Thoughts From The ALOA Convention

Sept. 3, 2013
If a customer asks you tomorrow to bid on a wireless access control system or install a school lockdown system, are you ready?

Illinois is billions of dollars in debt. The debt is growing at the rate of $17 million per day.  A primary reason for the expanding debt involves pension plans.  For many years Illinois lawmakers have essentially saved short-term costs by holding down hourly pay rates to government workers while keeping workers happy with the promise of increased worker pension payments upon retirement. 

Illinois lawmakers have basically concentrated on the present with little consideration for what the future may bring. The  same can be said for our locksmith industry. ALOA 2013 has just ended in Baltimore, Maryland. There was certainly an ample amount of displays to see and manufacturers to talk with. Almost every exhibitor had at least one new product on display.  There were new key machines from Keyline, Jet Hardware, Laser Key Products, ITL  and A1, just to name a few.  Squire Locks from the UK had several new resettable combination padlocks. 

CCL displayed a new line of laminated padlocks, plus padlocks and cabinet locks which accept SFIC cores and new sizes of Sesamee combination locks.  Olympus had double 'D' metal punch for installing large diameter cam locks. ETI had a full line of key switch devices and illuminated pushbuttons.  High security lock cylinder from Ingersoll Rand and ASSA ABLOY were center stage.

Not to be outdone, Strattec, Keyless Ride, Advanced Diagnostics and Michael Hyde all had new ideas for the automotive locksmith. Even Nissan and Ford displayed their new small and large vans. One or the other is sure to be just the right vehicle for a locksmith business.

ALOA 2013 did a creditable job of reflecting the past and present state of locksmithing. Mechanical locking systems of some type will always be required. Sales and service of mechanical locking devices and accessories has been our forte for more than 100 years.

While mechanical locking systems will never go away, electronic locking systems are already positioned to work in conjunction with mechanical system or even supplant them for many specialized uses.  Near Field Communication, blue wave, the cloud or home automation are words which were not mentioned at ALOA 2013, at least in conversations I had.  As with the Illinois lawmakers, ALOA 2013 concentrated on the past and present with less regard for the impending future. 

If a customer asks you tomorrow to bid on a wireless access control system or install a school lockdown system, are you ready?   



ALOA 2013

July 13, 2013 - July 20, 2013