[Toolkit] Advanced tactics for getting physical security budget buy-In  

Think Target Audience

Getting support for physical security upgrades typically means communicating the problem, its impact, and the solution. The information you present depends on who you are trying to convince. Company owners and high-level executives are typically interested in the impact of new technology on the bottom line. Frame your request for upgrades in a format that clearly describes benefits aligned the total cost of ownership and ROI.  

When communicating to upper management, here is what you need for a successful outcome: 

  • Detailed analytics that support your recommendation. Example, an upgrade to mobile credentials, means a decrease in time loss and lost or stolen employee key cards  
  • Information on current major news events within your industry, especially when they support your position
  • The implementation process of the upgrades as well. In our survey, security professionals mentioned that a phased implementation may appeal to executives. Phased implementation allows for your organization to implement essential upgrades and receive benefits while deferring the total outlay of expense.  
  • Allies: Get IT on board by showing them the low IT maintenance and integration capabilities a cloud security upgrade provides. Additionally, integrating physical security with other employee management systems reduces the need for IT resources.  

Use this template to identified your target audience, the role on purchase decision and their concerns related to your project proposal:  

Target Audience

Concerns

Role on Purchase Decision

IT Department

  • Quality and practical/functional aspects of a product or service
  • Physical and cybersecurity  
  • Influencer
  • Assesses the technical specifications and impact to network security
  • Identifies whether or not it will meet the technical and security needs/demands of the business

Finance Department

  • Vendor Management 
  • Cost
  • ROI / TCO  
  • Approver
  • Identifies affordability and potential operational inefficiencies
  • Finds next best alternative (price) decision  

Your Boss

  • Quality and practical/functional aspects of a product or service
  • Staff efficiency and security  
  • Approver or Sponsor
  • Assesses the products ability to properly secure the business without causing operational inefficiencies
  • Determines match with business culture and operations more broadly 

Management Team

  • Purpose of the solution for the business - what problems is it solving?
  • Meeting business security objectives
  • Resource allocation for new solution
  • Approver 
  • Ultimate budget authority  

Download our FULL TOOLKIT TEMPLATE for physical security technology investment and build your access control technology business case now.  

Answer: who, what, when, why, and how?

Anticipating questions and feedback from your audience is a good way to help gain their support. Your audience may misunderstand or misinterpret the concepts, challenges, problems, requirements, timelines, and solutions you present. Prepare answers to “who, what, where, why and how” questions, in order to establish more confidence in the plan and your ability to execute it.  

Common questions you should have answers for include:

  • What is the new technology, and how does it impact my audience?
  • What problem(s) does it solve, and how do those problems impact my audience?
  • Why does my audience or the organization need this right now?
  • Does your solution solve your problems? Your whole team’s? A few different team members’? Customers’?
  • What exactly is being lost without the new solution? Why should your audience care? (Time?)
  • What are the basic security system requirements?
  • When should this project start and end? Why?
  • What does success look like?


Use this template to organize your answers and include your imput:

Questions

Access Control Technology Investment (Example)

Your Input

What is the new technology, and how does it impact my audience?

Cloud-based access control 

  • Allows central management for multiple locations, restricted areas 
  • Provides real-time activity log 
  • Integration to video surveillance 
  • Alleviates on-site server vulnerabilities and IT resources


What problem(s) does it solve, and how do those problems impact my audience?

  • Limited facility traffic information
  • Separate software for human resources employees information
  • Time waste on administrative task
  • Hard to manage multiple locations access as it requires several management platforms

 

Why does my audience or the organization need this right now?

On-site server systems are outdated 

  • Requires separate magagement for each location  
  • Offers little protection 
  • Expensive to maintain  

 

Does it solve your problems? Your whole team’s? A few different team members’? Customers’?

  • IT department spends too much time fixing the current access system
  • Store and security teams can't track employee access 
  • Inventory is vulnerable to theft


What exactly is being lost without the new solution? Why should they care? 

  • Server mantainence cost
  • Time spent in administrative tasks
  • Inventory loss
  • Employee access tracking

 

What does success look like?

Cloud-based access control 

  • Allows for integrations 
  • Enables organizational flexibility 
  • Provides easy multiple site management

 

Download our FULL TOOLKIT TEMPLATE for physical security technology investment and build your access control technology business case now.  

Find an Ally - Defy Your Skeptics

Determine who in your organization will benefit from a new access control system, and get them on board. IT, human resources, facility or property management, security management, and sales are all potential beneficiaries.  

