Distributor Q & A

Our locksmith industry today consists of several market segments each of which requires expertise and training. Locksmiths who continue to service all facets of locksmithing soon find that new products and tools are necessary. Regulations, laws and the public desire for the newest innovations are driving locksmithing into new, exciting directions. Many locksmith businesses have made the decision to specialize in areas most profitable according to their local situation. Access control, automotive locksmithing, CCTV, safe work, commercial hardware servicing and even lockouts all require new forms of service techniques and knowhow.

In order to obtain a clearer picture of our industry today, Locksmith Ledger interviewed a few distributors from different parts of the country and who specialize in different product lines. A common denominator was electronics. Whether it is for vehicles, residences or commercial buildings, electronic security appears on almost every new vehicle, is the basis for almost every new lock product introduction, and is the product type most requested by the public. We will look back at this era as the time of upgrading. Most electronic security products are more expensive than their mechanical counterparts and the public is ready to pay the price. Answers to our questionnaire show that distributors are ready with the products and knowledge to make it happen.

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

Access Hardware Supply: Yes, locksmiths have been challenged to offer a lower priced solution for mechanical hardware with the advent of internet buyers.

US Lock: Without question, technology is evolving quickly with both locksmiths and their customers aggressively embracing it. US Lock feels it is important to keep up with industry trends and is debuting products in electronic access control and new technologies in transponder keys and equipment.

Does your company offer value-added services in order to better support your locksmith customer base? Can you explain?

AHS: Access Hardware Supply offers advanced security solutions including electrified locking hardware and access control systems. We support our customers to specify the correct solution for their customer. We have six sales reps in the Western U.S. who also can support customers to survey projects in the field. We also have an iPad app that will assist customers on surveys and even send pictures of the application for a quote. It is available at the iTunes store and is called AHS Door Survey.

US Lock: With dealer programs and web solutions, US Lock goes beyond just providing products and offers services and vast industry knowledge to help our customers succeed. For example, our custom keying service can help facilitate the creation of master key systems and high-security locks for customers that need it.

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

AHS: All of us have similar parts in stock; we believe our people are the key to our continued success. We have identified five core competencies that we use during our hiring process to identify candidates that have these attributes. Each employee is empowered to take care of our customer’s needs and that creates an environment that is customer centric.

US Lock: US Lock offers name brands that many customers are seeking along with many exclusive brand lines that help improve our locksmiths’ bottom line. Additionally, all US Lock customers have a dedicated, knowledgeable account manager. These account managers understand the security market as well as their customer’s business; advising them on product purchases that will help their business to succeed.

Thanks to Access Hardware Supply, www.accesshardware.com, and US Lock, www.uslock.com, for taking the time to answer our questions.

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