A Hometown ID Card Solution
VAR Filing Source helps its hometown of Jacksonville, FL limit access to city-owned buildings with a solution that includes 4,000 ID cards.
Leads. Aside from lower prices, they are the one thing that will guarantee a smile on a VAR's face - especially when they turn out to be profitable. Of course, leads come from all sorts of places, but it's those that come from a vendor that seem to widen that smile. After all, that's when a VAR knows a vendor is truly working as a partner.
VAR Filing Source (Jacksonville, FL) knows what it is like to receive fruitful leads from one of its main vendors, FARGO Electronics (Eden Prairie, MN). Because of the VAR's commitment to selling FARGO's Professional Series products, it has achieved the status of FARGO Solution Provider (FSP). As such, Filing Source receives qualified leads from the ID card printer manufacturer. One of those leads seems apropos for today's security-conscious world, yet it was generated pre-9/11/01.
A Local Government Security Issue
The customer was Filing Source's hometown, Jacksonville. "The city's office of administration and finance wanted to increase security at city-managed buildings [e.g. courthouses, city hall]," explains Jack Bobeck, Filing Source's sales rep for the project. "The city wanted to make its employees feel more secure by limiting building access to only people with legitimate city business. Previously anyone in the public could walk through a city building, and many did with no other reason than to use the restrooms or vending machines."
After conducting an online search for card printer companies, the city decided on FARGO and contacted the manufacturer. FARGO, in turn, put the city in touch with Filing Source. Soon afterward came the events of 9/11, and suddenly the project became a high priority for the city.
4,000 ID Cards In Six Weeks
Filing Source's plan was to create a standardized ID card for all city employees. The solution included a FARGO DTC 525 magnetic encoding printer, FARGO magnetic encoding cards, LexID pro photo ID software from Lexington Technologies (Huntington Beach, CA), a Kodak (Rochester, NY) DVC325 digital camera, and lanyards and plastic sleeves from JAM Plastics (Anaheim, CA). The city also chose FARGO YCMKOK ribbons to print both the front and back of the cards (a quality award is showcased on the back of the card).
"There was a lot of integration involved," notes Bobeck. "We had to work with the city's computer departments to ensure the photo ID software's data could integrate with the customer's Oracle database. The pictures were stored within the photo ID software and compressed to save space. All in all, we spent about 30 hours training the city's employees on the software and entire system."
Although the software integration was challenging, Bobeck says the most unusual part of this project was the fact that Filing Source agreed to photograph the 4,000 employees who needed ID cards. This meant the VAR had to travel to multiple sites throughout the city, take pictures of employees, and then print the cards for them all within six weeks. By early January 2002 the project was completed.
Sell Service, Support For A Long-Term Customer
Today, every person who enters a Jacksonville city-owned building must show a city employee badge or a valid driver's license. According to Bobeck, although this project is complete, the city has become a long-term customer of Filing Source's for extra supplies (e.g. lanyards, card sleeves) and consumables (e.g. cards, printer ribbons).
The VAR also sold a service and support contract for this project. All FARGO 500 series printers come with a 1-year replacement provision. Filing Source sold an option for this same level of service for subsequent years. Plus, the VAR has an exact duplicate of the city's printer at its facility to provide them with a quick replacement should they need it. "Had we not been in the FARGO FSP program, we would never have been a part of this project," concludes Bobeck.