What do you see in the future for locksmithing or the security industry in general?
I will answer this question from the perspective of my specialty of automotive locks. The increasing use of transponder keys has been instrumental in creating new challenges and new opportunities for locksmiths. The challenges lie in the necessity for locksmiths to invest in new supplies and education to keep up with the new technology. The opportunities are available to those locksmiths who choose to make the effort, resulting in jobs generating higher revenues and an advantage over competitors who do not keep up with the changing times.
Gone are the days when do-it-yourselfers or general auto repair shops can replace a damaged ignition lock simply by “remove and replace”. In the old days a new ignition lock could be installed in the car and the car owner would use new keys for that new lock. With a transponder-equipped car that would require programming the new keys, a function which few auto repair shops and virtually no do-it-yourselfers can perform. A locksmith can offer the unique service of supplying a new ignition lock coded to the original mechanical car key, eliminating any need for reprogramming the transponder system.
Of course the entire world economy is being challenged by the current economic times. Economic recessions usually result in an increase in car thefts and burglaries. Also older model cars are staying on the road longer as people find it financially more difficult to buy new cars. Both of these situations result in increased opportunities for lock repair and replacement work for locksmiths.
Is the job of a locksmith different in other areas of the world?
Again I will answer this question from the perspective of my specialty of automotive locks. My first trip overseas was to Europe in 1978. At that time automotive lock service was an unknown field to locksmiths in Europe. Looking back there were two major differences between locksmiths in Europe and locksmiths in the USA. At that time locksmiths in Europe did not have easy access to training and education about servicing automotive locks. Also at that time locksmiths in Europe did not have easy access to automotive lock service parts.
The situation was similar in other countries around the world outside of Europe. However automotive lock servicing was more common among locksmiths in English speaking countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. I believe this is at least partially because those English speaking locksmiths could more easily benefit from educational materials that were available in the USA.
The problem of the lack of automotive lock service parts to locksmiths in those other regions of the world was partially solved by ASP. Locksmiths had easy access to lock service parts for American cars made by companies such as Briggs & Stratton and Hurd, long before ASP was begun. But those parts were of little use to locksmiths in many other countries where American cars were rare luxuries. When ASP developed a range of lock service parts applicable to the brands of cars that were popular in other countries, a worldwide market quickly developed for ASP.
ASP parts are now sold on every continent, including customers in countries as far away as Mongolia and Kazakhstan. There are definite variations in the way locksmiths work in different parts of the world. But I like to think that I played a part in helping locksmiths in other countries develop automotive lock servicing as part of their normal business by giving them better access to lock service parts through ASP.
Turn 10 Wholesale: History in the Making
Every business starts with an idea and a person with the vision and drive to carry the idea successfully forward. In 1974 John Miller was a man with an idea and the drive to succeed. He believed that the public had a need for safes and at that time dealers often had to wait four to six weeks for a factory delivery.
John Miller decided there was a need for a stocking wholesaler (distributor) who could offer dealers the availability of safes which could be shipped within 24 hours. This was a revolutionary idea in 1974 and Turn 10 Wholesale has been a success ever since.
The first safe products offered by Turn 10 were Victor fire file cabinets.
The basement of an A-frame log home in Marietta, OH, provided the first office space for Turn 10 and rented space in a warehouse held the first safe inventory. The original amount of safe products stocked in 1974 has now grown to more than 1000 different safes and fire files now in inventory. Every unit is available for immediate shipping.
As inventory and business grew, Turn 10 expanded between 1974 and 2004 to include five different warehouses. In 2005 a new, 30,000-square-foot warehouse was completed and equipped with efficient rack shelving.
Innovations have helped the Turn 10 Wholesale business grow. They were one of the first distributors to introduce an 800 number. During the time when rotary-dial telephones were popular, dialing 800-848-9790 required a lot of finger work, but it was worth it for dealers to have free access to Turn 10 sales people. The Turn 10 logo still uses a rotary phone dial in place of the “0” as a historical indication of the many years they have served the locksmith industry. Another innovation started in the 1980s has been an industry leading free freight option to dealers in over 30 states nationwide.
John Miller died unexpectedly in the summer of 2000. He would be proud and happy to see how Turn 10 Wholesale continues to grow as they continue to focus on the sale of safes and fire files. Much of this success stems from the John Miller’s dedication to treating customers well and doing the job right the first time.
Second generation Operations Manager Andy Miller continues the family tradition. Turn 10 stocks safe products from USA-based safe companies such as Amsec, Gardall, Hayman, FireKing, Schwab and Victor. They feature delivery in one to three days and a free freight program to 30 states. Turn 10 adds extra packaging to protect against damage during UPS and truck shipments.
Andy Miller indicated that the safe market is growing. Residential and commercial customers are increasingly interested in better protection for their money and valuables while having less confidence that financial institutions are doing a good job. Gun safes, fire safes, burglary safes, deposit safes and fire file sales are growing for our dealers.
Turn 10 Wholesale believes big box stores feature cheap plastic or thin steel safes which are not up to the job. Locksmith dealers know that customers come to them for quality safes at a fair price.
Turn 10 also believes that local dealers are the best outlet for selling quality safes. The best time to sell a safe is when your customer is in your shop. Turn 10 has fliers and banners available to help you sell more safes. Their helpful, knowledgeable employees with a “We Care Attitude” can answer any specific questions you may have. For more information contact the Turn 10 ladies at 800-848-9790.