Access Control System Cost
Are you a business owner or manager trying to figure out line items on a confusing access control system quotation? You’re not alone.
We take a closer look at some of the key factors that go into determining access control system cost and consider why it’s important to go with a supplier who takes the time to understand your specific security needs.
WHAT REALLY GOES INTO ACCESS CONTROL SYSTEM COSTS?
Effective access control keeps your employees and clients safe and helps to protect your facilities, equipment, data, and intellectual property. However, getting a handle on the type of access control system you need—and the likely costs involved—can be difficult.
Here are some key considerations to bear in mind:
UPFRONT AND ONGOING COSTS
Your total investment in access control will include significant upfront investment and ongoing costs like maintenance, support, insurance, and licensing fees. You need to keep control of costs and get the best overall return on your investment.
MORE DOORS, MORE COST?
While the overall cost of your system will increase with the number of doors (or other access points) you need to secure, investing upfront in network costs—like servers, software, and wiring—may yield economies of scale and could save you on maintenance and upgrades in the future.
NOT EVERY DOOR NEEDS ACCESS
While some suppliers will be keen to quote you on full control of every potential access point to your facility, this is not always necessary. It might make more sense for your business to limit access to just one or two points (plus alarmed emergency exits)—at least in the beginning. Partner with a reputable supplier to get what you need, not what your contractor wants.
HARDWARE VS. INSTALLATION COST
Hardware vs. installation costs can be very difficult to separate, especially if you’re buying sophisticated equipment or integrating access control with other systems.
While it might be possible to save upfront costs by, for instance, subcontracting generic wiring or lock installation work, even the best equipment is no good to you if it’s not properly installed, supported, and upgraded.
This means that rather than looking at the sticker price of specific pieces of equipment or trying to save on hourly rather than flat-rate labor, it might be better to look at the total lifetime cost of providing access control through an ongoing security management agreement.
BREAKING DOWN COSTS
With all this in mind, let’s take a look at some ballpark estimates for likely costs involved in a typical access control system installation.
COSTS PER DOOR
Estimating costs per door will give you a good idea of how expenses are likely to add up. Each door served by an access control system will require:
- Electronic locking hardware (ranging from a simple door strike to an integrated panic device)
- A keypad, key card reader or sensor, or biometric device
- Door position indicator and/or request to exit switch
- A connection to the network or access control system
While hardware costs can vary widely depending on the sophistication, expect to pay anywhere between $1,000 and $3,500 for most card-based or entry-level biometric solutions. Additional cabling, integration, or networking costs could add another $750 to $2,000 per door.
Labor costs will vary depending on the type of contract and the scale of the project, but expect to pay between $750 and $1,000 per door.
Whether you choose to manage your access system yourself or have it managed by a hosted service, you will also require some onsite infrastructure—such as a server connected to your existing enterprise I.T. system—likely costing somewhere between $1,000 and $7,000.
If you choose to have your system managed by a hosted service, you should be prepared to pay between $20 and $50 per door, per month.
Upfront costs need to be seen in the context of the ongoing costs of keeping your access control system functioning month-to-month in the years ahead.
Most importantly, you have a choice of whether to have your access control software installed on-site or hosted in the cloud. While both options have advantages, for a monthly fee, a hosted service can help free up on-site tech capacity by ensuring that:
- Software is always up to date
- Servers are fully maintained
- Users’ databases are fully managed
Whichever option you choose, you should expect to pay for:
- Hosting or tech support services
- Software licensing or subscriptions
- Ongoing maintenance and upgrades
- Replacement access cards
- Associated insurance costs
COSTS VS. BENEFITS ANALYSIS
While the total cost of a corporate access control system can be daunting, it’s also critical to consider the benefits of securing your facility. These include:
- Lower business insurance premiums
- Lower shrinkage and equipment replacement costs
- Reduced potential liability for third-party losses or injuries
At the same time, balancing your capital investment and continuing expenses to estimate your likely return on investment can be difficult. Spending less upfront now might mean higher costs down the line while investing heavily only makes sense if you have the ongoing support you need to yield long-term efficiencies.
RICHMOND SECURITY: YOUR ACCESS CONTROL PARTNER
Rolling out effective access control while keeping control of costs is difficult. You need a partner who can help you plan a robust, long-lasting system that meets your specific needs while avoiding unnecessary expenditure on security services you don’t need.
With more than 40 years of experience helping to protect businesses large and small, Richmond Security has the skills and knowledge to:
- Help you identify your critical access control needs
- Make specific security design recommendations
- Develop a customized access control solution for your business including video surveillance and alarm system integration
- Provide ongoing service and support for your system.
Click below to learn more about how our experts can help design and implement the effective, affordable access control that your business needs.