Security impacts the whole company, whether employees are aware of it or not. Getting cross-functional support for your security technology initiatives increases your chance of convincing upper management. By having multiple departments weigh-in you can clearly demonstrate the widespread impact of your proposal.  

Even if you have a very convincing argument, you are going to have naysayers and skeptics. Your finance department may question the total cost of ownership or the value of spending capital now. Sales may not see how security impacts their efforts and would rather spend money on a new CRM. But if you have done your homework and created cross-functional support before presenting to executives, you’re naysayers will stand alone.  

An easy way to keep track of your supporters and, more importantly, your skeptics is to create a list of each department within your organization and list the main benefits for each person. 

Department

Benefits of New Access Control System

Contact

Human resources

Sample benefits: Request card and access to employees in one place

John Smith - Director Human Resources

IT

No server, Cybersecure, No backups, No Updates.

 Alicia Jones - IT manager

Then create a list of your skeptics and itemize the reasons they may be skeptical of your initiative and mutually beneficial opportunities.

Department

Reasons for Skepticism

Arguments to Persuade

Human resources

Human Resources currently doesn’t provision employees; new system would add provision credentials to their credentials. 

It will be a new responsibility, but it will be extremely streamlined so that it should not require significant time or resources.

IT

Just spent year-end budget dump on new IVR system; wants to wait until next quarter.

Set up the meetings and planning now to launch in aligned timeline.

Download our FULL TOOLKIT TEMPLATE for physical security technology investment and build your access control technology business case now.  

Translate your “why” into an impact on the bottom line

Successful technology investments have a direct impact on the bottom line. Technology investments that are delivered on time and on budget lead to increased revenue, efficiencies, and more satisfied repeat customers. Improvements in process and efficiency reduce time spent on routine tasks, which equates to more time spent on valuable work.  

Your challenge is to find your own real-world scenarios that demonstrate the value a new access control system would bring to your organization.  

Some areas to explore include:  

  • Time Savings: Cloud-based access control can cut hours of administrative/operations time. For example, you can decrease security status meetings from weekly to monthly, saving you three hours per month. Over a year, you would have saved 36 hours. Now, multiply that by the number of people on your team. 
  • Business Loss Reduction: Cloud-based access control can also reduce business loss due to time card fraud. Time card fraud starts out small and quickly becomes a big problem. An access control system logs your hourly employees’ hours automatically as they enter and leave your facilities. If those employees currently log their time in a tracking tool manually, then your technology update will track time more accurately and reduce time card theft. Listen to the head of security for a national distributor of automotive products with 150+ locations explain how he drastically reduced time card theft, inventory loss, and rekeying costs through cloud-based access control.  
  • Increased Revenue: An access control technology upgrade will help you maximize your team’s productivity and potentially create new revenue stream. For example, implementing access control allows a membership facility (fitness center, club, associations, etc.) to offer 24-hour service without adding new front desk or security personnel. In turn, that facility can charge members with 24-hour access more, creating additional revenue for the company.
  • Increased Capacity: Cloud-based access control helps improve team capacity. To calculate this impact, look at the number of units (e.g. billable hours, projects) that your team currently produces over a certain period of time. If you were able to increase capacity by 10 percent, how many more could your team produce?  

Use this template to pinpoint your bottom-line impact: 

Business Objective

Access Control Investment Metric

Target Group

Benchmark Measurement

Improve operational efficiency

Time saved

CEO CFO CTO

Example: Current status meetings take 240 hours a year

Access control to save 180 hours a year. US$5,940 dollars saved 

Increase profitability

Reduced business loss

CEO CFO  

Example: Time card fraud estimated: US$28,665 

Access control to reduce 75%. US$21,498 saved 

Increase profitability

Increased revenue

CEO VP of Sales  

 

Example: membership charge US$100 monthly  

Access control to increase membership to US$120 with 24-hour access, expect 30% adoption 

Improve customer satisfaction

Improved tenant access flexibility

VP Customer Service  

 

Example: One tenant call a week about access issues

Access control to decrease 10% of customer service calls 

Value of Intangible Benefits: Some benefits are harder to quantify. The intangible benefits have just as much of a business impact as the more quantifiable assets of your calculations.  

