Adidas German Center Deploys SimonsVoss Smart Locks

Two countries, two digits, decorated with a few punctuation marks; no more is needed to write history. Germany vs. Hungary: 3:2. The 1954 Football World Cup delivered a surprise victor. It was the first time the German National Squad had worn the football boots with replaceable studs developed by Adi Dassler. It was also the breakthrough for this ambitious young entrepreneur, who went on to create one of the world's largest and best-known companies.

Exactly 52 years later, coinciding with the 2006 Football World Championship, sports fans can view the adidas collection in the new Adi Dassler Brand Centre. The center is part of the "World of Sports," the name given to the headquarters of adidas-Salomon in Herzogenaurach, a town in the Franconia region of Germany. Around 2000 of the company's global total of 14,000 employees work there for the world's most famous three stripes.

The company's premises are an active place: customers, visitors, journalists, suppliers, consultants and of course the company's staff, part-time workers and cleaning staff, all of them come and go. Continuous movement may be good for business at adidas but it is also a challenge for those responsible for security. Who is allowed into which building, and when? Who has access to which rooms? The man responsible at adidas is called Robert Pospischil, Director of Facilities and Service at the sports goods manufacturer. His job was made easier the day adidas decided to begin gradually to fit its buildings and rooms using digital locking systems from SimonsVoss.

Crucial to this decision, especially in terms of staff use, was the fact that SimonsVoss locking cylinders respond instantly. "With other systems, users have to wait a moment before they can turn the door handle. It is rather awkward," Pospischil said.

However, it was the security aspect which was the main factor in opting for SimonsVoss. Especially important was the fact that all of the relevant digital information is stored inside the locking cylinder on the protected, inward side of the door, not on the transponder. "If crucial information is stored in the transponder, which means it is carried out of the company premises, which represents a security risk. With SimonsVoss we were able to avoid that," Pospischil said.

Another advantage over other solutions was the SimonsVoss management software. It enables us to allocate our staff to particular groups without restrictions, while still allotting individual access rights in accordance with their roles in the company. The programming procedure could almost be described as child's play. Pospischil and his colleagues control all of these functions using a clear GUI on a computer. The software also offers various ways of viewing the locking system. At a click, he can reveal which members of staff are allowed to access which buildings and rooms, which locking cylinders are installed where, and by displaying a ground-plan of the building, which doors a member of staff has to pass through on his way.

Because installing SimonsVoss locking cylinders is as easy as fitting normal mechanical locks, it only required two adidas staff to modernize the doors. And, since the dimensions of the locking cylinders correspond with E.U. standards, the doors could be upgraded rather than replaced.

Pospischil examined the technical, administrative and flexibility aspects of the SimonsVoss package carefully, but he also had to ask himself whether and when the investment would pay off.

"Managing mechanical locks was far more complicated than our new system and used to cost a lot of valuable time," Pospischil said. "Every time anyone had to move offices, it used to incur considerable costs. With the SimonsVoss digital locking system we can respond to changes in a flash, without turning a single screw. A lock can provide access to sales yesterday, personnel today, and trainee staff tomorrow. A digital system may be five times more expensive than a mechanical lock, but the whole access system pays for itself in around two years. It is truly worth it."

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