A day in the life of a buildings manager

Wednesday, 11th November, 2015

Meet Michael, he’s been the facilities manager at a technology college in Manchester for nearly ten years. He’s seen a lot of change over the years, including the introduction of new technologies that have made his job a little easier.

He sets off to work at 7.30am and on route receives notification from his access control software, used by the college, to remind him of a scheduled fire alarm test at 10am. He now remembers he needs to prepare for this as soon as he arrives. Once at the college he swipes his smartphone to enter the car park using Salto’s JustIN access control app. He then swipes his phone against the turnstiles and enters the building and heads to the security offices.

He taps his phone against the wall reader and enters the security office.  He heads to his locker and with one tap of his phone the locker door opens and he hangs up his coat, takes out his work boots and his high vis jacket.

He appreciates being able to use his smartphone as an identifier rather than having to remember a security pass or code each day. He also knows his colleagues prefer it too. The headache he had when people left has now been diminished as well, no need to worry about people taking keys with them when they go. Students still do use their ID cards to gain access to buildings and lockers but Michael is currently working closely with their access control provider, AIT Ltd. in the hope of moving students to mobile phone identifiers too. As Michael knows, a student is never far from their mobile phone.

How it used to be

Michael remembers when things where very different… everything was done by key pad or lock and key around the college so it was impossible for him to really control access or report on it.

Visitors, contractors or parents were an issue as all they did was sign in at the office. Not secure at all. Michael worked hard to change this for the college and found an access control provider who has provided Saltos’ access control. The system was fitted and supplied by AIT Ltd and it has been operational for the last year.  

Integration with fire systems and CCTV

Michael then visits the security control room. The college has around 1200 students and staff on the premises throughout the day and evening so it’s important to see what’s happening around the campus. Since installing an access control solution he feels more in control and confident the college provides a safer environment for staff, students and evening visitors. He speaks to Pete, one of his team, in the security room to see if there’s been any incidences reported by CCTV but all is clear.

When the college decided to install SALTO’s access control system using AIT as their supplier they already had a CCTV system in place which they thought might have been a problem… but AIT were able to integrate with their existing system ensuring that  the colleges investment in CCTV was protected and formed part of a more unified security system.

Michael then gets himself a coffee and meets with his team at 9.30am. They prepare for the fire alarm test … Another benefit Michael has found with the access control system is that not only does it integrate with CCTV but also the fire system too, when the alarm sounds all doors are set to open... Michael informs the local fire station of the fire drill and at 10am the fire alarm sounds. The students and teachers ascend to their allocated evacuation points in record time.

The rest of the day

Michael then looks at his daily scheduled reports that are sent via email directly from the systems management software and sends them on to the head. Michael remembers when these reports had to be collated manually and were a daily headache for him. It’s lunchtime. At the canteen, Michael chooses a lasagne and fruit juice and pays by tapping his phone on the cashless reader at the checkout and takes it back to his office to eat.

He notices on his phone display that tomorrow the college gym is opening an hour early (this is in response to the recent app questionnaire which asked students and staff when they would most like to use gym facilities).  He decides to check the gym is all ready for the morning’s expected influx. Michael visits the gym and speaks to the cleaning team to ensure an extra clean is done that evening for the next morning’s rush.

He then returns to his office so he can concentrate on writing his next project to present to the colleges management team. His next idea is to remove all cash from the college. He begins to work on his report.

It’s 5pm and Michael is done for another day however just before he leaves his office he takes a look at the  rota to see what staff he has working that evening, he’s got one security guard and two cleaners working. He makes a note to check the web based software SPACE on his tablet once he gets home to see what time his night team arrive into work as he is having trouble with poor time keeping from a member of that team… However, since installing the new access control he has noticed staff timekeeping is improving. 5pm and Michael is on his way home after another organised and successful day!

If you’d like to learn more about JustIN for smartphones and our access control solution call one of our solutions experts on 0113 273 0300 or email solutions@ait.co.uk