In order to speed up messaging on the internet, people have developed a shorthand system to relay their thoughts. Almost every day at least one e-mail sent to me contains the letters LOL, an acronym usually accepted as a way of saying Laughing Out Loud. One internet site actually shows 89 other definitions for LOL depending on the particular topic of an e-mail message.
Abbreviations are not limited to internet messaging. Surely everyone reading this newsletter has used the abbreviation 'IC core.' 'Interchangeable' is a long word which is much more quickly written as IC and is understood by all locksmiths who read it.
A new abbreviation suddenly appearing in the locksmith field is RMR. An internet site shows 27 different explanations for RMR but the financial explanation of Recurring Monthly Revenue is of most interest. The alarm industry has depended on RMR for many years. Alarm systems are either installed free or at a very low initial cost. Monthly Monitoring fees (RMR) are where the profit is made. In order to get the free alarm system, customers must sign long-term RMR contracts.
Years ago a locksmith friend in Chicago developed an RMR system for large older buildings in the downtown area. Each building owner agreed to bring in several door closers each month for rebuilding at his locksmith shop. The owners brought in door closers whether they needed repair or not. However, over a period of time, all of the door closers in each building would be kept in good repair. It was a wise plan both for owners and for my locksmith friend. My friend was ahead of his time.
Electronic lock operation, especially with cell phones, has now moved the RMR revenue stream into the locksmith arena. Door locks can be monitored and customers can be notified when unlocking occurs. Basically this is a monitoring function and provides the possibility of monthly monitoring charges (RMR).
Most of the currently available electronic lock systems require a third party to monitor the lock system. In addition, the third party can offer additional cell phone options such as remotely setting thermostat temperatures, closing blinds and turning on lights. In some instances a locksmith is able to sell and install these new electronic locks but must then turn the customer over to the third party who controls the RMR profits.
Locksmith Ledger will follow this situation in coming months and report on those companies having electronic products which offer a more profitable program for locksmiths.