Editor’s Note: In a recent e-newsletter, Locksmith Ledger editor-in-chief Gale Johnson asked if the title ‘locksmith’ needs to be updated to “security technician.” Following are some of the responses. To sign up for the Notes from the Editor monthly e-newsletter and other Ledger e-newsletters, visit www.locksmithledger.com.
Thank you for your recent article regarding the evolving role of the locksmith technician and the public’s perception of it. This topic is relevant to our company’s developments over the years. I will share some comments about this, for what it’s worth.
We have been operating continuously for 73 years in our city, population over 5 million in the greater area. It has been with pride that we position ourselves as leaders in our market, in terms of professionalism and forward-thinking practices.
Approximately 20 years ago, we resolved to aggressively transition into the integration of mechanical and electronic security solutions.
It was after several years of debatable success that we came to terms with the fact that most target opportunities were not available to us, a service company that promoted itself expressly as a locksmith company. Our trading name for the first 60 years of operation was ABC Locksmiths. It was evident that facility managers did not perceive a “locksmith” company to be the right source for leading edge of electronic technology. The perception that a locksmith was a great source for mechanical hardware, but nothing more, could not be changed by us regardless of our intensive marketing efforts.
The decision was made to turn our back on the equity we had established in our locksmith name, and become ABC Security Access Systems. The risk was uncertain but our vision for the future demanded this change. We have transitioned into a company that has a 50/50 balance between mechanical and electronic security.
Ironically, we are frustrated by our new electronic market’s reluctance to utilize our company for their traditional locksmith requirements.
The lesson here is that the public perception of the security industry is stubbornly fixed on the perception that the divide between sophisticated electronic systems and architectural grade mechanical hardware solutions cannot be bridged by one provider.
I speak in general terms. We derive great satisfaction from those customers who take advantage of the complete integration package available from ABC; however, the market in general does not easily perceive it. For this reason, we have resurrected our trading name “ABC Locksmiths” for our marketing efforts in mechanical security.
It would be nice if one name did it all, but it has become obvious that we can’t change perception in a short period of time. We refer to this as “the curse of the L word.”
ABC Security Access Systems
Fight for Our Market Share
Having read your recent article, I have to agree for the most part. I'm Past President of OMLA (Oklahoma Master Locksmiths Association). It appears many of the younger set are unwilling to forgo the income that can be earned on a given Saturday plus the expense of feeding and rooming a family for a weekend, so many shows are poorly attended.
Oklahoma was the ninth state licensed for locksmiths, since then a few more have been added. Most of the States are not licensed and the locksmiths will find themselves on the outside looking in when most locking mechanisms are electro-mechanical and only licensed Alarm (Security Technicians) will be able to install them. The locksmiths will be lucky if they get to re-pin a Kwikset or Schlage lockset on someone's home.
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