Electronic Locksmithing Survey

Four cutting-edge locksmiths from various regions agree that electronics work is the key to a profitable future.


Identifying trends in electronic security is part of being a security professional. You may identify trends while you are actually taking part in setting them, since vendors respond to market demand. You may find it beneficial to see what your peers are doing so you can either learn from their mistakes or follow in their footsteps.

Not all locksmiths have embarked on the journey into the electronics age. Some have successful businesses and are able to maintain volume servicing their accounts. It has a lot to do with location. If the population density and ratios of commercial and institutional accounts keep your phone ringing, it’s hard to argue with success.

Traditional locksmithing has certainly gone through its share of changes, but the core skill sets and the art of mechanical locks and locksmithing have remained basically the same.

But the handwriting is on the wall, and our best predictions are that today’s locksmiths will likely have to make some adjustments as customers turn to electronics.

We interviewed four locksmiths hoping to get a feel for what is happening out there on the front lines. We discovered that locksmiths are creative entrepreneurs who honor traditions but are not afraid of the challenge to try something new. And it is all in the name of security for their clients.

 

Neff’s Safe Lock & Security, Lancaster and York, PA

This successful locksmithing firm has two locations and web sites www.lock.com, AskYourLocksmith.com and NeffsSafeLockandSecurity.com. Thanks to Bill Neff, CPP, PSP, CML and president, for taking our survey.

Neff describes his business as a full service physical security company providing service mainly for industrial and commercial customers. Specialties are access control, security cameras, automotive transponders and automotive remotes. The company has seven vans, three employees dedicated to each specialty and three employees who are cross-trained. The service area is a mix of urban, suburban, rural, 60-mile service radius.

Products serviced and installed include:

Electronic locking devices: Rutherford Controls, HES, Securitron, Von Duprin, & Trine

Video surveillance: Bosch, LTS, Pelco, Aiphone & ARM Electronics

Alarms: Honeywell burglar alarms. We do not sell fire alarms.

High energy door operators: LCN

Low energy door operators: Arrow

Delayed egress: Securitron and Von Duprin

Access control systems: Cansec, RS2 & Millenium

Standalone access: Cansec

Do you get calls from integrators and dealers to install just the electric lock for them? No, we refuse to do so.

Are you licensed for electrical work and low voltage? What other licenses are required in your state/region? No licensing is required in my area.

Do you commission the access control software and perform network configuration? Yes

Have you taken specific product training for access control? Yes and I also teach it. Too many to mention.

What trends do you predict with regards to the locksmith profession?

Basic Locksmithing is declining. Electronics and High Security Locks seem to be increasing especially due to the current security challenges that face business, schools and government today. I did a survey in late 2012 and there are presently more than 619 companies just in the USA that provide access control & identity management products.

What trends do you predict with regards to the electric locking technology?

This is a market that seems to be growing at a nice rate. With the advent of the Internet and advances in technology like web browsers, iPads and smart phones, I do not see a slow down but continual growth in the access control sector of the security industry.

Access control & security cameras have been evolving quite rapidly and a lot of legacy systems need to be upgraded to meet customers’ demand. Anytime you can show a customer a good ROI (Return On Investment), it is a win-win for both the customer and the security professional company.

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