UPDATE: The Commercial Security Supply Chain in 2023

2023 Commercial Security Supply Chain UpdateBy David Strickland, Vice President of Kenton Brothers

It’s obvious that the last couple of years have been really rough on the supply chain. Manufacturers of Commercial IP Video Surveillance and Access Control parts have had a rough go of it.

Over the last year, we’ve seen wait times from some of the industries largest and most prolific suppliers in the 40-52 week time frame. Did you read that correctly? Forty to fifty-two week wait times. This has had a major impact on the industry and the customers that require their goods.

One of our customers shared, “Our trust levels in these manufacturers are at an all time low. Not because they don’t have quality goods, it’s because of their lack of delivery and timely information.

Timely and Accurate Information

Timely and accurate information has risen to the top of the concerns list over the last 6 months. Manufacturers communicate a delivery date, then as the delivery date approaches they de-commit the products and send out new commitment dates. This happened often, across many of the commercial security manufacturers, and led to the inflation of delivery projections to the 40-52 week mark.

These kinds of wait times make it difficult to finish or even commit to new projects. This has led to a surge for those manufacturers that have goods available for integration immediately. One representative recently asked, “Now that our supply chain is returning to a more manageable time frame, can we count on Kenton Brothers to come back?”  It’s a great question and one that the customer will need to answer.

2023 Outlook

2023 Commercial Security Supply Chain UpdateBased on the research of industry experts, here is a breakdown of things to come in 2023 based on their insights and opinions.

HID READERS: Outlook Grade: C

HID Readers are still going to take between 10 and 40 weeks to arrive.

The issue is still the chip and it doesn’t look likely to improve for several more months. Some versions of Lenel’s Blue Diamond readers are only 4 weeks out. Some Allegion readers are down to 4 weeks delivery time but some still have 25 week delivery times. Gallagher readers are shipping within 2 weeks.

Many of our customers are having to choose prox readers that are less secure in order to get “into the building” with plans to replace them later on.

Commercial Video Surveillance: Outlook Grade: C+

Multi Imagers, PYTZ’s and Fish Eyes tend to be the issue in this category. The chips are the issue here also.

AXIS has seen times come down and product is starting to hit the distributors shelves. However, their serve time is still as far out as 40 weeks on some of their lines. Axis has been switching out chipsets and launching new part numbers to help. Avigilon is running up to 24 weeks and has seen some progress. Verkada, Hanwa and Bosch have better serve times, but with their more sophisticated cameras they’re still suffering from longer than normal times.  March Networks has normal serve times for their cameras and recorders and are picking up market share because of it.

Access Control Systems: Outlook Grade: B

This is a tale of two types, Mercury and Non-Mercury.

Mercury serve times have fallen in the last several weeks and availability for some of the manufacturers will improve in the next couple months. Lenel is currently between 1-12 weeks in most of their projected serve times. 4 months ago these were up at 28-40 weeks. Software House and S2 continues to have serve times between 6 and 20 weeks but these represent half the serve time they had just weeks ago. The mercury delays effect Avigilon also and other manufacturers using their technology. Gallagher Access Control is shipping within 2 weeks. Verkada is shipping also with little delays.

Electrified Locking Hardware: Outlook Grade: D

Unfortunately, this category is where the largest delays are manifesting themselves and there doesn’t seem to be any “light at the end of the tunnel” coming soon.

Currently, both major players, Allegion and Assa Abloy are communicating between 20-40 weeks for their more popular smart locks. This has opened an opportunity for manufacturers such as Alarm Lock who is currently shipping their smart locks in 4-6 weeks. This delay continues to effect projects all over the country with all Access Control manufacturers.

I know our customers will be excited when these times come down to more normal levels.

Overall Grade for 2023 Commercial Security Supply Chain: C

According to the experts at Forbes magazine, the 2023 supply chain issues will not return to pre-covid levels for a few years. The two biggest issues they say are contributing to the slower recovery are inflation and the disappearance of workforce. They’re saying that this is the new normal for a while. They also see a larger issue with raw materials being sourced in a timely manner as lower wage workers found ways to earn more by learning new skills during the pandemic.

In summary – Commercial Security supply chain serve times are improving in most categories, so we’ll give them a passing grade. We love our partnerships and are rooting for our partners to prove the experts wrong. Our manufacturers are led by talented and passionate people. This gives us confidence that things will improve in 2023.

Unusual and Hard to Find Security Products Part 2

By Erik Andress, Sales Management Professional at Kenton Brothers

Access control and surveillance cameras are two of the most often talked about technologies when it comes to commercial security solutions. At times, you need something special to accomplish your security objective. So we started a video series to showcase some of the unusual and hard to find security products that might be a perfect fit for your specific security need.

If you haven’t watched part one, you can watch that here.

Products We Cover in Part 2

  • Laminates
  • Seismic Sensors
  • Bill Traps
  • Perimeter Intrusion Detection

We hope you enjoy the video… there are so many tools and technologies to cover, we may do a Part 3!

Please let us know if you have questions about any of the products we covered in this video or how they might become part of your commercial security solution. All you have to do is give us a call!

