Thursday, March 20, 2014

5 Things to Consider Before Doing ID Badging In House

As the use of ID cards and badges continues to become more prolific within business organizations, educational institutions, government and medical facilities, we're finding an ever-increasing number of those requiring these ID credentials wanting to create their own in house. This is especially true for enterprises employing large numbers of personnel, having large student populations, members or even a steady flow of daily visitors. With new hardware/software technologies constantly hitting the market, creating professional and full-functioning ID cards, tags, fobs, etc., with everything from photos and text to proximity/RFID options and biometrics is now possible with the right in-house setup.

If you find your organization's ID badging needs to be such that the easiest and most immediate solution is to have the job outsourced, we at eXpress badging are ready and willing to take on that task and provide you with the highest quality product and best service you could hope for at a fair and reasonable cost. We've been providing this service for many types of organizations for more than 20 years.

If, however, your ID credential needs are such that a dedicated in-house team will be doing the job, here's some free advice you'll want to consider as you get into the planning phase for this important project.

1. Check your data – having messy, inconsistent data on your people is going to make this job much tougher and more time-consuming. Make sure to update your personnel data-base(s) prior to beginning. This is especially important if you're dealing with multiple locations within your organization. A good software package will make disparate data integration much easier to perform.

2. How long's it been? – if this is a reissue of cards, consider the length of time since the last cards were created, since people change their look and new photos may be required. One of the new available camera kits may be a wise purchase to ensure you have the best quality results for your project.

3. Do you have the needed equipment? – if already in possession of ID card printing equipment, is it capable of handling the volume you foresee completing? Should you think about a printer upgrade? Should you get a printer that can handle options such as bar codes, magnetic strips, proxy or RFID encoding?

4. Will everyone be getting re-badged?
– if so, look into getting a discount on a volume purchase of card stock.

5. How will credentials be displayed? - will you need lanyards or card holders/clips? Will some individuals require contactless proximity credentials? What about vehicle identification?

Questions? Contact us at eXpress badging. We're here to help!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Featured Bundle: Professional Photo Capture Kit

Whether your company is in the process of re-badging for the purposes of facility security, event management or accounting of personnel, at eXpress badging we offer you the capability of outsourcing your badging needs directly or handling it yourself in-house. For those preferring to do the job themselves, we offer all the required equipment, supplies and support assistance you'll need to get the job done and to get it done right.

If it's been some years since your company's employees have received new badges and the re-badging task has fallen to you, you want to ensure that you have everything in place to complete the task professionally and within the expected time parameters. For many of our clients, that means employing the use of the Jolly ID Flow Professional Photo Capture Kit. This system consists of what you need to easily capture images of your personnel and to crop and adjust those images using the premium software included.

The Jolly ID Flow Photo Capture Kit includes a high-quality web cam that sits atop a tabletop pedestal for easy focusing. The pedestal has a built-in gooseneck for maximum flexibility, takes up very little surface space with its small footprint and is well weighted to prevent it from falling over.

This camera is the professional choice, designed specifically for use in producing high-quality ID system photos without requiring the use of a flash. A built-in CCD senor allows for optimum picture quality and it can even provide you with a still image caught from video. It comes with a USB extension cable.

The Jolly ID Flow Photo Capture Kit includes a quality photo backdrop on a portable stand to allow for consistency in all your photos and to remove the nuisance of ID photo glare. These nylon (micro-suede) backdrops are available in a choice of six colors including: red, yellow, green, white, dark and light blue.

This is all orchestrated by the use of Jolly's Premier Badging Software, a highly advanced, networkable ID Card solution for companies with multiple locations, centralized data and strict security needs. This #1 selling software allows for the production of professionally created ID credentials utilizing complex data integration, including access control.

The Jolly ID Flow Photo Capture Kit, sold here at a deep discount from suggested retail, saves considerably more money than if you were to purchase each item separately. This is a great package deal from eXpress badging.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

To Protect & Save: Generic RFID Proximity Cards

If your organization is currently using RFID proximity technology to authenticate personnel or vehicle ID cards, eXpress badging has a great deal for you on our new high quality/low cost replacement cards. Called eXpressPROX™, these units use the same proximity technology and have the same high quality as the name-brand cards and badges out there but they’re available at a significantly lower cost and with a much quicker turnaround for delivery.

In the past, if your company bought cards with a standard 35- or 37-bit proprietary format to work with the ID system you had acquired, when it came time to replace cards or issue new ones you were locked in to one provider. Being locked into one single provider is never a good thing, since it allows that company to set their prices at wherever they want without fear of the competition undercutting them.

