Electronic Locksmithing Survey

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


What I find to be successful is to have working displays in the show rooms providing actual demos of the various systems with a large screen display also listing the products and services that we offer. We use the internet and smart phones to show integration of security cameras and access control out in the field when I meet a potential prospect for such services.

 

Evanston Locksmiths, Evanston, IL

Evanston Locksmiths has been in operation since 1927. Services offered are approximately 60 percent commercial, 20 percent residential and 20 percent key cutting and walk-in business.

The company has four service vehicles and two inside locksmiths. All employees are well-rounded, traditional locksmiths. The shop offers opportunities to employees to take seminars in hopes they will develop new interests and skills. It is optional and as yet has not borne fruit. We are a busy shop and are not motivated to broaden our offerings, says General Manager Mike Radom.

Radom describes the service market as urban, with a 15-mile service radius. “It does not pay for us to put in windshield time. We keep inventory in the vans and the trucks have radios so they can roll from job to job rather than return to the shop in between jobs,” he adds.

Products serviced and installed include:

Electronic locking devices: Strikes, magnets and standalones

Video surveillance: No

Alarms: No

High or low energy door operators: No. We are in a mature market where there are established vendors. If we get a call for a door operator, we pass it along to another company in our area who specializes in door operators.

Delayed egress: Occasionally

Access Control Systems: Mostly standalones, and we prefer AlarmLock Trilogy.

Do you service electric locking equipment? Yes, we can address operational problems with locking devices and power supplies, etc.

Do you get calls from integrators and dealers to install just the electric lock for them? Yes, but the trend is they do it all themselves.

Are you licensed for electrical and low voltage work? No

What other licenses are required in your state/region?

Locksmith business license, PERC card for employees.

Note: The Permanent Employee Registration Card (PERC) is currently being used exclusively in Illinois. It acts as a proof for the state that the PERC holder has a clean criminal record. Massage therapists, locksmiths, school bus drivers, private detectives and security guards need a PERC in order to legally perform their job.

Do you know who your AHJ is?

There are several and we contact them when it is necessary. We also have ex-fireman locksmith on the payroll.

Do you commission the access control software and perform network configuration? No.

Have you taken specific product training for access control? Was it beneficial and would you recommend it to others planning to do access control? Yes, from Alarm Lock.

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

Electronics are coming on strong and will take over even more of our industry, probably within the next five years. The demand for electronic locks will continue to grow.

 

Peifer Lock, Memphis, TN

Peifer Lock offers a full line of standard services but specializes in commercial work, according to president Glen Peifer.

The company has a website, www.PeiferLock.com, and nine trucks. Three employees are dedicated primarily electrical but can do standard lockwork as well. Five do safe work and two do automotive. About half are cross-trained, but we are working on cross-training as many as we can, Peifer says.

His service area is 95 percent urban but the service radius is up to 200 miles.

Products serviced and installed include:

Electronic locking devices: Maglocks, strikes and standalone battery-operated locks from Alarm Lock, Kaba, Cyberlock

Video surveillance: Not at this time

Alarms: No

High or low energy door operators: Arrow low energy operators

Delayed egress: Securitron

Access control systems: HID, Flex

Do you get calls from integrators and dealers to install just the electric lock for them? Yes

What licenses do you have/are required in your region? Locksmith licenses are required and we are licensed for electrical and low voltage work.

Do you commission the access control software and perform network configuration? No

Have you taken specific product training for access control? Yes, Kaba, Videx, AlarmLock

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

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