Average Access Control Project Size 2018

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Apr 10, 2018

The most common access control project size is 5 - 16 doors per project. This 2018 result mirrors previous statistics, most recently in 2016 where the category ranked ~50% of responses. This size encompasses most commercial systems.

The chart below displays how the answers were distributed:

This distribution shows the peak at 5 - 16 doors, typically smaller systems controlling a few security-critical doors in a single commercial property, while one-quarter of projects are in the 'large' project category of 33 doors or more.

Why Projects Stay Small

From a pragmatic standpoint, why are access projects smaller? In contrast to video surveillance, typically running Average Number of Cameras Per Project where most deploy between 17 - 32 per job, this result shows access control is deployed less frequently.

Using color comments from the survey question used to identify the Top 4 Biggest Problems Selling Access 2018, we are able to see three trends why customers keep systems small:

  • Upgrades Cost Too Much
  • Access Control Justification Difficult
  • Access Control More Complex

In the sections that follow, we examine each in depth.

Upgrades Cost Too Much

One of the biggest barriers to more access controlled doors is the cost of upgrading existing systems. Instead of upgrading select components while reusing many already installed in-situ, access control upgrades often involve replacement of significant portions, meaning changes are viewed as 'grudge purchases' or otherwise spending money to replace what is reliably functioning:

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

  • "Customer resistance to upgrading. They seemed more inclined to keep it going even if it is not as functional as newer systems or it starts to require more maintenance. Seems harder for customer's to get authorization to replace from the powers that be compared to other systems."
  • "Presenting the initial costs associated with a forklift upgrade and give a client sticker shock"
  • "Takeovers. Customers think takeovers should be easy and inexpensive. The opposite is true. Takeovers are often more difficult then a new install."
  • "Live system conversions. Setting Customer expectations about the level of effort and potential for issues can be difficult. Keeping the existing system live and performing cutovers on a reader-by-reader basis is laborious and results in prohibitive costs for the Customer. Conversely, it's not acceptable to take down groups of readers in one fell swoop for a wholesale up-lift."
  • "Upgrading existing systems and explaining features and benefits associated with increased cost."
  • "Biggest problem is upgrading existing systems and explaining features and benefits associated with increased cost."

Access Control Justification Difficult

Moreover, many end users have simple expectations for their systems to just unlock doors when needed, and lack the motivation to learn more or the time and money to develop sophisticated system needs. Indeed, while justifying money to update video often has obvious and seen benefit, no such dynamic exists for access:

  • "Mostly, it's the failure of the client to handle their tasks. No lists, no access groups, they don't put all the right people in the room for training...they just seem to prioritize video."
  • "Some customers want access control, but arent sure about the point of it."
  • "There are so many fast and cheap solutions on the market now and trunk-slammers or corporate integrators that have low standards of quality that customers don't always see the value in top notch solutions until after the bidding process."
  • "If I had to identify a problem I would say it is getting the customers to approve the budget for access control. Some people just don't see the value in having access control on certain doors."
  • "They compare to getting a lock rekeyed and can not justify the expense. Once you educate them on the benefits of being able to log who enters, restrict entrance, and instantaneously block access, many realize the upside to electronic access control. If you keep it a pricing response, you will always lose to the locksmith."
  • "End users have difficulty to understand the importance of the access control system. We also find it hard to explain the importance of high quality locks and door mechanisms. "

Access Control More Complex

Many responses pointed out that many different lock hardware configurations, card or credential technology options, and retrofit complications make their access control sales difficult:

  • "We'd like to bring in more functionality but users generally just want to swipe and open a door."
  • "The customer is not aware of all the rules and regulations. If I provide them with what that ask for, the contracting officer can point to the line that says I need to be in compliance with pertinent regulations. If I follow the regulations, then I am over priced and I don't win the award. "
  • "Every door is different. Access control can go very quickly but if you get hung up on something it can also be very time-consuming. We work in a lot of old buildings where door frames are often not straight. New construction we zip in and out easy."
  • "Picking the right type of electronic locking mechanism for the door/frame. This is the trickiest part of any access control project."
  • "I feel that the nerds screwed the market up and muck it up with there b.s. about IT stuff."

Integrator 'Worst' and 'Favorite' Access Reports Coming

A full analysis of integrator voted 'Favorites' and 'Worst' systems are coming next week, where we analyze votes and report which market segments platforms are used, which ones are avoided, usage based on project size, performance limitations, and other business factors.

