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Managing Your Security With a Reprogrammable Locking System

By Chris Francis, Director of Sales

Hampton Products International

Security. The word has a different meaning to each of us, but there is not a day that goes by that most of us don't think about security, and for a good reason. All of us live, work and play in a very different world from the one we remember from just a few years ago. We are concerned about our families, our businesses, our towns and our nation, and ensuring their security is becoming an increasingly important responsibility for many of us.

Preventing Theft with a Quality Locking System

For vending business owners, there are numerous issues requiring constant attention: maintenance issues, product issues, rising costs, employees, and of course, security measures.

What do you do to address your machines' security when one of your employees quits or is asked to leave your company? Do you ask the employee for the keys back and hope for the best? Or do you change the locks on your machines?

The Risks You Can Minimize by Changing Your Keys

These choices have potential risks and costs associated with them, and many operators have to make these decisions more often than they care to think about. Fortunately, there are many different types of vending cylinders and locks available which can address your company's security needs. Re-keying your machines can be a simple and cost-effective way to protect your business's assets. Changing the keys regularly will also protect any former and current employees from suspicion of wrong-doing. The more you can limit the access to your machines, the safer your business will be.

One security solution that works well for many vending operators is a reprogrammable locking system that uses high-security cylinders that can be reprogrammed (or re-keyed) very quickly by simply turning the keys. Changing a key requires neither tools nor the removal of hardware or screws.

These cylinders have been used successfully in Europe for almost fifteen years in many types of vending operations and conditions. The lock's technology allows the cylinder to be reprogrammed an unlimited number of times, and there are over one million key combinations available to maximize your security and your flexibility.

What to Consider When Choosing a Locking System

When you decide to install new locks in your vending machines, make sure that you select models that are both pick-proof and bump-proof. Also check to make sure that the factory or business has patented the keys so that there can be no unauthorized key duplication. Your keys should be registered so that only the factory can duplicate them, which further assures the security of your vending machines.

A reprogrammable locking system will not only increase your security, but also save you valuable money and time. Instead of wasting money on new locks with every suspected security breach, or wasting time waiting for new locks' delivery or installation, you can switch out your machines' keys immediately.

Sustainability is another unique feature of a reprogrammable system. This means that when you remove the keys from your operation, the removed keys can be placed back into service at another date or on another location. This will increase your return-on-investment measurements, and the keys will not end up in the trash, thus avoiding a negative impact on our environment.

Consider your business's needs when choosing a locking system for your machines. You can't afford to ignore your business's security needs for long.

More Security Tips for Your Vending Business

         Replace the locks on your vending machines as soon as you buy them, whether you buy new or used equipment. It is worth it to spend the extra money up-front to outfit your vending machines with good, high-quality, pick-resistant locks that will deter would-be thieves.

         Always try to place your machines where that they will be in plain view of the location's employees. Not every thief will be deterred by a high-visibility position, but it can help.

         Get to know the employees at your locations. Introduce yourself and greet them when you visit. If one of your route drivers will be servicing the account, introduce him or her to the location's workers. Tell each location that your vending machines will only be serviced by your route driver or yourself, and that if someone else will be servicing the account, you will notify them ahead of time. While you can't expect each location's workers to be your security guards, they can be a great ally in protecting your machines.

         Security cameras can both help catch vending burglars and discourage them from targeting your machines.

         Don't leave large amounts of cash in your office or home overnight. Get a safe to protect your business profits.

         Performing background checks on new employees can help prevent internal theft, which is estimated to comprise between 50 and 70% of all workplace crime. Require references from job applicants.

         Change your keys when an employee leaves your employment, and limit who has access to your keys at all times.

         Vary your route service schedule from time to time to avoid making your cash flow too predictable for thieves. Also change the time you visit the bank to deposit your money.

Independent Vendors Association

Third Quarter 2007, IVA Quarterly Magazine

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