We’re more than just ID card consumables

Thursday, 6th October, 2016

As an ID card company, we’ve been involved in the supply and distribution of ID card solutions for many years and from the experience we’ve gained we’ve learnt that there is more to ID cards than just the cards themselves.

Major industry changes

There have been some pretty major changes in the industry, some positive and some not so positive ones. Most of the negative changes revolve round the manufacture of cheap cards with fake or counterfeit chips in them and loss of quality that this brings. Obviously most people are driven by cost, but cheap isn’t always best. A loss of quality brings with it other problems that in the end make what appears to be a cheap card actually quite expensive... A poor quality card can affect many aspects of the overall card solution. It can affect the print quality, the ribbon and the printer itself, which can end up costing you not only money, but time wasted sorting out card printer problems. Some may think a saving of 1p or even 2p on the purchase price of a card is a great deal but soon can change their minds when faced with jammed printers, broken ribbons etc. Fake or counterfeit chips in cards also bring a host of problems, like not working with the systems you need them to work with or not enough sectors for all the data you need on them.

Don’t overlook the quality control benefits you get from a reputable supplier, they make sure your cards are fit for purpose, are supplied with genuine NXP MiFare® cards, will be printed to a high quality that reflects your organisation.

Don't forget about quality

Additionally, when you buy from a reputable supplier you have redress when something goes wrong with a card. It is not uncommon that when you buy cards via the internet, the source of the cards will be the Far East and it is also not uncommon for up to 20% of these cards to fail – in this case it is very hard to get a refund or replacement cards. Here at AIT we test all cards before despatch to ensure they work. AIT support the work that NXP do to stop the sale of fake or counterfeit MiFare® cards and to ensure the card industry maintains the highest quality levels and that our customers benefit from this with every card they order. It is also tempting to buy printers, printer ribbons online and whilst we’re not saying all online suppliers lack integrity, you really do need to check the supply chain to ensure you are paying for what you think you are paying for.  It can also be false economy to buy from many sources, by the time you’ve browsed, ordered, paid (including multiple despatch costs) it would probably have been more cost effective to pick up the phone and order from one local supplier.

Ongoing support

If you do your own card printing, buying your new card printer and software from a reputable company ensures you have ongoing support when you need it. For example, here at AIT all our customers can buy enhance maintenance, which includes an annual service and in the event of an issue one of our engineers will come to site to fix it. We also help set up your card printing software as part of our installation process, so if your team isn’t confident in creating templates we can help you achieve what you need.

So much choice

One of the most positive changes we’ve seen is in the choice of cards that are now on offer, it can be mind boggling from a 1K Mifare® card up to the super secure Indala card. It’s important that you choose a supplier that understands exactly what you are trying to achieve with your cards. One that is able to advise you on the best and most cost effective option, so whether the card is a student identifier or a card to gain access to your premises or is needed for both, it’s important you have confidence in your supplier.

Here at AIT we are excited about the future of the ID industry and work hard to keep our expertise up to date so we’re prepared for new developments such as using mobile phones as identifiers.

Meet your future needs

So next time you need to buy new ID cards, printers or software, will you go to one supplier for cheap cards, one supplier for cheaper ribbons and another for a cheaper printer? And what will happen when 10% of your cards don’t work and the ribbons snap and your printer doesn’t work? Is your solution going to meet your future needs?

If you would like to find out more about our ID card solutions why not click here to watch out video or contact us at solutions@ait.co.uk or call is on 0113 273 0300