Locksmith Distributor Profiles

Each year Locksmith Ledger polls a select group of successful locksmith distributors on the state of the industry and the advances made by their businesses. This year our participants are ADI, Lockmasters Inc and Direct Security Supply, Inc.

ADI
How has your role as a distributor changed in the last 10 years?

The role of the distributor has really evolved over the past decade as both dealers and manufacturers depend more on the distributor as a strong foundation in the security and low voltage market. Distributors provide job design and installation guidance to their customers, and have transformed from selling single point products to complete solutions.

Aside from products, distributors also provide dealers with training, support and new growth areas. Distributors introduce dealers to add on and up sell opportunities, and help them diversify their offering to be end-to-end solution providers. Manufacturers lean on the distributor for increased visibility for their products, the opportunity to reach a more diverse number of dealers and available merchandising and marketing initiatives.

What role do you see distribution fulfilling in the next five to 10 years?
The distributor will continue to expand and transform in the next several years, as they play a major role in the market. Continuing to strengthen the supply chain and serving as industry advocates for both the dealer and manufacturer will be strategic differentiating factors in the future. Training programs will increase as dealers depend more on the distributor to educate them on the latest technology.

Have you added new “categories” of products over the last five to 10 years? If so, what directions have you taken and will you continue to take?
ADI has added a variety of new products to our access offering including some biometric products as well as IP-based access control solutions. We’ve expanded our breadth in locking hardware, perimeter protection, and telephone entry systems. We also offer a complete line of A/V solutions.
ADI continues to add new products to our solutions portfolio as advanced technology becomes more available. We consistently review our offering to ensure that we are providing our customers with best-in-class solutions from industry-leading manufacturers. We want our dealers to have access to the best technology to help them stay ahead in a competitive market.

Has there been a purchasing change by the locksmith? What types of products are different?
We have been seeing more and more dealers interested in electronic access control technology including web-enabled solutions. These hybrid products allow users to easily program and manage systems through the Internet. Dealers can then administer the systems for their customers, creating new, recurring revenue opportunities. Biometric products are becoming more popular as they are extremely reliable and offer near-zero false negatives and positives while balancing any privacy concerns.

What separates your distribution organization from your competitors?
ADI has been distributing the latest technologies and value-added services to dealers of all sizes for more than 20 years. With more than 200 fully stocked branches around the world, ADI offers the convenience of one-stop-shopping for a variety of solutions including IP Networking, Access, CCTV, Intrusion, Fire, A/V, Home Solutions, Tools & Hardware, and Wire & Cable.

With dedicated training rooms in each branch, ADI hosts an assortment of education opportunities including training seminars, Expos, new product rollouts, vendor trainings and counter days, interactive demonstrations, and more. Free to all industry professionals, ADI Expos offer an extensive range of training seminars, a chance to demo the latest technology and interact with leading manufacturers and local associations.
ADI also offers next-day delivery, flexible credit terms and a systems sales & support team of highly trained professionals to assist dealers with pre-sales and application needs.

LOCKMASTERS INC.

How has your role as a Distributor changed in the last 10 years?
As one of the oldest distributors in the industry, the Lockmasters’ name should be familiar to just about everyone. But, what a lot of people don’t realize is that there have been a lot of changes at Lockmasters over the last decade. We have picked up many new lines of tools for all locksmith needs. These include the expansion into the automotive and residential tool lines, while at the same time expanding the selection of our existing lines to better cover the wide range of the safe & vault technician needs.

What role do you see distribution fulfilling in the next five to 10 years?
In the current state of the economy and for several years to come, the need for quality distribution is going to be even more important. Dealers are looking/needing products and ways to improve their bottom line. As their distributor, it is our job keep watchful eye on the changing marketplace, while at the same time better fulfilling the needs of the customers.

Have you added new “categories” of products over the last five to 10 years? If so, what directions have you taken and will you continue to take?
Over the last nine years we have moved heavily into the automotive and general locksmithing market, broadening our product width and depth every year. We have also had successful growth in our government/institutional line. This includes a successful door program and a continually increasing LOCKONE® high security lock business. As for now, Lockmasters will continue to increase offerings by developing products utilizing our R&D Department or acquiring it from other product lines.

Has there been a purchasing change by the locksmith? What types of products are different?
Locksmith purchases over the past year have seemed to mirror the economy. We see less large stocking orders, which means they are buying more often in smaller amounts. This is challenging to a distributor; it requires continual improvement on inventory levels, while not driving cost up but rather to lower them and pass any savings back to the locksmith.

One of the more noticeable differences in product has been the aftermarket safe deposit lock. There are more and more choices available everyday, which is great, considering that the original manufacturer has not produced some of these locks in quite some time. This helps by offering another low cost solution to an already ailing industry, banking.

What separates your distribution organization from your competitors?
Our employees! Lockmasters has a much higher than average retention rate with its staff, which combined, totals centuries of experience. We consider ourselves to be a medium size distributor, not small, but not everything to everybody. Our staff is knowledgeable, highly focused on the customer and the select products we offer. We do not measure success just by the number of pieces we sell in a year, but also by the number of times a customer returns because he or she is pleased with their past experience and by how often we are referred to a fellow locksmith as the go-to place for product and customer service.

 

DIRECT SECURITY SUPPLY INC.

How has your role as a distributor changed in the last 10 years?
Today’s access jobs are far more complicated than merely selling a customer an electric door strike or a maglock; it’s putting the whole package together. We are committed to providing unparalleled customer service. Our highly skilled and trained support personnel are available when you need them and will provide you with the solutions you need.

What role do you see distribution fulfilling in the next five to 10 years?
It’s all about integrating different manufacturers' hardware, choosing the correct electromechanical hardware, specifying proper power supplies, calculating voltage drops and having the installer walk away from the job feeling like a shining star.
Direct Security Supply will continue to provide locksmiths and security hardware installers with all the necessary products and services to get the job done right the first time.  As one of the largest national wholesale distributors of access control and architectural hardware, our commitment to quality is second to none.

Have you added new “categories” or services over the last 5 – 10 years? If so, what directions have you taken and will you continue to take?
Serving both domestic and international markets, Direct Security brings a fresh and innovative approach to the industry. We are committed to our customers and will not compete with them, but will only compliment them. Our goal is to exceed the expectations of every customer by offering outstanding customer service, increased flexibility and greater value.

Has there been a purchasing change by the locksmith? What types of products are different?
There has been an overwhelming demand for access control products. Direct Security Supply has not only kept pace, but has outpaced the requirements of our customers.

What separates your distribution organization from your competitors?
Direct Security Supply’s service personnel are far from mere order takers; they are order creators. With a full working knowledge of electronics and electronic components as well as licensed low voltage electricians on staff, our ability to perform is exceptional. Technical support and customer service sets us apart. We’re committed to providing unparalleled customer service.

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