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I probably do 10 or 15 custom quotes a day for people who call in with certain needs. In many cases we just have to modify something we already make with minor adjustments. Since we do it all in-house, it doesn't take six weeks and doesn't cost 95 percent more for a simple add-on or upgrade.
What are some of the basic variables with regard to Perma-Vault's offering? Types of locks, etc?
Typically we use Medeco locks, but it isn't always economically feasible so we use other locks then. We have also worked around a customer's lock request like ASSA or Star lock. We designed the PRO-1206 model to go through the counter when that need was brought to us. When we needed a dual compartment safe, we designed the PRO-1200 and PRO-1150 models. Our PV-1217 rotary hopper safe is very popular and after doing a little research we realized that some don't have room for it so we developed the front-load version. It's the PVFL-1217 and will be available in the next couple of weeks. We also have the PV1414, a standard security chest that could work nicely in a residential situation.
What else has Perma-Vault come up with to keep up with the ever-changing world we live in?
The PV-1414 model is being used for the storage of high-end mobile phones and GPS units. Lots of mobile phone sales are done out of kiosks so there isn't much room to work with. There are times when people will ask us to make something that simply can't be done and I'll be honest with them about that.
So Perma-Vault is a successful company that expects to be around for a while?
Yes, as Norman said earlier, we've weathered the years of bad economics. We've always pulled through tough times and have customers who are true to us and we're always here for them when they need us.
I'd like locksmiths reading this to come away with another way to increase their bottom line and have something else to offer their customers. Do you see opportunities that the locksmith could take advantage of aside from the large end-users you work with directly?
It would depend on the locksmith's focus, whether it's commercial or residential. When I'm looking for someone to help with warranty work, I have to call several before I find one who will work on a safe. Our products don't need service often but it does come up occasionally. There are so many stores out there that aren't part of a chain who would benefit from having a Perma-Vault. Residentially, we have the In Wall Safe and the In Room Safes work well in homes also. Nursing homes are another great opportunity with medications and the theft that we hear about.
What are the list prices of the high and low end of your products?
The PRO-10 is about $125 and then the most expensive would be the PRO-2225 GN, the goose neck safe which is not even on our website yet. With the electronic lock, it will list for about $1900. There's something here for everybody.
When Norm Bartwink came back, we spoke a little about how the Perma-Vault line can be a part of the locksmith's arsenal of ways to sell more.
“Every time a locksmith makes a commercial call, he or she should take a PRO-20 or a PRO-30 and put it on the table and go about their business. The customer will ask about it and you explain that it goes under your cash register to keep your money in. They will ask how much and then ask if you can install it today,” says Bartwink. “We may not make the most under-counter drop boxes but I'll bet we sell more drop boxes to more people than anyone else.”
Why is that?
NB: It's our business.
TW: We don't get into the real big stuff unless we have to.
NB: Again, it's the niche we're staying in without banging our heads against a wall. Why should we make something that people don't want to buy from us in the first place? Everyone is bringing in their own version of the bigger stuff. It's not rocket science and that's why we travel the country coast to coast listening to what people have to say. Niche products and custom business, that's what we're about.