Like many lockshops, mine has been in business for decades, and the shop has earned itself a place in the community as the go-to place for keys and other associated traditional locksmithing.
As is the situation in most places, the market has transitioned and many of what were once consistent revenue streams have dried up or even disappeared. So the owners responded by being more competitive with the other locksmith shops in terms of response time, selection and value, and by entering new marketing channels which previously did not exist, which they had limited expertise, or which did not initially seem like they would be profitable areas.
The owner’s initiative paid off by enabling consistent growth despite the crippled housing market, competition from home improvement centers, a market flooded with Asian imports, electronic ignitions, and consumers more worried about keeping the homes than about upgrading door hardware.
By launching into electronic security, the shop which was on the verge of bankruptcy as recently as five years ago has increased its gross sales about 60 percent, with over half of the action being in electronic products such as security video, electronic access control and door operators. Although the fact that this was an established lockshop which helped to keep the phone ringing, having the new lines to offer and taking initiative kept a half dozen trucks rolling and allowed growth to occur.
We do a fair amount of door operator repairs and installations. With AADM certification, we get to do service calls for national facility management firms, and are able to design and sell new installations with a degree of professionalism that affiliation with a national trade association brings.
The spinoffs work both ways. You initially get involved with a door lock, and wind up installing a door operator. You initially are asked to quote a door operator, and you wind up selling video and card access. Of course this only happens if your technicians are alert to opportunities as they come along.
We primarily use low energy operators which are typically retrofitted on existing doors, and require only a minimum of safety accessories. However, they absolutely require professional installation techniques and precise adjustments in order to assure safe and reliable operation.
The most recent project was for an independent living facility. They wanted to put the door on an automatic timer so it would lock and unlock on a schedule, and they wanted a door operator for the convenience of their residents, some of whom were using walkers or wheel chairs.
The only existing equipment we could use besides the door itself was an electromagnetic lock which had been installed during the renovation about 10 years ago, but which no one knew why. It never locked.
We used the Falcon #8230 door operator, which is a reasonably priced device suitable for our aluminum door and anticipated duty cycle. The door itself was only opened a couple of hundred times a day, and it would not be used for more than 25 percent of the time.
One of the system objectives was to automatically lock the door every evening and unlock it every morning. The Securitron DT-7 timer was specified, because it is easy to program and a proven performer.
For safe egress, we paired a Securitron XMS motion detector with the Securitron EEB2 exit switch that has an integral timer, which together is an approved solution for life safety compliant control of a door with a maglock.
Normally the XMS will detect a person approaching the door and release the electromagnetic lock allowing egress. In the interest of life safety, an exit button is required which, when pressed, will also unlock the door if the motion sensor fails to unlock the door.
When a traditional Exit button is pressed, the circuit is interrupted for as long as the button is pressed. This means that the person attempting to egress must hold the button down and push on the door at the same time.