Whether you’re a new business owner or an established veteran, setting up access control for multiple facilities can be a daunting, and expensive, task.

Everyone is trying to get the best price available and buying security credentials online has never been faster or easier.

But be very careful about what you’re ordering.

Online retailers like Amazon make purchasing keycards and key fobs in bulk look like a snap; cost-effective and custom programmed.

The problem is, most security platforms – or the manufacturers of access control systems such as Brivo and Phoenix, etc. – only allow users to implement a certain number of facility codes.

The Facility Code Faux Pas

The facility code is the first three digits of the sequential chain associated with each one of your credentials, be it a card or a key fob. This number is programmed on every single credential for a particular system and represents the building the card will be used for. It is the same for all employees at that location.

But online vendors are notorious for being vague about what consumers are truly purchasing. That batch of inexpensive keycards may look exactly like what you need. But looks can be deceiving.

To offer batch pricing, online vendors will often group a slew of different codes. You could potentially be ordering cards that feature 30 drastically different facility codes.

Some access control platforms only allow organizations to use 20 codes, max, before tapping out. If you have 30 different codes, you’re now on the hook for an upgrade from the system manufacturer, dramatically increasing your costs and grinding productivity to a halt all because of the lure of saving 75 cents online.

This Whole Batch is Out of Order!

On the other hand, sometimes the facility code isn’t the problem.

Occasionally, the card (or serial, or sequence) numbers associated with each credential are completely out of whack.

Here’s how it works:

When buying security credentials from a reliable provider such as Secom, consumers will receive a batch of cards numbered IN SEQUENTIAL ORDER. All cards will feature a unique three-digit facility code tailored to your buildings and a distinct card number, in sequence, i.e. 100-80000, 100-80001, 100-8002, and so on, and so forth.

We’ve heard of countless unlucky online shoppers, however, who have made the mistake of buying security credentials online and then received cards with ranges that are entirely out of order.

So, how do you then take care of this? Unfortunately, reentering the card numbers manually is the only remedy. That’s right: typing everything in by hand.

As you can see, getting mixed up with facility codes or sequential chains purchased online can be an absolute nightmare for a business manager.

Secom once encountered a client who had given an employee a key fob for the apartment complex he lived at. The client had not been implementing facility codes in their access control system, and the card number for the apartment key fob happened to be the same number associated with a keycard belonging to another employee at the client’s office space (a federal government installation – yikes!) When the keycard was placed to the office card reader, it would instead read as the key fob for the apartment, registering that employee as the individual gaining access. This confusion persisted for more than a year before they figured out the problem.

Seek out the professionals at Secom, instead. When you order keycards from our team, every code is going to be same, and we’re going to set you up with the next sequence available, that no one will be able to replicate.

Then, when you need to order cards in the future, everything will be in sequential order from the word “go.”

Secom also offers a program that ensures your company’s card numbers, facility codes, and/or security keys are completely unique to your organization and cannot be duplicated. This program is reserved for customers with 1,000 or more cardholders and is a great way to secure your access control system, while preventing duplicate cards.

Call us today at 301-210-0022 or reach out to us online. Be sure to ask about our in-house financing.