Intangible benefits include:

  • Improved customer satisfaction and loyalty
  • Improved engagement and lower stress for employees
  • Better management and data
  • Less time performing repetitive tasks  

Saying “We have the opportunity to make our security operation more efficient, reduce repetitive tasks, and lower building costs,” starts a very different conversation than, “I’d like to have this new cloud-based access control system.”  

Whether you use one or all of these tactics to show the impact an access control system can have on the bottom line, the most important thing is to present enough justification to secure an approval without overwhelming your audience.  

Also, be mindful to not get carried away with uncertain savings estimates and tying monetary savings to intangible ROI to prevent executives from dismissing your calculations.  

Understand your ROI

Most technology investment decisions are budget driven, so it’s critical to demonstrate a reliable return on investment to get executive buy-in for your access control upgrade. The initial cost of a physical security solution is just that, your initial cost. Maintenance, operating costs, and upgrades all add to the final cost. Any analysis of a proposed investment should include the cost to purchase and support and maintain the equipment and programs.This gives you Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Check out our guide on How Software As A Service (Saas) Lowers The Total Cost Of Ownership (TCO) For Physical Security Systems to learn more about this important calculation. TCO = Cost to Buy + Cost to Install + Cost to Operate + Cost to Maintain  

In step 4, you used our TEMPLATE TOOLKIT for physical security technology investment to calculate the bottom line impact and dollarize it. That dollarized outcome leads to your ROI. 

ROI = (Monetized Economic Value - Product Cost)/Product Cost Here is an illustration of this principle, based on a retail company with over 150 locations

Business Objective

Access Control investment Metric

Current Annual Cost

Estimated Reduction in Cost

Estimated Annual Monetized Economic Value

Increase profitability

Lost Inventory

Time-card fraud

Rekeying

$2,000,000

$525,000

$432,000

60%

75%

90%

 $1,200,000

 $393,000

 $388,000

Total

$2,957,000


$1,982,550

Factor

Could-base Access Control

1st Year Cost of Ownership

$1,720,000

Estimated Annual Savings

$1,982,550

1st Year ROI

13.2%

Annual Operating Cost

$30,000

In our recent survey: Best Tips for Getting Security Budget Buy-in, respondents suggested that proving ROI was key to getting executive buy-in. Calculate yours using our ROI calculator.  


ACCESS CONTROL ROI


Download our FULL TOOLKIT TEMPLATE for physical security technology investment and build your access control technology business case now.

Our Brivo security experts are available to help you showcase the extra value of cloud-based access control for your business.

Build a Coalition: Involve IT Early On

You’ve already identified your allies and defined your skeptics. Now it’s time to build a coalition that will generate organizational buy-in on a larger scale. In step 3, we gave you a template to help recognize your allies and skeptics and state benefits to each. Now it’s time to identify where your IT department stands. Is IT an ally, skeptic, or on the fence?  

Here are some key arguments for cloud-based access control relevant to IT:  

  • Remote management: Administer the solution via web browser or mobile application; issue or revoke access rights with your mobile device.
  • Integration capabilities: An open API allows for integrations with other systems, including human resources, membership, and facility management software.
  • 3rd-party hardware compatible: Compatible with products that fit your business needs, like cameras, door hardware, readers and routers.
  • Scalable: As your company grows, and the needs of the business evolve, you are not limited to a number of users, doors or locations.
  • Customizable alerts: Delivered via text message and email for critical events as defined by the user. Reporting: Make decisions based on data and prepare for security audits
  • Cloud storage: Access and video data are never compromised and are always available
  • Automatic firmware and software updates: No dedicated IT staff required
  • Cyber secure: Your access control system cannot be used as a proxy to get into your network
  • No servers, backup servers, maintenance, updates or dedicated IT resources  

Check out this infographic for additional information on IT benefits with cloud-based access control.  

Lower TCO: How Software As A Service (Saas) Lowers The Total Cost Of Ownership (TCO) For Physical Security Systems.

Use this template to organize the key arguments based on your specific situation: (Example assumes a fitness center with multiple locations and an undecided IT department)  

Is Your IT Department an Ally, Skeptic or Undecided?

Skeptic - Persuade


Ally - Mobilize


On the fence - Advise

  • No servers (purchase or maintenance)
  • No IT employee required by location
  • Remote management
  • Open API to integrate with membership management system
  • Fewer IT resource hours needed 
  • Scalable solution in line with current company growth strategy
  • Read our Fitness case study (bonus)

In our recent survey: Best Tips for Getting Security Budget Buy-in, many respondents offered, “involving colleagues in pitching the access control technology investment,” as their the “tip” to success.

