Integrating a Flexible Wireless Access Control System Eliminates Break-Ins.
In business for over 27 years, Desmeules Chrysler Dodge Jeep is one of the largest automobile dealerships in Quebec. Its impressive facility spans across several buildings including its main two-story showroom with administrative offices, a parts and service center, and a second showroom for the Fiat models. While impeccable from the inside out, the dealership struggled with a very common problem: after-hours theft.
According to president and general manager, Eric Corso, “We began to embrace the concept of ‘access control’ after the dealership had been broken into several times. After those invasions, we tried several tactics to make our facility more secure, including security cameras, guard dogs, reinforced doors, and window bars. With all of our effort, nothing worked—cameras explained what happened after the fact, alarm wires were still cut, and reinforced doors forced open. We experienced the last straw when intruders entered our administrative offices and stole a very large deposit from our safe. I was very discouraged and decided that it was time to get a system that was proactive, not reactive, so I consulted with a systems engineer from Kaba Access Control for a solution.”
After a site visit from a Kaba system engineer, Corso decided to implement the E-Plex® Enterprise Access Control System with wireless capability and chose Mifare® Smart Cards. This modular system accommodates a variety of hardware options, system management tools, and credential choices. And, because the system does not require access panels, conduit runs or drilling, it was very “installation friendly” for the dealership.
Corso installed two E-Plex 5600 products that incorporated exit hardware on entrances to the second floor and three E-Plex 5600 locks with cylindrical latches on administrative offices, which included a cash room with safe. All the locks have the capability to accept both a PIN and card credential; however, the dealership required a card-only credential for the office doors and a dual credential (PIN plus card combination) at the cash room.
“We implemented the Kaba System in stages,” explains Corso. “First, we installed five locks and utilized the E-Plex LearnLok™ feature to enroll the Mifare cards using the lock’s keypad. Because LearnLok does not require software, it was a simple way to validate our new access control system at the onset. Subsequently, we transitioned to software-managed locks by adding Enterprise Software and added E-Plex 3600 Narrow Stile Locks on two outside glass doors. We are very impressed with the system’s scalability and flexibility. With its easyto-use features and functions, the system meets our dealership’s needs. I believe in simplicity because as soon as you make something complicated, people stop using it. The Kaba System supports how we operate.”
Since we implemented the Kaba System, there have not been any break-ins; the system is convenient for our operations while also being a deterrent.
The dealership wanted a central management system for monitoring and controlling its access points. With Enterprise Software, the system administrator can manage users, access schedules, and audit events from one location. The software provides the dealership with the ability to define its door groups by service and parts; sales; and finance departments, and access schedules by early; weekday; late; and weekend shifts. The Visitor Management feature allows temporary users access for an interim period, such as the dealership’s auditors using the second-floor conference room. The Kaba EPlex System also offers some unique functions, including the ability to manage both wireless and stand-alone locks and move a lock from one location to another.
With the wireless capability enabled, the dealership has real time functionality without the need to visit doors when adding/ deleting users or changing lock attributes. The main computer screen displays a Dashboard that provides a visual of the system’s real-time performance and events, such as door status, signal strength, audit records, and emergency lockdown/ unlock commands. In a single screen, Corso can access key data and reports—information that pinpoints historical activities. With the addition of a PC running the software at the front desk, the receptionist can use the Dashboard to view photos of people entering the building and lock/unlock doors with the Remote Access Command feature.
The Kaba Wireless System uses ZigBee technology to provide an extremely effective communication system. Its low-power digital radio signals ensure fast data transfer and long battery life. To upgrade to this option, the dealership simply added lock upgrade kits, which preserved their original lock investment on each door, and ZigBee Gateway and Router devices that enabled communication between the locks and computer without the need for network connections. The ZigBee Gateway (required) plugged directly into the computer server via a USB cable, and an additional ZigBee Router was placed in Corso’s office for built-in redundancy. With the supplemental router, the system created its own mesh network, ensuring that the wireless network is continuously operational. In the future, Corso plans to install a second router in the service area to include additional access points around the property.
“Since we implemented the Kaba System, there have not been any break-ins; the system is convenient for our operations while also being a deterrent,” says Corso. “I do not want to appear that ‘big brother’ is watching, but the Kaba System has reduced the incidents of employees and the public going to places they should not. Getting robbed throws your entire business off for three or four days—employees do not fully focus on work, productivity goes down, and more distressing than that, employees do not feel safe. And, that’s not what I want my employees to experience. Our Kaba System is more than ‘access control’, it’s our security partner.”
Desmeules Chrysler Dodge Jeep
3500, autoroute Laval Quest (440)
Laval (Quebec) H7T 2H6