Distributor Profiles: Akron Hardware, CLARK Security, Doyle Security & Turn 10 Wholesale

As part of our annual Know Your Distributor coverage, Locksmith Ledger sent a brief questionnaire to a number of locksmith distributors. The common thread was that while door hardware business remains steady, growth is coming from the electronics sector.

Akron Hardware reports that standalone access control locks, latch retraction exit devices, electrically controlled mechanical cylindrical locks, mortise locks, exit device trim and low energy door operator sales are all on the increase.

CLARK Security agrees, saying more significant growth opportunities are in electronic security solutions, ranging from standalone proprietary to fully networked systems.

Due to the shift to electronic locks and systems, Doyle Security Products has invested in the future by employing an electronics specialist to answer technical questions and attend to the sophisticated needs of this market.

Our fourth distributor participant, Turn 10 Wholesale, specializes in safes and is reporting record safe sales, particularly in the residential and gun safe market sectors. We thank Akron Hardware, CLARK Security and Doyle Security and Turn 10 Wholesale for their thoughtful answers.

 

Have you noticed any significant changes during the last ten years in the types of products which locksmiths purchase?

AKRON HARDWARE: Locksmiths have been consistently increasing their purchases of standalone access control locks over the last several years. Also included in this trend are latch retraction exit devices, electrically controlled mechanical cylindrical locks, mortise locks, and exit device trim. Low energy door operators sales have increased as well.

Obviously there appears to be a pattern toward electrified products, but we have also found that Locksmiths have been trending away from product categories such as maglocks significantly, and electric strikes somewhat. On the mechanical side the trends have shown an increase in premium hydraulic door closers and Grade 2 cylindrical lever locksets.

CLARK SECURITY: Door hardware has far-reaching applications and can be integrated into any existing security system. For these reasons, it remains an important part of physical security and our product offering.

The more significant growth opportunities are in electronic security solutions. CLARK is continuously expanding its access control product offering—from standalone proprietary to fully networked systems. CLARK’s partnership with Anixter has given it unparalleled access to security products. With a nationwide and global distribution network at its disposal, CLARK has access to thousands of advanced security products and cabling infrastructure to support security systems.

Recognizing that access control products and solutions require different levels of technical expertise to implement, CLARK leverages Anixter’s infrastructure and capabilities to offer classes and specialized services that support our state-of-the-art product offering. We believe this unique blend will help locksmiths stay competitive in the ever-evolving security market.

DOYLE SECURITY: We have seen the shift to electronic locks and systems, and have invested in the future by employing an Electronics Specialist to answer technical questions and attend to the sophisticated needs of this market.

 

Does your company offer value-added services in order to better support your locksmith customer base? If so, can you explain?

CLARK SECURITY: CLARK offers a suite of customized services that enable our customers to build reliability, quality, and performance into their business. Providing best-in-class service to our customers means they can provide best-in-class service to theirs. We help customers drive new business development and sell broader and deeper into their existing customers. And we host educational events for locksmiths to develop their security knowledge and expand their business offerings. Our annual Management Conference event helps business owners address all aspects of running a business, not just the products they sell.

CLARK’s suite of services helps locksmiths run an effective business:

  • Strategic partnerships with industry-leading manufacturers
  • Best-in-class customer service support
  • One of the largest inventories of access control solutions and door locking hardware
  • Timely delivery to meet your schedule
  • The expertise to help you address all of your security needs
  • Industry-leading educational offerings
  • Online ordering and payment options
  • Flexible financial solutions to improve cash flow
  • Specialized services to navigate advanced electronic security solutions, including our CLARK Systems Desk

DOYLE SECURITY: Our training and technical assistance is second to none and is offered monthly at Doyle University classes leading up to the educational weekend and trade show the third week every September. We offer Online Ordering 24/7 which provides customers with live inventory quantities and current pricing. The site shows detailed pictures and is ‘smart phone’ friendly to aid locksmiths in the field.

 

What qualities does your company have which helps to set your company apart from the competition?

CLARK SECURITY: CLARK is committed to our partners, from customers to suppliers to employees. We promote education and offer resources that enable our partners to adapt to new demands and take advantage of growth opportunities. We continuously invest in innovative solutions that increase the ease of doing business with CLARK. We believe that our success relies on building collaboration between our stakeholders. Together, we can meet the diverse and ever-changing needs of physical security, make the world safer by protecting people and their property, and advance the collective growth of the industry.

DOYLE SECURITY: We currently have four outside and eight inside sales people dedicated to serving customers. The inside sales staff’s experience is truly the benchmark of the industry. Most of them are near 10 years in the industry with two of them having over 30 years and even one with over 55 years’ experience! Our 98 percent fill rate on stocked items lets customers rely on us for fast same day delivery. The sales staff takes pride in finding special order product for unique applications that are not readily available and get them into the customer’s hands quickly.

 

Is your company a full-line distributor of any product lines? If so, can you mention the product lines you fully stock?

CLARK SECURITY: CLARK stocks over 200 suppliers to support a wide variety of product needs.

DOYLE SECURITY: Our product lines number a total of 108 which include the full families of ASSA ABLOY, Ingersoll Rand, along with Kaba Ilco, Kaba Access, Kaba Mas, Amsec, CompX, Strattec, Alarm Lock., and Master Lock along with many others.

 

Safe Sales Way Up At Turn 10 Wholesale

Safe sales have increased by as much as 30 to 50 percent for many of our safe dealers in January & February 2013. This is a hot growing business niche, spurred by impending gun control laws and recent shootings and related TV news coverage.

Guns and ammo continue to sell at record levels. Gun safes are in high demand to protect more guns, ammo, and valuables at home.

So how can locksmith position themselves to sell more safes locally and make more money? Here are some tips from Turn 10’s Andrew Miller.

  1. First, only display and sell quality safes. Don’t try to compete against the Big Box Stores. You will never beat them on price. Instead, display and sell higher quality safes than these mass market retailers.
  2. Second, choose a Quality Safe Manufacturer that helps support you and excludes sales via the Big Box stores.
  3. Third, People will buy Quality vs. Price on certain products. I like the phrase that one of my former Safe Reps hit me with years ago. “Safes are like parachutes. When you need one, you don’t want it to be cheap quality.” It is a great store banner I offer to safe dealers to promote quality.

 

What should Dealers do to sell more safes in 2013? Dealers with a Showroom or Shop must:

  • Display SEVERAL SAFES on the floor. Everyone like choices to see and touch just like car shopping. Have a selection to choose from – good, better and best.
  • Price each safe with the Retail and Sale Price (shows a fair selling price)
  • Let walk-in customers see, touch, and preview pricing
    • Ask customers if they have seen safes elsewhere and get them talking.
    •  Explain that Big Box stores sell low quality safes. 
    • Demonstrate that your safes are “BEEFY” for added security.
  • Offer option of cash & pick-up or full service delivery
  • Have your service techs hand out safe flyers during service calls and personally invite customers to see your safes at the shop.

Mobile Dealers must:

Advise on all service calls that you sell Quality Safes.

  • Bring a Safe Catalog that customers can look over while doing service work and a single sheet with a list of safes and price with a Retail & Sale Price
  • Source delivery: help arrange and quote it separately.
  • Keep a smaller safe in your van for add-on sales while doing service work. Show them that it fits in the van and is perfect for securing medications & small items.

Safe Dealers can develop an extra profit center in 2013 by getting the word out that you handle Quality Safes. Remember: your customers trust you for your present security job and are open for your recommendations and will buy….if asked.

 

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