ABB Creates Centralized Employee Access System with Help from InstantCard

“InstantCard has been amazing to work with in spinning off organizations or bringing in organizations and rapidly adapting to the new brand or organization.” Paul Perry, Technical Security Manager at ABB.


  • ABB, a leading global technology company, needed a secure, centralized way to manage employee access to its more than 80 offices across the United States.
  • ABB turned to InstantCard to implement a secure, end-to-end ID badge solution.
  • The InstantCard employee ID badge and access system is now an integral part of the employee onboarding process.


ABB is a leading global technology company driving performance through its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolios. ABB has more than 80 locations across the United States. These locations include factories, offices, distribution centers and warehouses, and employ not just full-time staff, but also temporary workers, contractors, and vendors.

Managing access to these facilities is a complex process. A technician, for example, may need to travel to multiple office locations during the year. Each location would need to ensure the technician could access their site when needed. Without a centralized system, each office would issue individual badges, with inconsistent levels of oversight.

To ensure the integrity of its operations, ABB needed a systematic way to oversee and control access to its facilities.


ABB realized it needed more than just standardized technology. It needed to implement an end-to-end ID badging system.

With expertise in not just printing ID badges, but also implementing these types of complex, yet flexible, ID badge systems for multi-location corporations, ABB found that InstantCard was uniquely positioned to provide the solution required.

Secure, Cloud-Based Technology

InstantCard worked with ABB to create a secure, centralized system for managing employee ID badges. Each office location was outfitted with the same access control system, ensuring that employees from any location could be granted temporary access as needed.

Employee information is uploaded into a single, secure database that can be accessed by all office locations. Each office location is responsible for adding new employees to the system and ordering badges.

“By ensuring that all sites are utilizing the same card, we can have one person source the RFID cards and ship to the InstantCard team,” said Paul Perry, Technical Security Manager at ABB.

InstantCard then prints and ships the ID cards to the office or individual.

If an employee needs to visit a site, the HR administrator at that location can grant temporary access without needing to issue a new badge.

“If we can take my badge and it works at 80 different sites as I am performing security assessments it’s easy to reach out to local site admin and tell them I’m coming. They can provision me with access and that is the same as Chicago, LA, Denver,” said Perry.

ABB’s North America corporate headquarters receives a monthly report of all ID cards that have been produced and at which sites. They can also access the report through the secure database at any time, allowing them to constantly monitor local subsidiaries.

Implementing the New System

Implementing the new system required a complete overhaul of how ID badges were issued and managed across all locations. InstantCard worked with ABB every step of the way to ensure the system was able to launch smoothly and without interruption to their business functions.

“We were able to work with them on setting policy for who gets badges, and which badges go to which person. We suggested a phased roll-out, including different templates to distinguish between employees, contractors and vendors,” said David Finkelstein, founder and CEO of InstantCard.

InstantCard also customized the portal for ABB. When employees log onto the platform, the first thing they see is the policy manual. “At a corporate level, it is important that there are badging policies and procedures that are consistently applied throughout the organization,” Finkelstein added.

InstantCard set up virtual training sessions with the site managers at each location to train them on how to set up the new system. The training covered all details, from policy training to cropping photos.


Today, InstantCard’s badge ID service is a standard part of the new employee onboarding procedure.

The centralized system makes updating ID cards simple. “About five years ago, they decided to change the design of all their cards. ABB had one template at the master level and it rippled through at each site. We were able to update the template design across all locations in just a few keystrokes,” Finkelstein said.

When new companies are acquired, the new location simply uploads the staff spreadsheet and InstantCard prints and ships the new badges that day.

Similarly, when a division is sold, InstantCard can instantly transfer the division information with a new template to the new corporation.

“We as a company, love to play in that merger and acquisition field and InstantCard and Yann and team have been amazing to work with in spinning off organizations or bringing in organizations and rapidly adapting to the new brand or organization,” said Perry.

Over time, ABB has upgraded many sites to the common, high security technology, and InstantCard has helped each site transition smoothly.

Each day, as new employees are hired, individual cards are ordered, printed, and mailed same-day to locations throughout the U.S., as InstantCard has become a core component in the ABB onboarding process.


years as a customer

offices implemented the badge system