Looking Into The Crystal Ball

Nov. 16, 2011

Basketball is taking it on the chin these days as owners and managers differ on distribution of wealth.  I have no particular love for basketball. In my opinion you can spend almost the whole game out in the lobby eating hot dogs, then watch the last five minutes of the game and not miss much.   In most other sports, the winning score can come at any time while basketball leads usually go back and forth with the buzzer deciding who wins and loses.   

An interesting point to me is that 300-plus basketball players have banded together to speak as one voice.  In numbers, there is power. If every basketball player had to individually talk to owners about their grievances, the lockout would probably have been settled long ago and the owners would have been the big winners. Perhaps locksmith owners could learn something from basketball.  

A locksmith related a situation to me which proves the point. This locksmith had a customer who was interested in securing over 100 apartment doors in his complex with new electronic hardware. The locksmith approached his local locksmith distributor as to how to proceed. The locksmith distributor enlisted a salesman from a large lock manufacturer.  The locksmith, the distributor and the factory salesman made a sales call to the apartment owner. During the meeting the factory salesman told the apartment owner that he had a factory installation crew which could do the job.  The local locksmith was being smoothly cut out of the transaction as the end user was steered towards doing business directly with the manufacturer.        

Look to any type of service business and you will see what is happening. It is hard to find a shoe repair store or television repair store today. Large companies such as Sears have taken over various service industries such as rug cleaning and auto repair. Individuals in these fields are being forced out of business or their profit margins are being drastically cut.

At the present moment we have no organization which speaks for all of us. Manufacturers recognize this and that is why some of them now have their own installation crews.  That is also one reason why the scammers have taken hold.  What is needed is a council of locksmith business owners who will form a cooperative to develop business on a national scale.  Every existing locksmith association in the country has one dominant theme which is educating the individual.  This is a noble undertaking but not as important as it once was. If we don't soon take a page from basketball players and work together, there will be few people left in our industry to educate.