By David Hochman, Founder, DJH Marketing Communications
Everything from limiting the points-of-entry, to controlling which employees have access to high-value storage rooms, access control solutions can cover many different aspects of convenience store security and risk management.
The convenience store category collectively faces a number of challenges with regards to building access control to consider. To start with, the industry’s relatively high employee turnover rate, internal theft and robbery risks are all big issues for c-store owners. In addition, building access control systems manage access to restroom facilities, freezers and storerooms, and can even remotely open and close the business.
As a standard building access security measure, store owners should ask all employees to use the main entrance. Also, owners should install a lock on the inside of high-value storage rooms and include an extra key, an emergency phone and a panic button.
“Being able to document who’s going into your restricted areas when you’re not there gives store owners another set of eyes, as well as valuable information to make business decisions,” said Tony Gallo, senior director of the Sapphire Risk Advisory Group.
While access control systems can be highly sophisticated (and costly) elements of a c-store’s security setup, especially when integration into a number of other commercial security solutions (such as CCTV) is factored in, there is usually a wide range of options with regards to price and complexity.
“Some form of building access control is a necessity for convenience stores, and the best approach is for store owners to work with a professional security solutions provider to scope out a customized setup for building access capabilities,” said David Bitton, chief operating officer of Supreme Security Systems in Union, N.J.
With an electronic access control system, a business owner can control access to a facility or secured areas, as well as authorize card or key-holders, create records of entry and exit times, enhance security overall and protect specific inventory that is commonly targeted by thieves, such as gift cards, tobacco and alcohol.
Dave Hochman, a frequent contributor to several publications, is the founder of DJH Marketing Communications Inc., a PR, content and social media agency serving technology innovators in the mobile ecosystem, with a focus on those who are disrupting and driving the retail economy. Follow on Twitter @davehochman.