Transitioning Into Electronics

Haddon Locksmith ( owner Jim Sundstrond started working as a locksmith in 1988, back when the job mainly involved cutting keys and installing deadbolts. Today, he estimates that electronics accounts for at least 40 percent of his...

They’re either afraid to dive into it or they’re afraid to spend the money. In automotive programmers alone, I’ve invested at least $30,000 in the past couple of years and that’s not including the inventory. Ten years ago I would never have thought about spending that kind of money on equipment. I realized that if I didn’t do it, my company would die.

What would you tell someone starting out now as a security professional?

I would recommend joining a locksmith association. I belong to three: Greater Philadelphia Locksmith Association (GPLA), South Jersey Locksmith Association (SJLA) and Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) and I am active in two of them. So much is talked about regarding what’s happening in our trade. Making investments in technology and tools without being sure you’ll make money isn’t very wise. So talk to other security professionals and learn about what products they are using and what works. There are too many gadgets out there to waste money on without really knowing what you want and what you’ll be using them for.

Does the locksmith have access to what he needs to succeed these days?

Even the associations are experiencing some rough times now. Enrollment is down and we need to somehow reinvent ourselves (associations). Ten years ago, conventions put on by MLANJ, GPLA and ALOA were strong and heavily attended. You couldn’t go to ALOA unless you’d be there all three days. Now you could do the ALOA convention in a day or so.

Today we can get a lot of information from the internet but our customers also have access to that information. Getting information to members is important and also challenging these days. I’ve been the Education Chairman in two of the associations, because I think education is important.

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