Digital badging saves time and money at MicroAge/Pinacor
Digital badging saves time and money at MicroAge/Pinacor

Mar 1, 1999 12:00 PM

MicroAge/Pinacor, a Fortune 500 computer integrator and distributor based in Tempe, Ariz., depends on its Corporate Security Services division for functions such as physical security, investigations and background checks for 4,000 employees. Corporate Security Services, in turn, provides the services in a cost-effective, value-added way. Most recently, the division has wrung a host of uses from its new digital badging program.The growing company has 13 buildings in the Tempe/Phoenix area and distribution centers throughout the country. By using Sony MVC-FD7 digital cameras, we in the security division have consolidated employee badging operations to corporate headquarters, saving on the cost of multiple badging stations. In many instances, security officers travel to the "customer," take the photo, and return to the badging station for ID production. This minimizes travel for senior managers and visiting VIPs. Officers at remote distribution centers use additional digital cameras to take photographs and send them electronically to corporate headquarters for ID card production on a DataCard printer.ID badges are returned to the owner through inter-office mail, traditional mail services or personal delivery in urgent situations."This is a big plus because you do not disrupt business operations by requiring people to drive across town," says security manager Cole Morris.Employee badges, worn at all times during working hours, are also used for proximity card access. The system is controlled through Casi-Rusco's Picture Perfect system.

What a picture is worth The user-friendly camera produces sharp digital pictures, and its portability makes it ideal for use in the field. For example, security officers use the camera to document all security-related incidents. The pictures are recorded directly onto a standard diskette and attached to electronic reports, which are sent to management over the corporate computer network. The pictures enhance reports on matters such as criminal incidents, accidents and vandalism.One of the more creative uses for the camera is photographing various training-related procedures. Using off-the-shelf programs such as Microsoft PowerPoint, the photos are combined with explanatory text to create in-house, computer-driven training programs.For new officers, presentations include photographs of company VIPs such as the president and CEO, so officers have immediate recognition. A training program may include a picture of alarm panels, helping to explain how to manipulate the panel and how to arm and de-arm systems.Finally, in keeping with the value-added philosophy of Corporate Security Services, the photos are placed in a database and made available to other business units. "When there's a promotional event or trade show, many managers like to have photographs of their staff displayed to add a personal touch," says Dick Malm, director of Corporate Security Services. "We often use the captured images to assist in such efforts."

ABOUT THE AUTHORScott Farrer, a security officer for Corporate Security Services, answered our call for readers to share their stories of problem-solving on the job. If you have come up with security-enhancing solutions, let us know. If we print your story in the magazine, we'll pay you $100.

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