Kisi provides your office with a great access control experience. However, there is a crucial part of the setup process that can be overlooked. The installation of electrified locks and Kisi hardware can often be the largest line item when getting started with Kisi. It’s worth taking a look at access control system installation costs and what it consists of.
The two greatest contributing factors to access control system installation costs are materials and labor. However, there are secondary costs that may not always be line itemized on a quote. These costs are things like cost of insurance, travel & trip charges, and parking. These costs all go into the final price you see for your Kisi installation. This article outlines exactly where the access control system installation costs come from and what you are paying for.
Materials – Why you should not BYO
The term materials is an all encompassing term for every piece of hardware that is installed. This can be your lock, power supplies, wiring, and ancillary accessories such as keypads or push to exit buttons. However, even wire stripping, zip ties, and other miscellaneous parts are calculated into the cost of materials.
Of course, you may see a quote from an installer and decide that you may want to research the cost of materials on your own. Typically, you will find similar materials online for lower prices than your installer quoted you. However, there is a reason for this. Installers carefully source their materials from trusted distributors with whom they develop relationships with over time. When an installer provides materials, they can do a few things:
- First, they know that the materials they are providing are of sound quality.
- They also may be able to provide a warranty on the materials provided.
- Finally, they work with the same materials over and over again, so they know exactly what they are doing.
When a customer elects to purchase materials from Amazon or some other hardware provider, certain assurances are lost:
- The installer may not know exactly how to work with the materials.
- The materials may not be high quality and therefore break down faster than normal.
- Finally, the installer will not be able to provide any type of warranty for these provided materials and even more so assume no responsibility for it.
All in all, we highly recommend that you let a locksmith or other installation professional purchase the materials for your installation. It will lead to a high-quality installation that will allow Kisi to run smoother, for longer.
Labor – Why flat rate is better
Labor is a line item that may be a bit more intangible and more difficult to calculate than materials. There are different rates charged by each installer. The price can vary based on geographic location and the type of installer doing the work. For instance, a company that provides IT services may charge up to $300 per hour. Locksmiths may charge anywhere from $80-200 per hour, depending on the services they are providing.
Additionally, installers typically quote a flat rate labor charge. It means the installers are estimating the number of hours it will take to complete the installation. The installation may take more time, or it may take less time than estimated. However, your labor price is locked in. This is usually seen as a benefit to the client. Reason being, if you agree to a price then you are presumably comfortable with that price. So, if the installation takes less time than the installer calculated, great! The installation is complete and you are up and running with Kisi. If the installation takes longer than the installer estimated, you do not need to deal with a price increase due to time & labor. If you have a variable price, labor can quickly jump up a few hundred dollars.
Miscellaneous – What else are you really paying for?
The final ‘charges’ to take into account can all be filed under miscellaneous. Even though these charges do not get their own category, they are important nonetheless. They may not be line itemized, but in reality, you are paying for these things as well.
The first charge to consider is insurance. Most installers carry some type of insurance. This insurance can cover their workers who are on the job, any potential damage done during the installation, or various other items. Insurance costs are high for locksmith companies, which leads to increases in labor rates and materials markups.
Another set of charges that may or may not be itemized are travel or trip charges. Most installation companies will want to make sure they are paid for the time they spend on site. This cost may not be charged for an initial visit, IE. a Free Site Survey & Estimate. However, the cost of the installer’s time may ultimately be baked into the final quote of service. Finally, in certain cities, parking may be as much as $30 for short term parking. This is another cost that may not be itemized but can be taken into account in the final quote.
The Expert Angle – Supply Chain Security
During research of this post we’ve interviewed Joe Sechman, a cyber security expert who pointed out the obvious missing piece in our considerations. Here are some excerpts of our conversation:
When I think about access control cost, first, and most importantly, I think about sourcing materials. In this day, supply chain security is an actual attack vector that’s very real and, unfortunately, successful and overlooked. While mainly attributed to specialized chips and default soft/firmware from nation-state threats like China/North Korea/Russia for espionage, I can easily see a natural progression into access control device suppliers (if it’s not happening already). Especially when access control solutions become cloud-accessible…it will just be a matter of time before a high profile client brings attention to this vector.
A good relationship between installer and sourcer means better security?
Next, I’m drawing a natural assertion that since your point about the relationship between an installer and sourcer implies better quality, that it will also imply better security to boot with regard to where all of the parts are sourced.
Security vetting of integration partners
Is there a particular process that covers security vetting to reinforce the rigorous evaluation partners go through before becoming an official “Kisi Partner?” Maybe a background check? If so, I think that would add some additional peace of mind and add to the value of implementing such a forward-looking solution such as Kisi for your customers.
This is an interesting problem to something we don’t really experience: At Kisi we drop-ship the controlling devices to the customer directly from our in-house warehouse and they set it up directly with their network. The integrator only stops by to set up electric door hardware, connect Kisi devices and test the setup. The integrator doesn’t add custom firmware or software. As such there is no easy entry point for them to build back-doors. However what we do see is that clients have no choice but trust the integrator that has been sent and that when he is working in the IT room there is no malicious intend. In the future we expect integrators to be more from the IT side and as such having to comply with cyber security audit regulations and limitations.
In conclusion, you may see the installation cost as the largest line item in your Kisi purchase. However, you are paying or more than just a lock on a door. It’s important to make sure you have reliable parts installed by a reliable installer. Even if there are some items that are not particularly line itemized, they are still important to calculate in your final access control system installation costs.
If you are considering having Kisi installed, we can provide a Kisi Partner in your city who is certified to install our hardware. If you are opting for an installation where you source your own installer, we can help you find an installer in your area – or speak to an installer you already have – to make sure they are prepared for your Kisi installation. Reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.