How do you know when it’s time to upgrade your entrance control system?

Over the years, your business and its operations have probably evolved and you’re likely facing a myriad of ever changing challenges. But, has your entrance control system adapted to meet your organisation’s changing needs and the threats faced in today’s world?

Many companies view entrance control with an ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’ mindset, but this can be a risky tactic in a world where security threats are escalating and evolving so rapidly. Our Japanese distributor was recently made aware of an installation of Fastlane products in Tokyo which had been in place for 12 years and was still working perfectly without any maintenance. Whilst it’s great that Fastlane turnstiles are robust and renowned for their longevity, it’s important to highlight that the security requirements of that organisation have probably changed since they were first installed, which could leave the company exposed despite the turnstiles still doing the job they were originally intended for.

So, how do you know when it’s time to upgrade or replace your entrance control system?


You’ve experienced a security breach

The continued use of older entrance control systems could expose your organisation to the possibility of unauthorised access from an unknown person with harmful or disruptive intentions, and the consequences of this. Experiencing an unauthorised access event, revealing a limitation in the current system which puts your people and assets at unnecessary risk, is often a trigger for facilities and security managers to evaluate where added protection is required.

blurred image of tailgating

A common example of an unauthorised access event is tailgating, also known as piggybacking, which is the act of someone following an authorised user through an open door. The follower is the one at fault, even if there is no intent to deceive or cause harm, and the person being followed may not even be aware of the act. Whilst often innocent, this type of breach should be taken seriously as it could expose your employees and assets to unknown risks from people outside of the organisation.

A visual deterrent, such as a physical barrier, is a great starting point to curtail tailgating but, to further mitigate risk, you need some ‘intelligence’. The Fastlane technology which drives the decision to allow entry makes thousands of calculations per second based on speed of passage, distance to the pedestrian behind and direction of movement, and can even detect luggage being carried or pulled. It is this intelligent decision-making that can detect tailgating as close as 5mm, whilst at the same time avoiding false alarms.

You’re required to improve building efficiency

There has been a growing demand for buildings to become more efficient, and consequently for entrance control solutions to add value by integrating with other security and building management elements to support this drive.

One example is connecting Vertical Transportation Systems (VTS) and Destination Control Systems (DCS) to entrance control turnstiles to deliver energy, space and time efficiencies for building managers, as well as improve user experience for occupants. You can read more about this topic here.

As well as playing a role in intelligent building systems, contributing to savings throughout the building, our products consume little energy themselves, only 337kW hours per annum on average, and this will clearly have a positive impact on your energy bills.

Your existing system is unreliable

“Buy it cheap, and buy it twice!” This is something we see often when people ask us to replace their existing, failing turnstiles. Cheap products often fail because they aren’t designed from scratch and instead are put together from generic components which sometimes creates unnecessary friction in the build process. We often get approached by companies who previously decided to install turnstiles from other manufacturers but are experiencing maintenance issues with them. They turn to us to replace these malfunctioning units with our turnstiles because they know they are reliable. One example of where this occurred was at 7 World Trade Center in New York – you can read the case study here.

7 World Trade Center sign

As a manufacturer rather than just a supplier, all of our products are built in-house in the UK. Aside from the extensive R&D testing phase, every Fastlane turnstile is subject to soak testing and all the functions are thoroughly tested before they are shipped to the customer. As a consequence, it is incredibly rare for one of our turnstiles to fail and thereby doesn’t cause problems with either downtime, which can have a cost to the company through lack of security, or needing to be replaced, causing potential floor damage to a finished environment.  Fewer failures mean lower repair costs.


Your existing system is experiencing resistance from users

Technology has evolved at such a pace that legacy technology is no longer sufficient for today’s entrance control challenges and user expectations. If your current system is no longer able to keep up with the demands of your business operations or users, then it’s time to consider an upgrade.

Wearable tech, bring your own devices (BYOD) and smart phones are all now commonplace, and people have come to expect that the tech they use every day in their personal lives is mirrored in their place of work. Organisations are increasingly requesting these kinds of reader integrations in our entrance control turnstiles as users carry them around everywhere, and they gain fast acceptance due to familiarity with users experiencing little or no inconvenience.

The aim of a successful entrance control system is for it to be as frictionless as possible, to offer little or no resistance to the task in hand whilst simultaneously delivering the required level of security. This balance can only be achieved by integrating the latest technologies. If using the entrance control system doesn’t feel unobtrusive, users will try to bypass it, which renders the system entirely useless. You can read more about how frictionless entry can be achieved here.

Fastlane turnstiles in World Trade Centre

You’re refurbing and want your entrance control solution to complement the new aesthetic

If you’re going through the expense and upheaval of a building refurb, it’s the ideal opportunity to review your entrance control. As well as providing the required level of security, you also want your entrance control solution to look great, seamlessly blending with its surrounds. Having worked closely with architects over the past 30 years, we understand the positive impact of great design and place the utmost importance on the aesthetics of our turnstiles, ensuring that they complement the environments they are protecting.

We’re also able to provide bespoke solutions and special orders based upon our standard products but customised in a style which is unique to you and your environment.

Even if you’re fully onboard with the benefits of upgrading your current entrance control system, you’ll likely need to get the go-ahead from other stakeholders in the business, as many believe that current systems are adequate until they are shown to have failed, and therefore a replacement system may be deemed an unnecessary expense.

You may face questions about the perceived disruption that the upgrade will cause, and the cost of doing it. At many sites, installation of new turnstiles can be undertaken out of hours, minimising disruptions to the day to day running of the business. And with regards to cost, when it comes to entrance control turnstiles consideration should be given to more than just the purchase price. When making an investment in a security system, we recommend exploring in depth what the total cost of ownership is. Our article about the total cost of ownership of turnstiles might support your business case, so it’s worth reviewing here.

Ultimately, the end decision-maker needs to weigh up whether it is more expensive to replace an outdated entrance control system, or recover from the consequences of a security breach.

We can help you to make the best decision with the budget you have available, a decision which draws on knowledge about the long term needs for your business and the security threats you’re likely facing. Call our sales team today on +44 (0)208 890 5550 or send us an email to to find out more.

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