The importance of expert advice when specifying an entrance control solution

Entrance control systems can seem complicated, with numerous products, options and variations, and for those specifying a solution viewing an array of choices online can be confusing and even sometimes misleading.

We’d always recommend your first port of call should be to speak with one of our sales team who are on hand to help and advise with any questions our customers may have.

Here, our UK Sales Manager, Phil Allen and EMEA Sales Manager, Alan Hardy look at some of the commonly asked queries and how with their guidance, it can make the specification process a simple one.

What makes for a good security partner?

“We make premium products, and it’s great to see them installed in many high-profile buildings across the globe,” says Phil, “but just as important as the physical products is the service we can offer.

“Clients approach us with a wide variety of questions about their installation and the types of products that are best suited for their requirements.  Simply viewing entrance control products online isn’t necessarily going to ensure you pick the right one.  There are numerous factors to take into consideration from budget, timescales, the installation space, who will be using the area, and many of these are best discussed with one of the Fastlane team in order for the best product to be selected.”

“For example, we offer a 3D rendering service, providing an indication of how products might look when installed and we’re also happy to invite customers to our product showroom at our offices in west London so they can see the products up close and how they operate.”

Who do we typically work with?

The Fastlane team often work in different ways from one project to another. In general, the installer is expected to specify the product to the customer, but in some cases, the customer will approach Fastlane directly and then selects an installer, or asks us to recommend one.

We’re happy to work either way and more than happy to speak with you even if your main point of contact has been your integrator/ installer.

“I think trust is key,” says Phil.  “My customers trust me to advise as to what I believe to be the right solution for them. Essentially, they give me a broad outline of what they want and then we will discuss various factors.”

What is the process for selecting an entrance control solution?

“We’d always recommend that a customer works backwards from their deadline,” says Alan Hardy.

“When we know the timeframes we can advise you on the most suitable solutions to meet both your security and design requirements, as well as your project’s timescales.

“Shorter timescales may mean that your options for bespoke alterations and integrations may be limited, but this does not mean that you need to compromise on quality or aesthetics, as we have a range of standard products which complement any environment.

Alan continues “Most importantly, we discuss with clients which types of behaviour to encourage and discourage – particularly unauthorised access.  From tailgating to collusion, climb over to passbacks – our turnstiles are well equipped to deal with unauthorised access attempts.

Helping guide customers with integration considerations

When deciding what type of entrance control system to install, it is important to evaluate what it needs to do, including any additional data capture requirements and if there’s a need to integrate with building management systems.

“Simply choosing the type of barrier you think you need without exploring the wider requirements of the site, means you could be missing out on a range of additional benefits that can come with integration of third-party systems,” says Alan.

“We take the time to discuss with our customers how the building is being used and whether additional data from turnstile use might be useful. A generic web search for a turnstile product will not be able to consider all of this and advise upon the most suitable solution.”

“Our products benefit from the capability to be integrated with all known security and building management systems and we’ve been seamlessly integrating Fastlane turnstiles and Door Detective door entry products with third-party technologies such as video analytics, time-and-attendance, HVAC and identity management for many years now.”

“What makes IDL different when it comes to product integration is our technical team’s ability to adapt our turnstiles to seamlessly accommodate other third-party products. You won’t see proximity card readers or other access control hardware bolted onto our products. Instead, our team works closely with our partners to incorporate their equipment and hardware into the design of our units.”

What is the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the system?

“We do urge our partners to adopt the TCO mindset, and realise that the apparently-cheaper option may really be more expensive,” continues Phil.

“Ask yourself questions like how long the units are likely to last, from the case studies and references the supplier provides. And, of course, factor in the level of maintenance that is expected and how much the unit will impact your energy bills. Fastlane turnstiles are low power units that typically use around 337 kilowatt-hours per year on average – less than one per day.”

“Sustainability and energy usage are increasingly becoming important customer considerations, this was in fact one of the main reasons our products were chosen for the new sport and fitness centre at the University of Birmingham.”

Experience counts

The knowledge and understanding of how the Fastlane product range can be a great fit for specific customer requirements is another reason why speaking to our sales team can be beneficial.

Phil Allen concludes “With over 35 years’ experience helping our installation partners find the right solutions for their client’s requirements, we are well placed to be able to offer both advice and also a wide variety of turnstile solutions.”

“Once the turnstiles are installed we will visit the site to make sure that the handover is smooth and that the solution is working as expected. It’s all part of ensuring we deliver the best products, matched with excellent customer service.”

If you need further support or information, our team and our installation partners are experts at helping you to select the right product for the environment.

Click here to read more about Phil Allen

Click here to read more about Alan Hardy

Get in touch with our team on +44 (0)208 890 5550 or email