Established in 2001, Riviera Maritime Media (RMM) grew from an initial partnership formed in 1997 to buy and publish the “Speed at Sea” journal.
Over the last eight years the organization has grown rapidly. It now publishes seven maritime journals, each of which addresses a particular niche in the market. Working with a leading shipping data specialist, RMM supplies intelligence services covering all aspects of the commercial shipping world. In addition to these publications, RMM also run related events in the U.K. and overseas. It is a global company supplying up-to-the-minute maritime data.
The rapid expansion of the company meant that their previous office space was no longer large enough to accommodate the growing number of staff. Having found suitable office space, the MD of RMM Steve Labdon knew he wanted to have an access control system fitted as part of the refurbishment.
Labdon said: “Security was our biggest issue. We have a floor in a multitenanted building and needed to ensure only our staff had free access to our offices. We have several different companies under the same roof, and a considerable amount of expensive equipment to protect. In this set-up we need freedom of movement for our staff but we also need certain areas restricted to a limited number of individuals.”
Keeping track of staff was also a consideration for the new access control system. In the past, RMM had used a book in reception to sign staff and visitors in and out. However, Labdon explained that the nature of the company sometimes made this more complicated than helpful. “We have some editors that work very unusual hours; they are often working when everyone else is out of the office,” he said. “Our sales team are also out of the office a great deal and keeping track of everyone can be difficult. The traditional sign in/sign out book was becoming harder and harder to work with.”
The final requirement was for the new access control system to complement the stylish, modern design of the new offices. Labdon knew they would need readers that suited a high spec finish and that would not date rapidly. “The office design comprised of mostly glass, chrome and wooden floors, it was important that whichever system we chose wouldn't compromise this contemporary setup,” he said.
Labdon was most impressed with Simon Gale from the security installation company Cohort Security Solutions. Gale used one of Paxton Access' demonstration cases to show Labdon how straightforward Net2 would be for his company to use. He also outlined the simple time and attendance feature in Net2 and how it could help with managing staff hours. Finally, he explained that Paxton Access offered a designer product range that would work well with the sleek new office design. As Net2 had also been recommended by another contact of Labdon's, this was the option he decided to run with.
Cohort Security Solutions fitted a Paxton Access Net2 system during the office refurbishment. RMM now have 11 doors controlled on site and 40 staff on the system.
Labdon said: “When we started to refurbish the new offices, the only lock on our offices was on the main front entrance. This wasn't enough. With staff belongings and our new office equipment at risk I wanted to stop people being able to wander into the office areas or to just prop open doors. We have a lot of couriers and other visitors in and out of the building and I didn't want there to be any opportunity to compromise our security.” The Net2 system is now used to control access through the main door to the reception area and then through each of the doors leading to the office areas.
He then asked for the access control system to restrict access to other areas such as the directors' offices, the comms room and the on-site gym suite.
Labdon explained: “Using the different access permissions in the Net2 software, I can restrict who has access where. The directors' offices can only be accessed by a small number of staff, the accounts office by accounts staff , the gym can only be accessed by the senior staff . This kind of security and flexibility means that I don't have to worry about anyone being in the building at unsociable hours as each individual will only be able to access the areas they should.”
The simplicity of the Net2 software has meant an easy transition for Labdon and his staff. “Simon showed me how to use the software and I have since trained two of my staff to use it. It isn't rocket science and I found it really easy to use,” he said. “The service from Simon and Cohort Security has been great.” Net2 has solved the problem of staff traceability and Labdon now runs an attendance report at the end of every month so that the company's directors can verify their teams' whereabouts.
“We also now have a screen in reception, linked to Net2, which shows whether people are in and out of the office at a glance,” Labdon said. He would eventually like to integrate the time and attendance feature with their payroll application, making this functionality even more helpful.
Labdon also found unexpected benefits. He said: “If the meeting room has been left in a messy state after being used, we can now see immediately who used the room by checking the Net2 events log. This type of accountability has made the staff more mindful about keeping the office in a good condition. I am very happy with the system.”
The system uses a mixture of Paxton Access' proximity readers. Labdon chose to fit the Paxton Access PROXIMITY marine readers in the reception area of the office. These are used for staff to clock in and clock out of the office.
Labdon said: “The aesthetics of this reader were the main draw, I really liked it. The blue backlight and the brushed chrome finish fitted really well with the smart design of the office. Their visibility also acts as a reminder to staff to use them to clock in.” Paxton Access P50 readers were fitted to the internal office doors and offer discreet access control that fits in with the office style.
Riviera Maritime Media is a rapidly growing media company. Labdon is already considering obtaining additional office space. He said: “The Net2 access control system will definitely be added to any new office space we take on. It works extremely well for us. I would have no hesitation recommending this system to any business concerned about security and freedom of movement.”