations by Preventing Interruptions
Before we discuss the various benefits of gate access systems, let’s briefly describe what they are and how they work. Gate access systems prevent unauthorized vehicular access to a specific property by means of an electronic verification system connected to a robotic gate. This verification system can be a keypad, a card scanner, or an intercom or telephone that connects to a person. Only pre-approved visitors can drive their cars or trucks onto the premises.
Such a system can help in a way that few paused to consider: It can substantially minimize disruptive interruptions, particularly if you install a fully automated gate access system. According to a survey conducted by Forbes, 71 percent of respondents complain that they face frequent interruptions while working. Only 29 percent said they could consistently block out distractions. While gate control systems won’t eliminate all distractions, they can screen a significant number of external disturbances.
Protect Your Customers and Employees
People intuitively understand that security systems make them safer, whether they happen to be your workers or your customers, and that feeling is only bolstered when they can actually see the system that safeguards them. There’s a world of psychological difference between a tiny camera hidden in a corner that’s controlled by a keypad tucked away in a corner and an immovable gate that won’t let in an interloper.
This protection isn’t all in your head either. A study out of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte entitled “Understanding Decisions to Burglarize from the Offender’s Perspective” interviewed more than 400 incarcerated criminals about their burglary habits. The study’s authors learned that more than half (60 percent) of them would avoid a property altogether after learning about the presence of an alarm. Additionally, most of the criminals relied on a vehicle during their thievery. The evidence clearly shows that a gate entry system (and other related security systems) strongly discourages criminals on multiple fronts.
Theft and Vandalism Prevention
One of the most often cited reasons for installing a gate access system involves theft prevention — and small businesses certainly need it. According to SafeWise, small businesses are four times more likely to suffer from burglaries than homes, and retailers lose more than $40 billion annually in aggregate due to theft. Few businesses of any stripe are so successful that they wouldn’t want to minimize those losses.
Deter Would-be Threats
Access control is a concept familiar to most business owners, especially those who have somewhat advanced security systems. In short, access control only permits credentialed individuals to gain access to a specific building or facility. Gate access systems do much the same thing — except that they control the flow of vehicles, not individuals on foot. Much like a standard access control system, decision makers can select from a wide array of credentialing types, such as key cards, key fobs, intercoms, keypads, and (in some instances) biometric data.
Establishing access control prior to entering a building and a gate entry system offers tangible security benefits for businesses. For one thing, it limits theft and other related kinds of crime by controlling which cars and trucks can gain access to your property. Many decision makers tend to focus on the risk of having potential criminals enter the area around their facility, but it’s just as important to remember that part of the theft equation involves individuals leaving the area with your goods. Deterring unauthorized vehicular entry discourages that.
Improves Security Over Other Options (Like Locks)
Access control that keeps away unwanted cars isn’t a new idea. It has existed in some form ever since there were roads that someone wanted to guard and vehicles that passed along them. To some, a basic fence, inexpensive padlock, or a manual drop arm might seem to make sense. Can’t these options alone provide adequate small business security?
The answer is, “Maybe.” For some very select properties that have minimal traffic and lots of security personnel available, low-tech and inexpensive measures may work. Consider, though, that these “cheap” options may end up costing you more in the long run. Security guards are an ongoing expense (more on that below), and the simpler the security device, the easier it is for criminals to circumvent it — and a single incident can easily wipe out any savings you might’ve hoped to realize.
Improve Monitoring and Reduce Human Error
In business contexts, the so-called human element typically represents an intangible edge, some sort of secret advantage bestowed by unique individuals. Just consider the title of an Entrepreneur op-ed published several years ago: “The Human Element: Your Most Important Business Resource.” In security, though, the human element is usually what ends up causing problems.
A helpful team member who holds the “employees only” door for a stranger. Sleepy security guards more focused on their phones than on their jobs. CCTV feeds that go unrecorded because someone forgot to press a button. This sort of human element leads to error and can cost your business much more than mere inconvenience. Gate entry systems are just one way to minimize such issues. Because they’re automated and rely on an impersonal credentialing system that can easily be revoked, they serve as a good safeguard against human error.
Reduces Costs Associated with Security Guards
You’ve surely pulled up to a checkpoint outside of a particular property late at night and beheld a disinterested security guard staring at a phone, flipping through a book, or even attempting to not nod off. While guards can provide excellent oversight, they don’t always work according to their top potential. Additionally, employees or contract workers represent an ongoing expense.
Not so with a gate control system. With minimal operating and maintenance expenses, this particular kind of apparatus represents ongoing security value.
Control the Flow of Traffic and Restrict Access to Certain Areas
Protection isn’t the only reason to consider a gate access system. Anyone who has dealt with snarled traffic understands how chaotic an unmanaged flow of traffic can become. This can prove particularly problematic for businesses trying to serve customers in an orderly way. Battling for parking spaces, sudden floods of vehicles, and increased complaints from the concomitant chaos all impact customer satisfaction — and your bottom line.
Additionally, there are some areas where potential purchasers simply don’t need to be. Installing a gate control system keeps certain parts of your business as your business alone. This is crucial to ensure on-time deliveries, allow for any necessary service or repairs, and help your employees remain focused. And as we stated in the previous section, restricting the movement of cars around your facility also discourages vandals and prevents the loss of inventory and assets.
How Gate Access Systems Provide Security for Your Business
Gate access systems offer strong security solutions for small businesses seeking to manage vehicular traffic on their premises. Unlike low-tech solutions and traditional security guards, gate access systems supply robust theft deterrence at a minimal ongoing cost.
If you’re interested in a gate access system, reach out to us. Not only does AT&I Systems service clients throughout South Florida, we have more than two decades worth of experience in the field. We understand how to safeguard your place of business. Communicate with us via phone (866-436-3516) or online.
Updated on 4/29/2021