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Lisa Machnig

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Modern retail: Managing access to doors and warehouses securely with digital keys

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Whether delivery safes, warehouses, sales rooms or offices – retail stores have many areas to which access is restricted. Digital keys enable retail stores to manage all kinds of accesses easily and securely using Mobile Identity Access.

Save acess to doors and warehouse.

Save acess to doors and warehouse.

A driver from the company Mayer contacts customer information in a state of annoyance. He’s trying to make a delivery, but there’s nobody in the warehouse. The walk into the store and the waiting around is costing him time. And time is money. The lady at reception calls the administration team. “Where is the key to the central warehouse? … Oh yes, Mr. Müller was out and about with it just now … They must have just missed each other”. She calls Mr. Müller on his cell phone and finds out that he is currently busy elsewhere. She appeases the supplier, telling him a colleague is already on the way.

Old-fashioned key management costs time and money

Searching for keys – Key management and access management: Every store is familiar with such problems. When goods are being delivered, a short-staffed warehouse results in unnecessary waiting times for delivery firms.  In the store itself, many doors have to be unlocked and locked in line with the store’s business hours. Some offices may be accessed by certain staff members only. And service providers such as janitors, cleaners and security staff need to be issued with the right keys. 

All these situations have one thing in common: Access is via physical keys and employees, who can use them to open the doors. This goes hand in hand with hand-over of keys, management, walking distances, and risks of loss. Not to mention the necessary staff deployment. Key management becomes even more complicated the more access points and users there are. And losing a key can prove costly. But how can control of key management be improved?

Digital keys manage accesses securely and easily

Telekom offers a simple solution here: Mobile Identity & Access (MIA) from the Internet of Things (IoT). This is based on digital keys that offer retailers many advantages.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a small business, wholesaler or grocery store, the opportunities offered by Mobile Identity and Access are many and diverse. Doors, gates, vehicles or even parking spaces: All kinds of accesses can be managed easily and securely with MIA. 

With the MIA app, suppliers, employees and service providers receive time-limited authorizations for access to certain rooms via their smartphones. They can use this digital key to automatically open doors to the relevant rooms. In the morning, afternoon, evening, or at night – depending on their authorization.

Instead of lots of keys in the key safe, the retailer now simply manages all access authorizations in a key cloud. It stores the necessary data and authorizations for each user at a central location: on the online portal of Deutsche Telekom’s IoT cloud platform. This means the access rights become transparent. 

You determine who receives a digital key for which areas and for which period of time. 
All the users need is a smartphone. Anyone wanting to use a digital key must first download the MIA app to their smartphone. The digital key is transferred to the phone via the mobile network in the form of a token. On-site, the digital key activates access for a defined period of time. Access rights granted can be revoked at any time.  

If the smartphone is lost or stolen, the digital key can be rendered invalid in close to real-time. The smartphone becomes the master key and enables new processes. With MIA, the retailer gains a simple and highly secure key management system. At a glance, he can see who has access to certain areas when and where. Suppliers and service providers benefit because they are gain access to specific areas regardless of the time and personnel. 

To sum up: digital transformation and the Internet of Things offer retailers many different ways to optimize their business processes. Digital key management tidies up the key chaos thanks to MIA. 

Do you want to find out more about MIA? 
Then please contact our expert, Siegfried Lauk, at siegfried.lauk@t-systems.com. He will be pleased to advise you.

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