Locksmithing is viewed differently depending on where you are in the world. Locksmiths in Great Britain are often called ironmongers. They can be more closely compared to builders hardware companies in the USA. Ironmongers are involved in selling hardware for new construction. A similar system exists in Finland. There is a close relationship between Finnish locksmiths and Abloy. Locksmith businesses that I visited in Finland had huge inventories of blue boxes containing Abloy products. When somebody in Finland wants an Abloy product, a locksmith store is the place to go.
Somehow locksmithing developed along a different path in the North America. Types of businesses are sometimes described as being in channels. For many years channels in the hardware field were easily defined. Lock manufacturers sold to the distributor channel and to the builders hardware channel. Builders hardware companies sold to the new construction field and distributors sold to retail dealers. Locksmiths, along with hardware stores, were considered retail dealers.
Locksmithing in North America developed to fill the roll of problem solvers. While It was impossible to compete with a builders hardware company's price structure, locksmiths found their calling by repairing and replacing locks in the aftermarket arena. We have become the industry that customers come to when they have a hardware problem or failure. The basic mission of Locksmith Ledger every month is to furnish information which provides some answers for every possible hardware problem.
During the last week Locksmith Ledger has received several identical E-mails. The E-mails describe how a thief can punch a small hole directly under a car door handle. The thief can then apparently operate the tailpiece cam to gain entrance to the vehicle. Very little damage is visible. If car owners normally unlock their vehicle electronically, they may never know of the break-in. The E-mail information was conveyed to a car-opening expert, Steve Young, for his assessment. After deliberation, everyone at Locksmith Ledger has agreed that no real solution is currently available. Any body shop can fill the hole and repaint the door, but the same security flaw will remain.
Somebody in the locksmith industry has always stepped forward whenever a hardware problem exists. Distributor catalogs are filled with tools and products designed by locksmiths for locksmiths. Millions of vehicles are made each year and most of them are susceptible to this easy break-in. Put your thinking cap on, invent a new product, and add one more solution to our locksmith arsenal.