License Plate Capture: Does your Commercial Video Surveillance have a WOW Factor?

License Plate CaptureBy Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers

We’ve been doing a series about commercial security products with a Wow! factor. (If you missed it, check out Does your Access Control have a WOW Factor? ) In this article, I’d like for you to consider if your current commercial video surveillance system has a WOW factor, specifically around license plates.

License Plate Capture

There are many cases where you would want to be able to capture the information on a license plate. Obvious situations include theft or accidents in the parking lot. Lots of people call this concept license plate recognition (LPR), but we prefer to call it license plate capture (LPC). When you say license plate recognition, most people are expecting 100% accuracy in all weather and lighting conditions, and with vehicles moving at any speed. It’s possible to achieve high accuracy with license plate capture, but it becomes an expensive endeavor to compensate for all the environmental possibilities. License plate capture success is in the 70%-80% range. Cameras will capture a still image of the license plate and usually strike a good balance of performance and cost.

I’ve talked about license plate capture previously. The same rules still apply. You need stable lighting, cars that are as squarely oriented as possible to the camera, and good video analytics. Let’s explore a couple of options in the LPR/LPC world. In the solutions below, Kenton Brothers has installed systems with successful results. Each solution has their own pros and cons that need to be considered before choosing a path for your own business.

Avigilon

License Plate CaptureFirst up is Avigilon. Avigilon has dedicated software that will capture license plates across any of their cameras, and a dedicated camera to give the software the best chance at getting license plates. The Avigilon LPR software is well integrated into their Avigilon Control Center (ACC) video management system.

Searching for license plates is as easy as searching for any video. The LPR software is organized into “lanes” in the camera’s view as an area where it will search for license plates. Watchlists can be created to watch for important cars. The horsepower needed to perform the analytics comes from a graphics processing unit (GPU) in the server. Most people would refer to it as a video card, although it needs to be slightly more powerful than your standard video card. The Avigilon LPR software is a good choice if you already have an Avigilon camera system or are replacing a video system and want License Plate Capture.

Vaxtor

Next, is Vaxtor. Vaxtor is a software-only solution that can integrate into many different video management systems. Although we tend to implement their “On Camera” solution, they also have a PC-based solution.

Vaxtor’s On Camera solution uses an Axis camera with the Vaxtor software loaded onto it to perform the license plate capture. Once the capture is done, the license plate information is sent to the video management system. Axis has many cameras that can do license plate capture, and they have a dedicated Q-1700, just for that purpose.

Vaxtor integrates with many video management systems. We typically use Milestone for this. Searching for video is still fairly easy using the Milestone interface. Since the horsepower here is on the camera itself, there is no need to add or use horsepower from the servers. Watchlists are loaded to each license plate camera in the system as needed. Vaxtor is a good solution if you already have a video management system in place that Vaxtor supports.

Dedicated LPC Solutions

License Plate CaptureThe main difference with a dedicated solution versus the other 2 solutions is the camera. While both Avigilon and Vaxtor use a camera that produces a color, person-usable image, a dedicated LPC camera does not.

First, the camera does not rely on visible light, rather it uses Infrared (IR) light, to blast the reflective parts of the license plate. Then the camera only captures IR light. The main benefit is that it’s not dependent on any ambient lighting and that the process of recognizing the plate is not fooled by colors. Usually, these cameras also record at a much higher framerate, typically 60 – 120 frames per second. This makes it easier to detect cars that are moving quickly, by capturing more frames.

Dedicated systems are more flexible in the setup process, but also require more expertise to operate. Usually, this type of system is more expensive, but also more accurate. If you need a solution where you ­must capture the license plate, this is your best option.

If you want to add WOW to your commercial video surveillance system by adding license plate capture, KB will help you design and install an LPC solution to fit your needs! Just give us a call.

Exciting News From Axis Communications – Device Manager Extend is a Major Innovation!

Device Manager ExtendBy David Strickland, Vice President of Kenton Brothers

Axis recently announced a huge innovation that will impact Axis camera users all over the world. Innovation is one of Kenton Brothers core values and we use the tagline “Innovate or Die” all the time. We enjoy seeing technology evolve and take the next step. In this case Axis took a huge leap!

Device Manager Extend

Axis rolled out the Axis Device Manager Extend tool that will help users worldwide manage all of their Axis Communications devices. It’s an easy-to-use utility tool that allows users to interact with AXIS devices in real time and make updates from a single dashboard. This is a huge advantage for enterprise level commercial surveillance systems.

Axis Device Manager ExtendThe New Axis Device Manager Extend will give you real time status awareness of all devices across all sites. It also gives you an inventory of all devices and if there are any anomalies. The dashboard provides warranty information and if components are reaching end of life. You can even determine the replacement model and start to budget for new equipment. The dashboard also allows you to export a list of all your devices including serial numbers, MAC addresses and model numbers.

Device Status

A user can get real time device status including firmware, cybersecurity status and how applications are working on the device. You can access your Axis devices remotely, giving you centralized control of your security platform. You can discover the firmware of your devices and then push the updates to your entire platform in three clicks. (This used to be a device-by-device task that would take days or weeks to accomplish.) You can remotely fix many problems without the expense of rolling at truck.

