When Selecting a Smarter Lock means Going Virtual

ST Engineering’s cloud-based solution replaces the traditional lock and key system to improve user experience and access management to the Singapore Land Authority’s facilities.

In a land-scarce country like Singapore, it is imperative to ensure that land resources are used effectively. The Singapore Land Authority (SLA), which is responsible for overseeing some 11,000 hectares of state land and about 2,700 state properties, also manages and maintains the national land survey system that demarcates state land and private property.

To accurately survey the land, technical teams need access to geodetic equipment which are secured in seven SLA calibration facilities across the island.

When ease of access is critical

The use of a traditional padlock and key system to secure the calibration facilities made access onerous. Users who needed access to the facilities had to draw the keys and return them to SLA, according to Tan Hua Seng Jimmy, SLA’s Technical Manager, Geomatics.

Besides being time-consuming, the system was inconvenient and inefficient as a user could only access one facility at any time. Problems were compounded when users had to draw keys for multiple facilities, and each transaction needed to be manually logged for facility access management.

To provide greater user experience and improve facility access management with accurate transaction tracking and reporting, SLA had to streamline and automate the entire physical process of key retrieval and return.

Turning physical keys into virtual ones

This is where ST Engineering’s AGILTM Secure Virtual Key’s cloud-based, keyless asset control solution comes into play.

The fully digitalised solution features Smart Padlocks that come with a user-friendly mobile application, eliminating the need for physical padlocks and keys. Besides allowing for multiple user access to the facilities, it provides real-time tracking and alerts for each transaction as well as a real-time audit trail that automatically logs each transaction.

Among other features, the solution is able to:

In addition, the solution is easy to deploy without the need for investment into major infrastructure and complex systems to support the automated process. Versatile, it can be customised to meet different operational requirements.

A more efficient and secure solution for SLA

For Jimmy, the AGIL Secure Virtual Key solution checked all the boxes. An advocate of technology and innovative solutions, he has been managing SLA’s Booking of Calibration & Management System since its inception in November 2019.

“We are constantly looking to leverage technology to improve our operational workflow and customer experience,” he said.

Jimmy had looked to ST Engineering’s extensive portfolio of smart security and automation solutions when researching the procurement of a digitalised lock and key system for SLA’s calibration facilities.

With its Smart Padlock and mobile app as well as secure management system, ST Engineering’s AGIL Secure Virtual Key solution was found to be the best fit for SLA’s needs, budget, ease of installation and ongoing maintenance regime.

Putting the solution into action

Before installation, SLA had all the locks to the calibration facility and pillars surveyed with the assistance of technical experts from ST Engineering.

The installation was performed during office hours with minimal disruption to operations. The traditional padlocks were removed and replaced with Smart Padlocks which were easily installed by placing them through latches on the surface covers.

“Being fully wireless, the system is a breeze to install and deploy, with no need for additional wiring, cabling, or alterations to our existing infrastructure,” said Jimmy. “Setting up the software and user testing prior to the installation was also seamless with the support from the experienced ST Engineering team.”

Jimmy now has a simple control interface through which he assigns access to individual users and staff members. The system also enables him to grant pre-set access according to needs, such as giving access to maintenance contractors based on a schedule. All these can be easily managed through a web portal.

Users quickly eased into the new way of locking and unlocking the Smart Padlocks through the user-friendly mobile app. It was as simple as placing an authorised mobile phone near the assigned padlock to unlock it. The same process is used to secure the lock.

The AGIL Secure Virtual Key solution is a win-win for SLA and its users, saving time and reducing inconvenience while simplifying the end-to-end key booking process for increased operational efficiency.

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