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Blending Lock Manufacturers to Optimize Savings on Lock Changes (InstaKey)

Sometimes the best solutions are unconventional. To InstaKey® Security Systems, unconventional solutions can be a result of working with clients to develop a means to organize and control locks, keys, and associated expenses in the most effective and efficient way possible. In this particular case, InstaKey provided a solution that combined their brand of locks with another manufacturer’s locks to offer their client the security, convenience, and control they needed in their stores at a lower cost.

Patrick Burns

Opportunities at Bob’s Discount Furniture

Six years ago, Patrick Burns, CPP, LPI, joined the corporate team at Bob’s Discount Furniture as the vice president of loss prevention. Burns was brought on as an experienced loss prevention professional and was tasked with ensuring that the company’s LP programs were indeed contributing to profitability. One of the first things that Burns looked at was the company’s key-control policies. There, he identified some opportunities for improvement.

The big-box format at Bob’s Discount Furniture was different from the specialty retailers from his past, with additional exposures to loss at receiving docks, a cash office, and a number of other areas to be considered in physical security.

- Digital Partner -

At the time of Burns’ arrival, 39 locations had opportunities to improve key control and organization of keys and key holders. It was customary to have a locksmith come out to locations that needed lock changes to drill out locks and install new ones. The expenses associated with locksmith call outs were high as can be expected in environments with high employee-turnover rates. Burns, experiencing these challenges before, had an idea for a solution, having partnered with InstaKey in the past.

Partnering with InstaKey

Burns knew there was a way to spend less on lock changes and improve key control to further reduce exposure to loss. So he contacted InstaKey to see if they had applications that big-box stores could also benefit from.

InstaKey worked with the Bob’s Discount Furniture team to first get an understanding of Bob’s Discount Furniture standards to then be able to architect a key system that would fulfill the needs of the business for cost control and security. The system that was developed included InstaKey’s small-format interchangeable (SFIC) locks for more sensitive access points, like the front door, the cash office, and other sensitive areas. These locks were chosen for those access points because they are on restricted keyways for increased security.

For other access points, InstaKey offered to fulfill a nonrestricted brand of interchangeable cores at a lower price than the InstaKey brand cores. This blend of brands and lock types allowed Bob’s Discount Furniture to keep tighter control on costs and security while having a sole-source provider for their mechanical lock needs.

“InstaKey really made partnering with them a no brainer. From the process of understanding our standards and specific needs to the development-review process to getting the new key system installed. InstaKey took care of everything and made it so easy—just like they did for me before,” explained Burns.

LP Solutions

Training for Key-Holder Transition

After the new key system was installed, Bob’s Discount Furniture’s loss prevention team was trained on best practices for KeyControl® by InstaKey. Part of the training helps leadership develop policies and practices that stress the importance of getting keys returned after key-holder transition. When keys are returned, the need to rekey is eliminated because the keys are restricted. Restricted keys are not available on the open market, so keys cannot be copied at a local hardware store or by a locksmith.

This practice alone has allowed Bob’s Discount Furniture to significantly reduce the number of times a rekey is needed, reducing costs. When a key is not returned and a rekey is necessary, the user-rekeyable locks do not require a locksmith to come out and make the change. It can be done easily by on-site personnel, with just the turn of a key. Rekeys are also performed more quickly, reducing exposure.

Secure Web-Based Software

Organizing keys, key holders, and access points has been made easier and more transparent with the use of InstaKey’s®, a secure web-based software that uses unique serial numbers from the restricted keys to keep track of who is in possession of what keys and what those keys open. This makes for quick and easy auditing when the time comes, and there’s no more uncertainty about what might be vulnerable.

- Digital Partner -

Not only does Bob’s Discount Furniture benefit from savings on the front end with the combination of lock manufacturers, but also there are the savings on the back end with the restricted keys and rekeyability. Bob’s Discount Furniture saves approximately 75 percent with the solution that InstaKey developed.

Six years later, Bob’s Discount Furniture has grown by over sixty locations, and at least seven more stores will be opening by the end of 2018.

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