Past Survey Differences

We asked this question in 2014 and 2016 note, and the results were similar, although differences can be seen in the higher end of the market. The number of large 'large' (33 or more doors) is less pronounced, signaling a likely overall increase in smaller project opportunities.

Comments (0) : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Door Fundamentals For Access Control Guide on Sep 12, 2018
Assuming every door can be secured with either a maglock or an electric strike can be a painful assumption in the field. While those items can be...
Access Control Course Fall 2018 on Sep 06, 2018
Registration IS CLOSED ends this Thursday. Register now. If you are looking to strengthen your ability to design and deploy access systems or...
Drain Wire For Access Control Reader Tutorial on Sep 04, 2018
An easy-to-miss cabling specification plays a key role in access control, yet it is commonly ignored. The drain wire offers protection for readers...
Directory Of 110+ Video Management Software (VMS) Suppliers on Aug 30, 2018
This directory provides a list of Video Management Software providers to help you see and research what options are available. Listing...
Exit Devices For Access Control Tutorial on Aug 28, 2018
Exit Devices, also called 'Panic Bars' or 'Crash Bars' are required by safety codes the world over, and become integral parts of electronic access...
Assa Aperio Wireless Access Reader R100 Tested on Aug 23, 2018
Wireless access control is frequently promoted by manufacturers as a way to cut installation costs. Perhaps the biggest proponent of this is mega...
Synology Surveillance Station VMS Tested on Aug 22, 2018
With so many low-cost NVRs and enterprise VMSes, is there any place in the market for NAS-based VMSes? Recently, IPVM bought a Synology NAS for...
Backup Power For Maglocks Guide on Aug 20, 2018
When the main power fails, many believe maglocks must leave doors unlocked. However, battery backed up maglocks are allowed according to IBC /...
ISS VMS / Video Analytics Company Profile on Aug 16, 2018
Who is ISS? In the past few months, they had one of the craziest ISC West promo items in years. Then, they hired industry veteran and ex-Dahua...
RealNetworks Free School Facial Recognition on Aug 03, 2018
The company that created RealPlayer is moving beyond media delivery and into the security space with a new facial recognition platform they have...

Most Recent Industry Reports

25% China Tariffs Finalized For 2019, 10% Start Now, Includes Select Video Surveillance on Sep 18, 2018
A surprise move: In July, when the most recent tariff round was first announced, the tariffs were only scheduled for 10%. However, now, the US...
Central Stations Face Off Against NFPA On Fire Monitoring on Sep 18, 2018
Central stations are facing off against the NFPA over what they call anti-competitive language in NFPA 72, the standard that covers fire alarms....
Hikvision USA Starts Layoffs on Sep 18, 2018
Hikvision USA has started layoffs, just weeks after the US government ban was passed into law. Inside this note, we examine: The important...
Chinese Government Praises Hikvision Following Xi Jinping on Sep 17, 2018
The Chinese government council responsible for managing China's state-owned companies praised Hikvision’s obedience to China’s authoritarian leader...
Amazon Ring Spotlight Cam Tested on Sep 17, 2018
Amazon's Ring has released their latest camera entry, the Spotlight Cam, which we bought and tested in our Consumer IP Camera Analytics...
European Mega Security Firm Verisure Pushing Security Fog on Sep 17, 2018
The European mega security firm Verisure (Securitas Direct), with a reported 2 million customers, is pushing security fog, as shown in this BBC...
IP Camera Cable Labeling Guide on Sep 14, 2018
Labeling cables can save a lot of money and headaches. While it is easy to overlook, taking time to label runs during installation significantly...
Favorite Intercom Manufacturers 2018 on Sep 14, 2018
Intercoms are certainly increasing in popularity, driven by the integration of video and IP networking. But who is the favorite? On the one side,...
Vivotek 4MP Camera Tested (FD8379-HV) on Sep 13, 2018
Next in our series of updated 4MP testing, we bought and tested Vivotek's FD8379-HV, and entry level 4MP model claiming "top-notch quality video in...
Ascent / MONI Faces Lender Lawsuit and Debt Crisis on Sep 13, 2018
ASCMA, aka Ascent, aka Brinks Home Security, aka MONI, aka Monitronics is being sued by a group of their lenders who allege: As of June 30,...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact