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Designing an ID Badging Solution

November 20, 2013

In order to determine the best desktop ID Card Solution for your needs, consider more than cost.  In a ‘perfect world’, the design of your ID Badging Solution would account for every eventuality or future change, we know that world seldom exists.

The basic fundamentals of an ID Badging Solution primarily consist of three general components – printer, software and digital camera.  This provides the ability to identify users, privileges and automate processes within your organization.

To ensure your ID Badging Solution will grow with your organizational needs, it is important to ask the following questions during the design process.

  1. How do you want the card to look single or dual-sided, oversized or credit card size, monochrome or full color?
    PVC card printers are available in a variety of configurations and with advancements in technology.  Many manufactures are looking at your future needs by offering field-upgradeable modules.
  1. How long to you want the card to last – 1-3 years or 3 or more years?
    Standard PVC cards are made of 100% PVC and have an average lifespan of 12-18 months.  A composite PVC card, composed of 60%PVC/40% Polyester, will increase the average lifespan to 24 months.
  1. How long to you want the printer to last?
    Keep in mind that the average lifespan of a printer is generally five years.  Producing a large volume of cards on an entry level printer will decrease the unit’s lifespan.
  1. Will you need to assign different levels of security clearance?
    This is an important way of maintaining pertinent data on employees who may have ill intent.  ID badging software applications come in many different flavors.  Entry-level applications have a single sign-on level, whereas enterprise applications allow specific user settings.  This allows access to only pertinent data specific to their task.  A user with administrative rights can also generate a variety of reports to create internal audits.
  1. How many card types do you use/issue photo ID, payroll/attendance, parking, access, membership, loyalty/gift cards, info cards, meal/cafeteria, vending, others?
    Instead of issuing two (or more) cards, combine the cards you use every day into one multi-technology card, reducing overall operational costs.
  1. What type of technology/technologies do you need – Barcode, magnetic stripe, proximity, smart card, RFID, etc.?
    Take into account all systems utilized on a daily basis such as access control, payroll, cafeteria, etc. and plan to reduce multiple steps.  By being proactive and taking into account all the needs of your organization, you reap cost and time saving benefits by reducing data entry or redundancies simply by integrating your multiple systems.


  1. Will you need to badge multiple locations?
    Depending on your specific requirements you may need a networkable version of ID badging software, or software that will allow you to do more than simply badge, such as track and ID visitors.  It is recommended that you speak to a reputable solution provider to discuss your application in-depth for the best recommendation and/or direction.
  1. Will you require a mobile system to track and verify identity?
    Due to the nature of the workplace, it is increasingly common to need access to software or activity outside your four walls.  If this is something your organization would benefit from, it is highly recommended that you speak to an ID Consultant to discuss your needs more in depth.
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