Looking In The Rear View Mirror

Jan. 18, 2017

Aaron Fish wrote a Locksmith Ledger article ten years ago in which he described the State of the Industry. Mr. Fish cited three segments where technology was affecting our industry. The three segments were vehicle security, electronic access control and emergence of manufacturers who were directly selling and servicing security products to end users.  His conclusion was that locksmiths must 'evolve' with the times. Mr. Fish stated that locksmiths must either create a specialty niche market in the mechanical security field or be part of the electronic evolution.       

My phone at Locksmith Ledger can be used as an indicator of the present thinking of locksmiths. As example, a locksmith called a few days ago asking how to fit keys to a 1937 Cord auto ignition lock. He knew the lock used a Yale Y52 keyway but did not know the depth or space dimensions.  Fortunately our library contained a Yale code book from the 1930's and the locksmith soon had the required information for originating a Cord ignition key.  Certainly a niche market, according to the Aaron Fish definition. 

Another indicator of locksmith thinking is in E-mails received. One E-mail this week came from a popular Midwest locksmith association.  Their newsletter outlined possible class topics for the coming year.  Topics included lock picking, IC core servicing, Life Safety, motorcycle lock servicing, safe manipulation and mechanical safe lock servicing.  All good class topics but only as long as a profitable demand for those services continues.  Locksmith associations of all types seem to be missing a golden opportunity to introduce new techniques and procedures to their membership which preceding locksmiths never dreamed of.          

Aaron Fish also wrote that his father was once a blacksmith. Blacksmiths evolved into making iron railings as the demand for horseshoes declined. We can still look in the rear view mirror and learn the skills used by locksmiths in the past but the best formula for business success lies in concentrating on security industry changes happening on the road ahead.