I suggest starting an open-ended discussion with those that are in the executive positions. Show them the security gaps of your current security system and how a security technology investment will close those gaps. Property Owner, Multi-Unit Facility  

Download our FULL TOOLKIT TEMPLATE for physical security technology investment and build your access control technology business case now.  

Bring more than two comparable options to the table

It’s important to bring at least two options to the table when presenting physical access control solutions to your executive team. There is no shortage of vendors or solutions available to you on the market, but not all vendors will meet your requirements. You will have to decide how to score each vendor and their product(s) as you go through the selection process. Don’t forget to look for publicly available vendor reviews to help with this process.  

During initial outreach, ask each vendor specific questions so you can evaluate how well their access control solution meets your needs. While this isn’t a formal information-gathering process, developing a set of high-level questions will allow you to classify vendors early in the process and save time during the official vendor selection process. Use our 7 questions to ask your security partner to help weed out vendors that might not be a good match.  

The template below helps you organize vendor information and score your requirements. 

Requirement - Score and Rate

Brivo

Comparable 2

Real-time reporting


Integrates with 3rd party software


Manage remotely


Real-time reporting


Automatic software updates


Cyber secure


User-defined alerts


Unlimited scalability


Trusted partner network


Open API to support integrations


Established manufacturer with over 15 years of experience 


Proven technology manufacturer 


Download our FULL TOOLKIT TEMPLATE for physical security technology investment and build your access control technology business case now.

Present the Results to Stakeholders

Our recent survey highlighted the importance of including concrete results and comparisons in your presentation to stakeholders.  

Be positive, confident and concise. Lead with the conclusion – give them the bottom line first. Next, briefly outline the business problem the new technology will solve, and how. Don’t give a comprehensive list of features. Instead, talk about tangible, relevant benefits to the business. Share a timeline, including how long it will take to roll out and how much training will be needed. Finish with the projected financial benefits (ROI). You can calculate the ROI of moving your physical security to the cloud here.

Step

Details

Opening Statement

Give them the bottom line. Example: Moving to a cloud-based solution will save us $XXX yearly in inventory loss, wasted time, and operational inefficiencies.

Business problem 1

  • Solution to business problem 1 through the cloud solution

Business problem 2

  • Solution to business problem 2 through the cloud solution

Business problem 3

  • Solution to business problem 3 through the cloud solution

Timeline

Show what needs to be done for the transition, and who needs to participate. 

  • Meetings with solution vendor to understand how to implement the solution 
  • Does IT need to be involved - what is a realistic timeline for them?
  • Time for hardware installation and system set-up
  • Training time for users and administrators 

ROI

Calculate your ROI here for a general breakdown of how a cloud-based solution can impact your bottom line.

  • Rekeying costs
  • Wasted time of employees
  • Inventory shrinkage 
  • And more 

Your presentation should include your business’s objectives and how a new access control will impact them. Our template will help you to visualize and quantify those benefits for your organization. Be sure to outline difficulties that your business has faced in achieving those objectives, and why finding a new physical security solution would benefit the company.  

Other things to consider adding to your presentation include:

  • An introduction to cloud-based access control.
  • Financial calculations, including total cost of ownership and return on investment.
  • A proposal of your timeline for access control evaluation and implementation.
  • Suggested change management procedures to gain company-wide buy-in. 

Set up a Follow-up Meeting

Follow-up meetings are important to make sure all stakeholders are on the same page and to ensure their questions and concerns are all addressed.  

Before the project has buy-in, your follow-up meetings should: 

  • Present further research to address questions
  • Offer insight into the current system’s vulnerabilities. You may want to stage a fake breach to see where your current system is lacking
  • Keep your project top-of-mind with your stakeholders  


Once the project has buy-in your meetings should:

  • Kick off the project with responsible parties and make assignments
  • Discuss next steps in the adoption process
  • Share project updates 


Almost 80% of respondents to our recent survey agree that executive buy-in is very important to successfully upgrading your physical security. You already know the benefits of an upgrade. The key is to get your stakeholders to understand how crucial these benefits are to the efficiency of business operations and the security of the organization.  

Download our FREE TEMPLATE FOR BUILDING A BUSINESS CASE for physical security technology investment now.  

If you’re interested in seeing how the Brivo solution can add value to your organization, contact a Brivo expert now. You and your stakeholders will be glad you did. 


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