Improving pedestrian throughput at the University of Notre Dame’s dining facility in Indiana, safeguarding employee entrances throughout the continent for several top technology companies, protecting people and property at the World Trade Center complex in New York; these are just some of the projects we’ve worked on with Smarter Security, our partner in North America.
Since 1995, we’ve enjoyed a strong relationship with Smarter Security, with their reputation for exceptional customer service perfectly complementing the reliability of our Fastlane and Door Detective products. We spoke to Jeff Brown, Chief Executive Officer at Smarter Security, to find out what he thinks has made our partnership so successful Stateside.
What about our respective company’s cultures do you think has contributed to such a long-standing relationship?
North America is an extremely competitive market, with numerous low-priced American manufacturers trying to compete with the large European brands. Fastlane is a premium brand and with that comes certain assurances for customers – high quality build, proven reliability, stylish design – to name a few. The quality of the IDL products speak for themselves, and the whole team at Smarter Security is committed to matching this quality with exceptional sales support, marketing and customer service, ensuring that our joint offering continues to be the go-to choice for prestigious projects in North America.
Which products are particularly suited to the U.S. market?
The Speedgates range of products are popular in the U.S. A sleek and stylish choice, our customers like them because they provide the required level of security and are simultaneously great looking wherever they are installed. We use the phrase “even our looks stop people”. Our customers also appreciate the wide range of models in the Fastlane Glassgate offering, more than most competitors. And naturally, the speed of Fastlane keeps pedestrians flowing smoothly even during peak times.
Which of the newer products have been well received?
Since its launch in 2013, the Glassgate 300 – winner of Japan’s Good Design Award in the same year – has attracted quite a bit of interest, especially from architects. Available with glass barriers in four different heights and with an optional locking brake, the Glassgate 300 offers heightened security and provides a clear deterrent for unauthorised users. Yet, despite providing a physical and psychological deterrent, the Glassgate 300 still maintains sleek and streamlined styling, which is vital to satisfy the design needs of architects.
The Glassgate 300 also features Fastlane Connect, the ethernet connectability programme from IDL, which allows a fast and secure way to monitor and manage entrance control operation remotely, whether this is onsite or from any location globally, via a secure web-based portal.
What’s the most common type of feedback you receive about IDL products?
We receive the most amount of feedback with regards to the reliability of Fastlane and Door Detective products. It’s incredibly rare for one of IDL’s Fastlane turnstiles to fail and, therefore, customers don’t need to worry about either downtime, which can have a cost to the company through lack of security, or with units needing to be replaced, causing potential floor damage to a finished environment. Fewer failures also means lower repair costs. This makes IDL products a great value purchase, when you consider the total cost of ownership.
Which projects are you most proud to have worked on?
We take great pride in every project that we work on, getting to know each customer’s individual requirements to ensure we offer the most suitable solution. In terms of high-profile projects though, we’re all really proud of the work we did, and continue to do, for the new World Trade Center complex in New York City.
Since we first began working with IDL, we have seen the security requirements of customers change significantly, most notably following 9/11. The first tower to be rebuilt was 7 World Trade Center, where initially a competitor’s lanes were installed. They had such a terrible experience with product failures and barriers striking people that they chose to tear them out and replace them with Fastlane turnstiles. Fastlane turnstiles were installed to secure its bank of elevators in the lobby, with IDL creating some beautiful, bespoke Fastlane Glassgate pedestals shaped to resemble the building itself.
The owner of the towers, Larry Silverstein of Silverstein Properties, said: “You can feel the quality workmanship in both the aesthetics and operation.” Fastlane turnstiles are now installed in all four of the new towers, with modified Fastlane Plus units in Towers 3 and 4, and plans for additional units to be installed as construction continues.
No product can provide 100% assurance of protection, but it’s great to know that our work and IDL’s turnstiles play an important part in giving the people that work at the World Trade Center complex, tenants and visitors a degree of comfort as they go about their daily lives.
How is Door Detective accepted and used in the US?
Door Detective has been well received in the U.S., with lots of major corporations using it in a variety of applications, from securing data centres to secondary external doors. For a data centre, for example, it’s a key requirement to keep the critical IT assets, networked computers and stored data housed there secure at all times. Being able to manage access permissions, and prevent unauthorised access to key areas, is crucial. Door Detective provides a superior level of security and detection, monitoring the throughput of access-controlled doorways, corridors and passageways and raising the alarm should the ‘one person one door access’ rule be broken. The additional level of security this system provides, and the reassurance it gives our customers that only authorized visits are being made, has proven popular in our market.
What qualities do you refer to when you are recommending Fastlane turnstiles to customers?
Quite simply, that Fastlane turnstiles provide the best in both brains and beauty. By this I mean that behind the elegant exterior – which ensures that the units complement the design of the environments they are protecting – lies an infrared matrix which allows intelligent decision-making. Analysing speed of passage, identifying whether luggage is being carried or pulled, monitoring distance to the pedestrian behind and direction of movement, this technology either allows authorised access or raises an alarm should an unauthorised entry be attempted. It’s this combination of aesthetic appeal and intelligence which sets IDL apart from its competitors.
Are there any products which have been created specifically for the U.S. market?
In response to demand from companies in New York, IDL developed a Swing Arm product. Similar in styling to the Glassgate 150, this product was created to provide a solution specifically to meet that market’s desire for a bi-directional, swinging arm barrier turnstile.
For more information about Smarter Security, please visit their website.