Know Your Distributor: Lockmasters, Inc.

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. When...


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Lockmasters, Inc. Today
Most of Lockmasters, Inc. is located in Nicholasville Ky., a suburb of Lexington with a population of about 20,000. Horses are a big business in that area as well as the security industry. As Mark mentioned in his interview, Sargent & Greenleaf and LockNet are both located nearby as well. The main offices of Lockmasters, Inc. are located in what was at one time a large home on several acres of land. This building is known to the employees as the “White House.”

The warehouse, which includes the shipping and receiving departments as well as some of the manufacturing and assembly activities, is located in an industrial park directly behind Lockmasters Security Institute (LSI) about three miles from the White House. This is a relatively new facility that only began operation a few years ago.
In addition to the Nicholasville locations, Lockmasters also has an office located in Pensacola, Fla., that houses the Tech-Train operations. That is where Steve Young and Debbie Bush work. The facility houses a warehouse, video studio and the video editing facilities. All of the Tech-Train® tool sets are assembled here and then shipped to the Nicholasville warehouse. The Tech-Train® DVDs are shot and edited in this facility as well.

In most cases when you call Lockmasters, Inc. to place an order, you will be speaking to a customer service representative who is located in the White House. However, Debbie Bush does double duty at the Tech-Train offices by answering the phones when she’s not assembling tool sets or helping to shoot video.

Eric Rhynard is the customer service manager, and it is his job to see to it that your orders are taken properly and processed correctly. Eric, like most of the people at Lockmasters, has an extensive background in locksmithing that includes nine years as a locksmith and nine years working for Clark Security Products before he came to Lockmasters.

The safe and vault division of Lockmasters, Inc. is headed by Brain Lamb and still accounts for around 50 percent of Lockmasters business. Brian is a CPS, and has over 21 years of experience in the security business. In addition to handling the safe and vault portion of the business, Brian also takes care of the international sales of Lockmasters, Inc. Lockmasters, Inc. has distributors in 14 countries, in addition to all of the business that the Government sales division does with overseas military bases. If you need information on safe, vault or safe deposit locks, it would be hard to find a more knowledgeable group of people to ask than Brian’s staff. In fact, the Safe & Vault Technicians Association, which is now a part of ALOA, was originally started by the safe and vault division of Lockmasters, Inc. and Brian is a member of the SAVTA Hall of Fame.

The Automotive division is headed up by Jeff Cooper who also heads up the PUREAUTO™ seminar program. Jeff has extensive experience in the automotive field as an automotive locksmith and ASE Certified Mechanic and as the owner of an automotive parts store. Before joining Lockmasters, Jeff operated Jeff’s Lock & Key in Atlanta, where he specialized in automotive locksmithing. He has more experience with transponder systems than almost anyone I know. Jeff is still a working locksmith, running Jeff’s Lock & Key in the Nicholasville area on an after hours basis to make sure that he stays in touch with the problems in the field. Jeff and his staff handle all of the automotive tech-support calls that come in, as well as handling sales and marketing. The automotive department at Lockmasters provides free technical support for Lockmasters customers on all of the automotive equipment that they sell, including all of the transponder tools such as the TKO, MVP, T-Code Pro, the NGS etc.

The Government Sales department is headed by Deb Baber who came to Lockmasters six years ago after working for Kaba Mas for 10 years. Her staff includes Kevin Moores and Anne Weinberger, who between them have 36 years of experience at Lockmasters. This team not only handles government sales for Lockmasters, but also takes care of technical support for all of the XO locks that Lockmasters sells. This service alone is one of the reasons that Lockmasters sells so many XO locks.

The warehouse has a staff of six people that are headed up by Scott Said who has been with Lockmasters for over ten years. It’s Scott’s job to make sure that your orders are filled quickly and properly. Well over 90 percent of all orders are shipped the same day that they are received. If you want your order to go out today, you really should call it in before 4:30, but Scott is very proud of the fact that they can usually get a rush order out even if it gets to them as late as 5:00! The final pick-up of the day is around 5:15 Eastern Standard time, so you see that Scott runs a pretty tight operation.

The PUREAUTO™ Seminar Program
The PUREAUTO™ seminar program began in 2000 and has been a tremendous success. If you’ve never been to a PUREAUTO™ seminar weekend, allow me to describe one for you.
The classes begin at 8 a.m. and generally run until 5 p.m. with an hour for lunch and breaks in the mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Each class is limited to about 25 people and most classes have hands-on training as well as lectures. All of the presentations are done with video projectors and each student gets a copy of the complete presentation.

Seven different classes or “tracks” are offered, but not all seven are offered at each event. Attendance is limited to those who have pre-registered, and those who have registered at the door. Pre-registration is highly encouraged due to space and equipment limitations. The costs of the classes vary according to the topic taught and all pricing information is available on the Lockmasters web site.
The topics covered this year include: Domestic Automotive, Motorcycle Key Generation, Introduction to High Security Automotive, Transponders, Automotive Key Generation,
Safe Deposit Box Lock Servicing, and Electronic Safe Lock Servicing. As you can see the PUREAUTO™ seminars are not limited to just automotive topics. Through the years that the program has been in operation it has changed to keep up with the new technology and to satisfy the students needs and desires.

Instructors include Jeff Cooper, Randy Mize, Steve Young, Jeff “Tiny” Trepanier, David Taylor and Ryan Taylor. In addition to the regular instructors, there are usually manufacturer representatives on hand from companies such as Ilco, Framon Manufacturing, Hickok and others.

At the end of each class, each student is given a test and a class evaluation form. The tests are graded later and returned to the students by mail along with any necessary commentary. The evaluation forms are used to evaluate how well the instructors did their jobs and to get feedback from the students regarding the desire for future classes.

The Future of Lockmasters, Inc.
The changes and growth of Lockmasters over the past decade may only be the beginning. Hundreds of new part numbers are being added each year to their inventory and the major focus now is on “consumables” – the items that the average locksmith uses every day. And, with the move to the new facility planned for later this year, things are only looking up.

The Lockmasters web site has been totally revamped. You can now order from Lockmasters 24/7, track your shipments and get technical advice all over the Internet. A wise man once said “Things that don’t change are generally dead,” and Lockmasters is definitely changing!    

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