Dan Diehl, Paul O’Malley & Lou Ronsivalli.
Photo ID Card Printing for FM Professionals31 August 2018 / by Adam Bennett (author) / Stockport
Anyone working in Facilities Management will already know how important photo ID is on a daily basis. Hundreds and thousands of personnel may walk through your doors and will need to access various facilities, rooms and services in order to be able to carry out their roles. As an FM specialist, you will be required to monitor and manage anyone who has access to, and requests access to, various zones and facilities. This is often granted via photo ID, a tried-and-tested standard.
Photo ID has evolved to such an extent that its role in security and access permission is nothing short of essential. It’s important to understand what makes for effective photo ID card printing in the modern age and, as an FM professional, what is expected of you to ensure that the zones you manage are only ever being accessed by those with the right authority.
The Right ID Cards
What goes into making the right photo ID cards for use across various facilities? Firstly, it goes without saying that swipe cards and access keys need to have the right permissions installed via barcode or strip. What’s more, every plastic ID card needs to be printed to a clear, concise and professional standard. This means a clear photo, clear indication of who the user is and, where appropriate, the areas they have access to. For checks and auditing, these details alone will satisfy many FM professionals. Via automated gating or doors or through visual security checks, simply having the right photo and the right details has often been enough - however, given the continuing presence of ID counterfeiting across industries, there’s never been a better time to start considering how to make your photo ID that little bit more secure.
Added Security and Checks
Photo ID card printing in the modern age shouldn’t just allow for a simple photo and a few lines of text to do the job alone. Effective, secure ID cards should contain additional features which can be visually checked by FM staff or hardware with ease, but which can be copied with extreme difficulty. Visual security measures supplied through professional ID card printers can include holographic or laminate printing. This means you can effectively imprint a unique, impossible-to-replicate image or holographic backdrop which cannot be copied to the same standard. There is also a type of laminating whereby any attempts to peel off the top layer of an ID card will result in the cards destruction.
In addition to these measures, it is worth considering features such as microtext which can be read and/or analysed via specific equipment. If there is any way you can print hard-to-counterfeit measures into your photo ID that can be easily checked by the naked eye alone, it is highly recommended that you do so. Checking ID is no longer as simple as looking at a name and a photo, it’s time to start getting smarter about the checks you undertake.
How ID Card Printing is Changing Your Checks
Yes, in the past, checking a simple photo and a few lines of text or even dates of validity have been enough to allow for access. However, thanks to rising concerns over ID copying and the arrival of GDPR in 2018, it’s never been more recommended that you start to consider just how efficient and secure your ID card printing and checking strategies actually are.
ID card printers available to FM and other professionals now aim to breed a greater sense of security in the user. There are a wealth of security elements and lockdown options which can be used during the printing process alone. Coupled with on-board data wiping and physical lock recommendation (to prevent data theft from printers), it’s never been more obvious that printers are leading the way in terms of optimal security. Therefore, it’s high time your security checks lived up to the same standard.
Outsourced or In-House?
Whether you outsource your ID card printing or keep it in-house, it all depends on what is right for your individual business. There is a strong argument for complete control and security over your data should you undertake the printing yourself. Though the argument for outsourcing your printing to a third party remains one which surrounds cost-effectiveness and time-saving, especially for smaller companies.
Printing your own ID cards through professional hardware which can be purchased outright, not only reduces cost long term, but is also considered more GDPR-friendly. Any FM team looking to revolutionise the way they handle and process photo ID should consider purchasing an effective, security-focused printing device which they can retain control over at all times. This also means that you won’t need to request full GDPR compliance from a third party and there is no risk when it comes to anyone having access to your data barring yourself.
Will Photo Id Remain Important?
The long and the short of it is; yes. Facilities Management will always require some form of authority to allow certain personnel to access various zones and facilities. It remains to be said that current photo ID printing standards more than offer the control and security required for confident access to be supplied at all times. If you’re not already making use of a professional ID card printing device, there has never been a better time to get invested, if not for the security of your premises, for those requiring access.
Adam Bennett is a hands-on digital marketing manager for the UK’s largest ID card company, Digital ID. Adam specialises in creating high-performance content marketing and SEO campaigns with a key passion for writing.
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