ASSA ABLOY’s Baker Addresses The Future of Mechanical Locks and Electronic Access Control

End-users are spending 20 times as much on electronic access control systems as on mechanical lock systems. As a result, locksmiths are selling complete electromechanical systems instead of standalone locks.

The last part and by far the hardest part is to learn how to sell. Do not sell expensive equipment on price; sell on value to the end-user to satisfy their needs. A locksmith must not be afraid to sell an expensive access control system. Do not think that the right solution is too expensive. Only your customer knows what they can afford and what is too expensive. Do not limit your customers’ options to a system that does not satisfy your customer’s requirements. Determine your customers’ requirements and offer them a choice of systems that meet their requirements. Learn to sell on the product capability and customers’ needs.

Will electronic access control have an increasing role in the residential market?

Most definitely. As an example, our Emtek residential lock business has recently introduced a keypad lock and deadbolt into their high end decorative hardware range. Keypad technology offers convenience but also the ability to electronically re-key your home in seconds. We see more companies interested in offering sophisticated control applications via a consumer’s cell phone or browser, and we expect the home locks to become a part of that overall solution in the future.

Do you envision new access control technologies in the future?

Access control is becoming huge, with more companies offering unique products and services. One amazing technology is equipping cell phones with smart card technology. This will marry access control with payment. For example, a person can make a hotel reservation and never have to check in. Once the room has been reserved, the person will get notification of the room number and how to gain access. Entering the hotel, he goes directly to the room and calls or instant messages and the cell phone becomes the key to unlock door as well as pay the bill.

Please explain the Securitron lifetime warranty.

The MagnaCare warranty has three key components. First is the obvious aspect of Lifetime. While this is the easiest to understand it is the least important. Second is the no fault aspect. This means that Securitron will replace that with new, no matter the reason it failed. This is really key as it protects the installer from any error they may make. Everyone wants to claim they are partners with the installer, but the lack of fine print proves Securitron stands behind that statement. And the third aspect is Securitron will ship the replacement free via next day air if needed.

Would you discuss the changes to the electronic product lines of the ASSA ABLOY companies and how they benefit locksmiths.

For ASSA ABLOY, companies need to stand for something specific, including types of products. To this end, the Securitron product line will be magnetic locks and accessories for the access control industry. Securitron and HES are in the business of products that goes on the frame around the door. Sargent Lock, for example is in the business of products that install onto the door.

Regardless of how a product is branded, the ASSA ABLOY companies are becoming more like a total group instead of individual companies. An example of this is the 800-810-WIRE technical support telephone number. The idea behind 800-810-WIRE is to help solve the “its the other company’s problem” mindset. It will take time to solve all of the problems. This is a major effort in that direction.

Scott Baker started in the industry in 1984 as field sales manager for Securitron, which was a small start up company just outside of Los Angeles. He moved to Sparks, Nev., in 1993 when Securitron re-located. He eventually was promoted to director of sales & marketing. Securitron was acquired by ASSA ABLOY in 1998 and Baker was made president in 2002. He was made group president in 2004 and the role has grown as more companies have been added to the group.

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