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Historic Trading Hub Goes Digital


Founded in 1881, the Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX) was once a hub for grain brokers on the trading floor. With a digital trading platform taking traders off the floor, the Grain Exchange now has space to spare – and has turned its eye to the real estate branch of the business, offering office rentals to keen tenants. Now, with up to 1000 people coming and going each day, the Grain Exchange needed an easily expandable security solution that would ensure peace of mind and a great end user experience.

Great relationships

That great user experience starts with an excellent working relationship between the customer and the integrator, and between the integrator and manufacturer. As a member of the ICT Dealer Network (IDN), Floyd Total Security brings just such a relationship, adding an expert support team and comprehensive training courses to the mix

Rob Pinter from Floyd Total Security explains that ICT lets them deliver more to their clients. “ICT has always offered fresh and innovative ways to present solutions to our customers. They give us the tools and all the equipment to make it work.”

Many customers are not looking for a company that does the job and moves on quickly – they need something more collaborative. Blake Tiedeman, Director of Real Estate Operation at MGEX, says that Floyd delivers that level of partnership. "First and foremost is the expertise. Not only in terms of what the products are, but also the team's ability to relate to us and our unique needs,” he explains.

Great relationships

Extending the view

To expand the reach of the system, a range of interior and exterior cameras were installed at the Grain Exchange. With live camera feeds linked directly to Protege GX controlled doors, a popup is displayed to guards when a user interacts with a door. With PhotoID this gives guards a simple way of validating users – ID photos are displayed which guards can compare to the live video feed.

Blake describes how these features have prevented invalid access to the building:

When somebody scanned an access credential in front of the intercom camera, we could see that it was definitely not the person displayed on the screen. From a secure space, the guard was able to deny access, and with our great perimeter cameras, I could track the guy and get a shot of his license plate, and the make and model of the vehicle. We were able to reach out to our contact who in turn reached out to the user, who had no idea that an access credential had been taken.”

Blake says that control has done wonders for the company’s sense of security. “I can’t tell you the peace of mind that we have,” he explains. The Grain Exchange has even assisted law enforcement with the archived footage.

Preserving history

Preserving history

The Grain Exchange’s three buildings cover approximately 360,000 square feet and needed a system that wouldn’t negatively affect its historical integrity. With approval from the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation, Floyd worked alongside the Grain Exchange to secure the buildings without creating an eyesore.

Blake explains, “We want these historic buildings utilized, and full of life. We know things have to evolve and change – that’s the way it is. We can’t fill these buildings with tenants and provide an environment for success, if they’re not clean, heated and safe.”

With this in mind, card readers were discretely installed on the insides of door frames to avoid drilling holes in the walls, and cameras set in areas where wiring would be unobtrusive.

Where hardwiring locks wasn’t possible, Floyd installed a Salto wireless locking system that integrates directly with Protege GX. This allowed the Grain Exchange to bring more doors online, and reduce the number of physical keys required. As Blake explains, the goal was to have as “small a keychain as possible” to maximize control, "The more things we can add to the key fob, the better. That’s a big deal."

Adding value with an eye on future revenue

Commercial leasing is a competitive game, and the Grain Exchange hopes to increase the real estate side of the business in the future. To add more value to the tenancies, they’ll offer a security service that covers access control, intrusion detection, monitoring and cameras. That way, bringing more areas under the security umbrella can bring in additional revenue.

They may also integrate the elevator system with Protege GX, adding cameras into the elevator cars and on the rooftop, and bringing in the ICT Data Sync Service to handle data.

Amenities like the fitness center, the mothers' room and the bike room add to the value of the building, and having access control – that's a no-brainer," says Blake. "It's about tightening up the place, making it smarter and more responsive."

With the extensive feature set and scalability of ICT Protege GX, the Grain Exchange has a wealth of options to carry them into the future.

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