Robust Electronic Access Control in a Box? Yes, Please

July 2, 2020
BEST Switch Kits provide a cost-effective solution for small businesses.

High turnover rates. Getting keys back from employees. Better access control. Inventory management issues. Improved security in shared working spaces. Meeting these challenges while keeping businesses convenient, connected and secure isn’t always easy or affordable. Today’s tech-forward business owners and managers are looking for efficient digital access solutions to secure their properties.

Incorporating electronic access control into a facility typically requires integration with an overall enterprise access control system. Although such a system is ideal for larger companies that have advanced information-technology departments, it has been out of reach for small businesses because of the cost and configuration requirements. Small businesses, which accounted for 99.9 percent of all U.S. businesses in 2019, require a quick, cost-effective standalone digital locking solution for configuration and the distribution of credentials.

“Many people think technology is all about the fanciest, shiniest new object to chase,” says Brendon Allen, senior manager of product innovation at dormakaba. “We take a different approach: Our first question is always, ‘How can access technology help our customers? How can it provide a meaningful solution to a real problem and makes sense?’

“Our customers have told us that they want to bring cost-effective access control to the door in less than one minute, and they don’t want complicated solutions that require too much up-front planning,” he says. “With that in mind, we embarked on a quest to simplify the process to upgrade from key to electronic access regardless of lock or door configuration.”

The BEST Switch Kit, part of the Switch Tech platform, extends electronic access control to applications that previously weren’t practical—small businesses. The Switch Kit provides a cost-effective digital replacement for mechanical small-format interchangeable cores, commonly referred to as SFICs.

The mobile-app-activated platform operates by using secure Bluetooth technology enabled by fobs or mobile credentials instead of a mechanical key. It will work virtually anywhere that SFICs do, including cylindrical, mortise and other locks by BEST, Corbin Russwin, Sargent, Schlage, Yale and more. Further, it enables small businesses to get robust electronic access control for their properties by retrofitting existing hardware on interior rooms, closets, cabinets and cases quickly and easily.

Switch Kit is an access solution for better control over things that lock. No new infrastructure is required, and there is no need to integrate with the cloud or an enterprise system (although integration can be achieved, if desired). The installation process is managed through an app and is as simple as removing the existing SFIC, replacing the core and activating the unique registration code. The kit includes everything that’s required to get the system up and running:

  • 5 Switch Cores/locking devices
  • 5 fobs and 5 mobile credentials (10 total credentials)
  • 1 Battery Tool to change batteries as necessary
  • 1 Unique Registration Code to activate the kit content

The Switch Tech platform delivers time- and cost-efficiencies by eliminating the necessity for physical rekeying and the long-term costs associated with mechanical keys. It also reduces the overhead time required to manage overall access control and protection.

More than 100 years ago, BEST founder Frank Best invented what would become a de facto standard mechanical lock in the door hardware industry. There are an estimated 100 million SFICs in use today in storage rooms, file and display cabinets, equipment cages, locker rooms and many more locations. BEST’s Switch Tech platform continues that commitment to innovation by thinking past the door to create improved, affordable access control for both large and small businesses.

Dan Stewart is the business development manager at dormakaba Americas. He can be reached at [email protected].