With 37,000 students on campus and 200 facilities staff with access to certain keys, the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) security team face the challenging task of keeping everyone and every asset secure.
However, Traka, the key and asset management specialist, has lightened the strain and placed accountability on to the key holders, raising security awareness amongst the staff.
The security services at Manchester Metropolitan University first installed a Traka key cabinet after searching for an automated service that could replace its manual key cabinets, and a total of nine Traka units have since been installed.
Traka has provided the university with the facility to take the burden off the manual key dispensers such as: office managers and receptionists, and it has placed accountability onto the staff accessing the keys. The key auditing capability has also meant that the security team can now trace the last key user should equipment be damaged or lost.
This step-up in key security has meant that awareness has been raised and keys can no longer be taken without appropriate authorisation.
Michael Merrill, MMU Security Duty Manager said: “We looked at other options, but Traka offered us exactly what we needed – traceable, automated key security.
“As you can imagine, the manual sign-in and sign-out booklet was a process of the dark ages, which resulted in keys being taken without the proper written notification in the log-book. We needed a new technological process, and Traka provided that.”
The Traka cabinets house the thousands of keys used to access the estate, in a tamper and vandal proof system, which can be automatically accessed 24/7 – an essential requirement for night-shift staff.
Michael added: “Staff are now far more aware of the security we have in place around the estate and they are aware of the traceability that is provided through the Traka system. As a result, the volume of lost or stolen equipment and keys has been minimised.”
Un-authorised room entry has also been prevented, because each key is now secured in the controlled cabinet, which only authorised users can gain access to.
Additionally, the Traka software has allowed the university to implement a hierarchy of key control by enabling the main authoriser to grant admin rights to facilities managers, so that they can trace and manage the key access of their own team. Furthermore, although university timekeeping isn’t logged via the Traka system, the time certain staff members began tasks i.e. cleaners accessing rooms can be viewed on the Traka software.
The IT department has been so impressed with the Traka systems, that it has recently purchased its own individual Traka units to control data security.
Michael commented further: “We have been so pleased with the level of security and accountability that the Traka systems have provided that our services managers now include the cost of a key cabinet into the construction budget of every new building, which is planned as part of the campus renovation.”