Problem Solver: “Try Me” Programs Help Institutional Locksmiths Make Real-World Product Decisions

You’ve listened intently during the product presentation by your integrator, who even brought out the product specialist from the manufacturer. Everything they have said makes sense BUT this new electronic door hardware – be it lock, exit device, closer or other – is a big departure from what you’ve been historically using. You know you need to upgrade your facility, but change can be worrisome. Wouldn’t it be nice to try out the product for awhile before committing to changing over your entire facility?

In many cases, all you have to do is ask. Here’s a real life example.

Hotel-style locks, installed in many military barracks, have not been holding up on bases. Military maintenance managers are now strongly considering commercial locking solutions as the ideal replacement since they are more secure and durable and are especially easy to program and install on retrofit applications.

In one specific case, a Navy base had predominantly hotel-style locks throughout their many barracks. The Facility Maintenance Manager (FMM) responsible for base maintenance and locks programming was frustrated that their six-year old hotel locks at the training barracks were already in need of repair and replacement. He also wanted to upgrade from magnetic stripe cards to proximity. Their integrator suggested commercial programmable standalone locks as a better alternative to address the durability and credential concerns.

They showed the FMM how easy installation and programming was and emphasized that the cost to replace hotel locks was offset by the doors not having to be replaced. He let the manager hold the lock to appreciate how a commercial, ANSI Grade 1 standard lock is more solid and durable than the hotel-style lock and, therefore, better able to handle the traffic and abuse they get in a military housing. Lastly, the integrator offered a “Try Me” program. After the test, the FMM got the approval to not only install these locks on the floor originally being addressed but to implement them throughout the entire building.

Such a trial is a win-win for all. Most importantly, by actually using the product on one of your doors, you will find out that this is or is not what you need. If it is, you can confidently place your order just as the afore-mentioned FMM did. If not, you will find out what’s missing so your integrator and manufacturer can provide you with an even better solution. Down the road, there will be no second guessing.

Institutional locksmiths wanting to “Try Me” on new products typically can simply contact their manufacturer’s local sales office for the nearest authorized integrator.


Cindy Mitchell is director of marketing services, Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies