For businesses with a vehicle fleet, spare keys are valuable in case of an emergency. If keys are ever lost or stolen, having a backup plan is essential. A spare key can also come in handy if someone else needs to access a vehicle, such as a contractor or trusted customer. Let's take a look at some of the main benefits of having spare keys on hand.
Lost Keys Lead to Lost Business
Spare keys play an important role for businesses with a vehicle fleet because they can help avoid business interruptions. For companies that use vehicles for service visits like contractors, HVAC, and delivery, this can mean a vehicle stuck at a client site or on the lot at the office, resulting in lower service capacity and lost business. Similarly, for auto dealerships this can delay or even prevent test drives for a preferred car, impacting the customer experience.
If vehicle keys are lost, stolen, or fail, spare keys can help get vehicles back up and running with little to no impact on business operations. Even if the key has simply been misplaced and a driver needs to meet a deadline, they can grab the extra set of keys and locate the missing ones later. Having spare keys is essential for businesses that want to avoid these disruptions.
Two Spare Keys Are Better Than One
When it comes to spare keys, two is often better than one. This is especially true for businesses with a vehicle fleet. If you have two drivers for one vehicle, having two spares means that each driver can have their own key and you will still have one extra set. This is convenient for newer vehicles where driver profiles (like seat position, climate control, and entertainment preferences) are tied to each key.
Over the lifetime of a vehicle, it is not uncommon to replace a set of keys more than once, whether it's due to theft, loss, or damage. When this happens, businesses often have to purchase a new set of keys at full price. For modern vehicles, this can be very costly due to the need for reprogramming a fob. However, if you have spare keys on hand, you can simply get duplicates made rather than buying an entirely new set. Additionally, most vehicle key providers will offer a discount if you purchase two spares together, making it an economical investment with large vehicle fleets. This can save your business time and money in the long run.
Avoid Unnecessary Costs
Having spare keys allows businesses to operate efficiently, avoiding unnecessary costs. In addition to the replacement costs already mentioned, having a spare eliminates the need to call a locksmith when locked out of a vehicle. Depending on their capacity at any given time, locksmiths can take a long time to arrive, costing the business time and money. In rare situations, a lock may even need to be damaged to gain access to the vehicle, resulting in repair costs. By having spare keys, businesses can keep their fleet running smoothly and cost-effectively.
Give Access to Guests, Customers, and Contractors
For businesses that regularly have non-staff users accessing vehicles, spare keys allow you to grant them access while retaining the main key for staff use or as a backup. This is especially useful for businesses that loan out vehicles to customers, such as car rental companies. This way, if the customer loses their key, you will still be able to access the car and get it ready for the next booking. Conversely, if the customer key has been misplaced when they come to pick up the vehicle, you can give them your copy and look for the missing one later.
Spare keys are also a good way to provide temporary access for service providers like car washes or auto detailers. This ensures that your vehicles are always kept in pristine condition and in good working order without having to worry about losing access to your vehicles.
A Key Management System Can Store and Accurately Distribute Spare Keys
A key management system like the Keycafe SmartBox can be a powerful tool for storing both primary and spare keys. With features like real-time notifications and a full key access log, this type of system can help businesses track who has access to which vehicles, reduce the amount of time spent looking for misplaced keys, and prevent unauthorized access to vehicles.
For guest, customer, and contractor access, you can use Keycafe's key management software to create time-based key access bookings, enabling self-managed key pickups and dropoffs. The key pickup process is simple for the user, and administration is easy for staff with no need to physically monitor the key handoff on-site.
Best of all, the system is cloud-connected, meaning you can manage accesses and view the status of every key from anywhere with the Keycafe mobile app.
Read about how a Texas police department uses Keycafe to track officer vehicle access and make sure patrol car keys are always available when needed.
Get in contact with us today to find out how your business can use a modern key management system to manage your vehicle keys, including spares.