Productive Solutions helps firms feel secure
Few local companies can say business has boomed since
the events of Sept. 11, 2001.
Productive Solutions can.
The Reno-based company owned by Ed and Cheryl
Vauk makes employee badges that run from the plain, old
ID card with photo to sophisticated smart cards that
record everything from hours worked to the holder’s security
It’s that last feature that has proven to be a boon for
the company, especially since the terrorist’s attack last year.
Since then, companies in all industries have become more
security-conscious and the federal government has
imposed new security requirements on transportation entities
such as airports.
“We’re closely following what’s going on with
Homeland Security,” said Cheryl Vauk. “It’s been a real
roller coaster ride since Sept. 11.”
Airports, for example, are required by the Aviation and
Transportation Security Act to have in place by year’s end
systems for screening baggage. Those systems, in turn, are
run by plenty of personnel who require security badges.
Those screeners are federal employees, but they are
equipped with badges by the airport in which they operate.
One of Productive Solutions clients is McCarran
International Airport in Las Vegas. McCarran employs
50,000 people and Productive Solutions provides the airport
with employee ID badges as well as parking cards for
all of them.
The company also supplies badges for the western
region of the Federal Aviation Administration, work cards
for the police departments of Reno and Sparks and specialized
transit passes for the Regional Transportation
Commission of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas.
The majority of Productive Solutions’ business, though,
comes from the gaming industry. Every major casino in
the Reno-Sparks area is a customer as are several casinos
in Las Vegas, including the Venetian and Mandalay Bay,
and ones outside Nevada, like Harrah’s in New Orleans,
Joliet, Ill., and Robinsonville, Miss., and clubs in New
Jersey and California.
Productive Solutions provides several products.
Customers can get simple badges that display basic
employee information and photo. (The company started
life 10 years ago as Western Graphics; the current owners
changed the name a couple years after buying the company
five years ago.)
The company also offers an out-of-the box ID system
called Asure ID, from Synercard, and provides installation
and operation assistance.
“That’s for companies on a limited budget or who need
less frills,” said Ed Vauk.
At the high end, Productive Solutions sells a more
sophisticated system called Time and Attendance, developed
by Chase Technologies. The company customizes it
for each client. The software keeps track of employee
hours and can even keep users from clocking in when they
aren’t scheduled. It also monitors access and interfaces to
all major human resources and payroll programs so companies
can reduce re-keying information. The system
maintains a database and can be programmed to produce
“Time and Attendance comes with number of frontend
flavors,” said Cheryl Vauk. That means users can
access the system several ways, including via the telephone,
PC, the Internet, or the most common way, a card
The software comes with all the necessary hardware.
Productive Solutions resells printers made by Fargo
Electronics Inc. and Eltron, as well as card readers manufactured
by International Barcode. The cards themselves
can be equipped with mag stripes, barcodes or smart cards.
Especially in light of the growing interest in security,
the Vauks think smart cards, which are widely used in
Europe, will become more popular in the United States.
The problem to date has been price – a smart card costs
about $5 each, compared to 50 cents or less for magstriped
or barcoded cards. But smart cards can hold an
order of magnitude more data than the less expensive
options. And with demand will come a drop in price.
Right now, demand for Productive Solutions products
is good, say the Vauks. The company, entirely owned by
the Vauks, has grown about 15 percent annually since the
couple bought it. Its customer base has tripled in those
years, to about 150 clients.
“We continue to grow better than the economy,” said
Ed Vauk. “And 9/11, as unfortunate a tragedy as it was,
has been a benefit to our business.”
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