Have you ever updated a device’s firmware and found a problem?

Axis Device Manager ExtendAxis Device Manager Extend will also allow you to roll back firmware updates if an issue pops up. Before you upgrade, the manager will analyze your system and make recommendations on what firmware versions to use during the upgrade.

How about Cybersecurity Control?

You can now control device settings remotely for the entire platform. You can require password changes, turn off anonymous access, turn off port forwarding and log every interaction with every device. Using the tool will ensure and maintain compliance and consistency across your systems. (The key word being consistent.)

The best news about this tool is that it’s available today! Whether you’re an IT Professional trying to stay on top of a 6,000 camera commercial video surveillance system or a business owner trying to make sure your 16 camera system isn’t creating a cybersecurity risk, this tool is for you!

Please give us a call to learn how you can deploy this amazing, innovative tool today.

Does your access control have a WOW factor?

By Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers

Does your access control have a WOW factor?Access control is typically a Ho-Hum discussion. Who gets access to your doors? When during the day do they get access? Do you want pictures on your badges? What doesn’t get discussed often is how access control can make it easier to manage your facility. Ease of use is vastly different across access control platforms. Your decision on access control software can significantly affect how you manage your facility!

First, let’s start with site plans, or maps. 

Suppose you have someone that is watching your facilities, like a guard, SRO, or facility manager. In that case, a site plan can give you a visual representation of your facility and its security at a glance. For instance, in Gallagher, the site plan can show you if all the doors are open or closed, locked or unlocked, the last person who scanned through the door, whether it has been propped open or even forced open.

Does your access control have a WOW factor?If your Gallagher system is integrated with your camera system, the site plan will show you nearby cameras on the site plan. Likewise, if the intercom system is connected, the site plan allows you to talk to the person at the intercom, all through one interface.

Since Gallagher has a built-in intrusion system, showing the alarm status as well as arming and disarming can all be done through the site plan as well. Finally putting it all together, for facilities that are actively monitoring their system and you have an alarm where a door is forced open, or any other type of event, the alarm manager can show you on the map where the event is taking place, any cameras in the area, whether the alarm is armed and the last person who swiped through the door.

Although a common phrase at Kenton Brothers is that security and convenience don’t mix, mobile credentials are the exception.

Does your access control have a WOW factor?From a convenience perspective, mobile (or sometimes called Bluetooth) credentials can be issued easily through a web portal or software via text or email. Mobile credentials can be issued from hours and hundreds of miles away. From a security perspective, mobile credentials are already more secure than most physical cards. Usually, the cards have to be activated by the user, which makes cloning harder. In some instances, the credential is tied directly to the access control system and has a more unique identifier. Then on top of the already more secure credential, they normally can be combined for a multi-factor authentication like face id, fingerprint, or pin number.

Mobile credentials come in a couple of flavors, two independent systems for mobile credentials and access control, which is a little less convenient, and one combined, or integrated, system which is easier to use. Gallagher offers all of these convenience and security features. Furthermore, five mobile credentials come with every system so you can try it for yourself!

The next WOW! factor component is a mobile app to control your system from afar.

Does your access control have a WOW factor?Mobile apps are split fairly well among access control systems. Systems that have been around for decades are struggling to convert their very robust systems to also include a mobile app that has basic functionality. Newer systems that might have only been around for 5-8 years may only have a mobile app, but lack deeper access control features you might need. Gone are the days when our workforce comes in at 9 am, takes an hour’s lunch, and leaves the office at 5 pm.

People are working the hours that work for them, their family, and their business. This means visitors might come at all hours, people could get locked out while walking their dogs or stepping out for a late-night snack. A Mobile app gives authorized people the ability to allow approved staff into the office from anywhere with internet access. Good mobile apps also allow viewing and disabling cardholders as well as arming and disarming alarms.

Gallagher offers all of these features and even adds an evacuation process where you can account for everyone quickly, in case of an emergency. Just like mobile credentials, Gallagher includes one mobile app connection for each system.

Does your access control have a WOW factor? Does your access control have a WOW factor?

Gallagher is releasing new features constantly.

Does your access control have a WOW factor?There are some new features that we haven’t been able to use yet, but look great. The first is a VoIP/SIP server. Without getting too technical, most IP intercoms now are basically IP phones installed next to a door. Each have basic capabilities to call another IP phone. The Gallagher implementation offers the ability to answer intercoms, directly through the Gallagher app. While this won’t replace full integration of intercom systems, it will start to replace intercom integration where the end-user only needs a few intercoms.

The next new feature is a client web application, this new application allows users to connect with Gallagher over a web interface, rather than the full client or mobile app.

Although not a feature of the Gallagher software itself, the supply chain issues continue to haunt most access control providers.

Getting readers and access control boards is extremely difficult with backorders measured in months. Some manufacturers are quoting anywhere from 12 – 50+ weeks to get the product. However, since Gallagher manufactures their own products, including the plastics that go around the components, and they control most of their supply chain, Gallagher has no shipping delays. The most important WOW factor is that it can actually be obtained!

If you want to know more about how you and your company can take advantage of these WOW factors, give us a call!