Now, however, you have the opportunity to obtain RFID proximity cards capable of working with all proximity readers, including the ones in your system, and to buy them at a fraction of the price you’ve been paying for the expensive “name brand” units. They use the same technology and have as good or better quality and durability. The imaging surface is polished, ready for use with all PVC printers, and are available in sets of 50. You choose whether you want unprinted or custom printed cards.

Other options include the choice of standard PVC material or the more durable composite PVC material that’s required for use in laminating printers. You can also opt for the inclusion of a flush-mounted magnetic strip, which gives the proximity badge a dual-purpose capability. Also choose whether or not you want a photo included on the credential. Supports a variety of bit formats using 125kHz RFID frequency.

Monday, February 10, 2014

To Outsource, Or Not to Outsource: Is That Your ID Badge Question?

At eXpress badging, we understand the importance of having a comprehensive, well-designed ID badge/card system for the safety, security and convenience of your workplace. We provide a variety of solutions to meet your identification credential requirements, regardless of whether you're a conventional business enterprise, a governmental or educational concern, a nonprofit organization or a healthcare facility. Your first option is to decide whether you want to design and produce your own ID badges in house or whether you'd prefer to outsource the task and have the job done for you. We can provide the support you need no matter which route you choose.

What Does It Take To Do Your Own?

Issuing badges or ID cards for the first time or reissuing credentials to a large group of people definitely takes some preplanning and isn't just a simple matter of accessing your database, taking some photos of your people and clicking the print button on your badge software program.

While today's advanced ID card software and printing equipment make it fairly straightforward to design and produce professional-looking cards and badges in house, before undertaking such a task you should probably ask yourself the following:
  • Have you done this before or will this be your first attempt?
  • Do you have the time and labor force needed to complete the project properly and on time?
  • Will your current ID badge production system be able to handle the volume you require?
  • Is your personnel data organized and up to date?
  • Are your badge or card photos current or will new photos be required?
If it looks like you have all the bases covered and are willing to do this job in house you'll have a few other considerations to make. One will be how personnel will wear or display their credentials, as a variety of holders are available. If this is a reissue project, you'll want to consider all of the different types of cards, badges, tokens and fobs used within your organization. This is the perfect time to consolidate and make sure that one credential will work in all reader locations.

In addition, you'll want to address card or badge durability and choose the correct type of materials for production. Cards that are swiped through readers using either bar codes or magnetic strips will show premature wear on both sides. The best option for these is to use laminates.

When Outsourcing Badge Personalization and Production is Preferred

For some organizations, in-house badge or card design and production is either not desired or not feasible. eXpress badging has been producing custom badges, ID cards and nametags for 20+ years for organizations preferring to outsource this important task. Maybe your requirements are modest and you see no advantage in acquiring your own equipment or your requirements are significant and you're not willing to allocate the time and labor required to design, produce and deliver needed ID authentication credentials.

With the capability of producing 10,000+ units daily, our production staff uses the best of today's ID technologies to fulfill your exact requirements, including personnel tracking, employee time/attendance, door/elevator access, network access, photo identification and more. We offer standard ID cards/badges, PROX and RFID fobs and tokens, and can incorporate bar codes, magnetic strips, PINs and biometrics. Having this outsourced, rather than investing the time, trouble and expense to do it yourself is a great option that many of our clients are grateful we offer and a highly beneficial service to utilize.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Visitor Management Spotlight: JOLLY lobby track Premier

Jolly Lobby Track is the building security industry's leading visitor management/tracking system, allowing organizations of all sizes to register visitors to their facilities, print and issue badges and monitor or track visitor movement.

The Premier Edition is their top of the line visitor management software system, with all the features of the Lobby Track Standard Edition, plus the following additional features:
  • Centralized management of multiple and/or remote locations
  • Networked data sharing capability
  • Self-registration and unassisted check-in at unattended kiosk locations
  • Automatic, immediate background checks against national databases plus online, local and custom watch lists
  • Automatic photo cropping
In addition, this visitor management system checks your existing databases for duplicate records and automatically updates the information when duplicate data is found. It's capable of providing email notification to visitors who have registered online and to display online messages and alerts. Finally, lobby tracking software supports connectivity to other databases you may be using, including ORACLE.

Jolly Lobby Track Premier is easy to install and simple to operate. It includes free factory support for the first 30 days and a year's worth of basic support from eXpress badging. Operation is fairly intuitive, especially with the built-in software function that allows visitors to register by simply scanning their driver's license, passport, business card or government ID. The system then takes that information, including photos and biometrics, and populates the database. As this is being accomplished, automatic crosschecks are being made against a variety of watch lists.

All-In-One System, Simple ID Card Production

Jolly Lobby Track Premier is a unique, all-in-one visitor management/access control plus attendance and hours worked reporting solution. It's able to print temporary badges for visitors but also can make high quality permanent ID badges for employees. Cards can be one- or two-sided and card design is simple with the help of a Design Wizard.

