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Right now our Through the Wall safe is a very hot item and can't be found anywhere else. It's like a night depository item; we originally developed the PRO- 2225 model for internal drop offs for schools, utility companies, etc. These are for situations where you don't need high security on the box all day. The actual chute is 2 ½” wide which is typically way too big for any type of real security. They needed a means to drop off large documents along with large cash bag deposits. They were going into a central office but didn't want them to have to enter the office. People started to realize they could use these for other applications but the opening and the unit was too big. We scaled it down and now offer the PRO-903 model, used for dropping small envelope cash deposits. We narrowed the opening to 3/8” but it's still interim security.
Where is the security lacking in these safes?
Any time there's an opening in a safe, you run the risk of fishing. Once again, I stress that our units are drop boxes. Even with an anti-fish baffle, with enough time and energy, they can be compromised. This is only a means to keep large bills out of the register and keeping the cash register exposure to a minimum.
Many people underestimate their revenue losses from mere cash discrepancies or the large bill exchange scams. Many of our corporate accounts have spent time reviewing their cash handling losses before and after the installation of our drop boxes. We have shown to have a proven track record and have gotten great feedback.
With higher risk situations, we suggest our semi-custom PRO-2225GN. It works similar to a standard night depository where the customer can be confident that his or her deposits are made securely. Again, there was a demand out there for this type of product that was affordable and we were there to fulfill the supply.
What changes have you noticed most in the time you've been associated with Perma-Vault?
I'm kind of overwhelmed by the demand for our product. When I began, I saw it as a simple drop box, no big deal. After years of learning and understanding the product and its uses, I can't believe how many different places and applications there are for it. I was on vacation at Montezuma's Castle and saw our Perma-Vault PRO-30 mounted for donations. Whenever I go into a store, I look to see if there is one and how it's being used. We have a lot of pride in what we do. Of course, we can't just walk into a store and ask to see their drop box. I am sure we would be kindly escorted from the premises, but I always try to take notice of whether they have a drop box on site. If I can see the box, then it's probably in the wrong place. It always amazes me now on how much more perceptive I am about security and cash handling issues when I shop.
How do you begin to solve the problem of plain sight safe installation?
I have personally visited a store where they have the box in plain view to anyone. Not that it can be picked easily, but it shouldn't be visible that way. We brought this to their attention and they built their counters around our suggestions.
How could owners of locksmith businesses work with Perma-Vault and help their customers benefit?
We do run ads each month in your magazine. Very often I call locksmiths to help us service a Perma-Vault somewhere and I find out that after more than 25 years there are still locksmiths who don't know what a Perma-Vault is. Again, this is interim security; there are people who can't afford the big handlers and back room safes that need something to keep their money in.
Are the large end users we mentioned buying these products directly from you?
Yes, we do have direct clients. The competition often makes it tough to work through a distributor and still be competitive. We also find that we need to do the sell on the item because it's hard to convey the right information to the supplier and then get it to the locksmiths. We have worked closely with many clients to design the right product for their requirements. We do have locksmiths who have brought jobs to us and we compensate them for that.
Has the import market contributed to you having to cut out the middleman?
Yes, economically we couldn't get our foot through certain doors because the focus was on price. We realized the distributor is not out there pushing our product the way we would so we've had to do it ourselves. We do contract out the installation of the product to locksmiths and they are well compensated since there's lots of time involved in the jobs with hotels or universities, for example.