Thanks for following this series. I hope it has been informative and thought provoking. For my final entry in this series, I want to present the product life-cycle management program. This is more than a preventative maintenance program, as it looks all aspects of maintaining devices and assemblies of one or more security systems. This is another security program approach that takes your operations to the next level, ensuring the highest ROI on systems investments and reduces risks from outages, poor performance and outdated product.
To effectively manage this program, it is important to have a robust management software application to track all products. Ideally, this solution will include or be integrated with a ticketing system so that all service activities and costs are associated with all components. In the IT realm, ITIL and Service Desk programs provide the inventory and tracking of system components. There are some excellent solutions that are primarily intended for IT management, but can easily be adapted to physical security systems. In the Facility Management realm, there are also some great solutions to provide these activities.
Along with the management system, it is important to have up-to-date security systems documentation. If your organization has not maintained all as-built documents and devices schedules in a master documentation program, it would be important to start that development as well. This may take some time and money to establish, but will provide long-term benefits for your production program. If device schedules have not been maintained, you should be able to produce configuration reports from your security systems to establish your device and assembly inventories. Some components will track as individual devices such as cameras, where assemblies will refer to multiple devices that make up a security location, such as an access controlled door. Even in an assembly, specific devices like card readers and electric locking devices will be tracked for activity and cost.
For each device, the life-cycle management system tracks warranty periods, identifies preventative maintenance schedules, reports total cost of services and helps to track repeat repairs that could identify other issues that need to be addressed. The system provides notifications to appropriate staff for all tasks and events. Device profiles are developed for each type of device and assembly to define scheduling, tracking requirements and life expectancies. As a device reaches the end of its life-expectancy, the system can help determine when the optimum replacement time is pending. Reports can provide predictable costs for budgeting purposes in upcoming years.
As a final thought on product life-cycle management many organizations develop financial mechanisms to help manage long-term operational costs. This approach may be have a variety of titles, but an escrow best describes the concept. Typically, initial purchases are made with capitol funds and then those costs are divided by the number of months in the life-expectancy to identify a regular operational budget amount which is set aside for replacement costs. This program can be applied to existing products, but obviously will have a higher operational budget to compensate for the products history. Your IT department may already have a financial mechanism to accomplish.
This blog series has primarily been about physical security solutions and management processes, but hopefully it has provided some insights you can use to address issues that cause risk anxiety. My primary objective has been to drive discussions and developments around the big picture of enterprise risk management. I always appreciate comments and personal experiences related to these topics. Of course, I am available to help your organization develop any of these solutions.
If you would like to review this series in sequence from the beginning, click on the Risk Management Series link at the top of the page.