Elements such as database fields and text, shapes, images, magnetic stripes and barcodes can all be layered to create a professional looking credential. Captured photos and fingerprints can also be displayed.

Various built-in reports can be created, viewed, printed and exported. These include information such as who is currently on site as well as histories of employee attendance and hours worked.

One of the most important safety features of the Lobby Track System is the capability of protecting your facilities from unwanted visitors by way of the active, automatic Watch List feature. Policies can also be set up to deny access to certain areas based on location, time of day, etc. These are some of the outstanding features of Jolly Lobby Track Premier.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Visitor Management & Lobby Tracking in 2014

Visitor management has come a long way since the standardized, old school use of pen and paper and hard-copy logbook sign-in. There's no question that the electronic tracking of visitors' entry to and usage of facilities and certain areas within those facilities is becoming more prevalent, and rightly so. Current-day visitor management efforts have become a natural adjunct to other building security and access control systems, providing both real-time and recorded data regarding who's in your building, where they're going and what they're doing. In many cases, good visitor management is able to take over functions previously performed by these other systems.

At eXpress badging, we enable you to easily gain control and manage your visitors from the moment they enter your facility, thereby providing a safer, more secure environment. The reception process is streamlined with the use of simple software programs that capture pertinent data from each visitor, records that information and then issues easily recognizable ID badges that can include photos or be of a temporary, self-expiring type.

Issue, Track, Report

Collecting data for use in the analysis of visitor traffic and the creation of visitor reports is just one of the benefits provided by the Jolly lobby track Premier offered here. Visitor registration can be completed three different ways:
  • On-site
  • Online through the company's intranet, which allows employees to pre-register visitors
  • An externally located, dedicated registration kiosk. This is especially convenient when large groups of people are being registered at one time

Some convenient features built into the software program that comes with Jolly lobby track Premier allows for instantly scanning a visitor's driver's license or passport to obtain pertinent information and then automatically filling in the registration form. The system is able to capture both photographs and biometric data and to look up the information and crosscheck against existing online and local watch lists to enable you to prevent access to your facility from unwanted visitors. The Jolly system comes complete with the software module to create temporary or permanent badges on the spot and is backed up with 30 days of free manufacturer's factory support and one year of basic level support from us at eXpress badging at no extra charge!

For an even more advanced and comprehensive visitor management system, STOPware PassagePoint has been touted as the most scalable system available, capable of providing visitor management solutions to even the largest organizations and government agencies with multiple or remote locations that can all be maintained by a central application server.

Why Buy a Visitor Management System?

The amount of data that can be gathered by a modern-day visitor management system is considerable and, in a time when the activities of terrorists, heightened school violence and protection issues with children are all in the forefront these types of systems have become critical to ensure safety and security in work, study and recreational environments. These systems are quick to install, simple to use and well worth the small price they cost for the amount of protection they provide.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Keeping Your ID Badge Safe & Secure

Using ID badges around the workplace keeps people and critical corporate information safe on a daily basis. If you constantly misplace your badge, it costs the company to replace it and its loss could compromise important company information or products. By following a few set routines, you can stop losing or misplacing your ID badge and ensure your co-workers and company’s safety.

Treat it as Personal Property

You wouldn't leave your wallet, or other personal property, out on your desk as a habit, so think of your badge as personal property. Keep it on your body at all times because it is your responsibility. Some employers may even see badge negligence as a reflection of your work ethic. If you cannot take care of a small badge, could you care for a large client workload? Show your employer that you are a responsible employee and keep track of the badge at all times.

Where to Attach It?

Badges are easily held on lanyards, especially if you need to use them on internal door lock points. Select a strong plastic holder and a fun lanyard that matches your personality. Try using a vendor's lanyard to show you are part of the team to support customers with the best products. If a lanyard is not possible, try retractable reels. Badges attached to your belt or hip are simply pulled out on a reel mechanism to unlock doors. They quickly retract and remain out of your way as you move about your work day.

Stop Unrestricted Access

Some curious customers, or even competitors, look for distracted employees to gain access to restricted areas. Corporate secrets and prototypes are at risk of being leaked to the public if your badge is left on a desk unprotected. Do not be the person that allows a customer to root around the office with your badge. If that person is injured or discovers major company secrets, you can easily be terminated for negligence.

Use Common Sense

Even if you have a set routine to keep the badge safe and on your person at all times, it is still possible to lose it occasionally. Report the loss to security or HR as soon as you can't find it. Do not leave the badge in your car either. Along with sunlight damage, would-be thieves may see the badge as a financial opportunity and break into your vehicle.

Having an ID badge means you are part of an important team. Respect your position and the company's protocol while keeping track of the badge. It keeps everyone protected in the end.