On The Road Again

May 15, 2019

Willie Nelson wrote a memorable song called "On the Road Again" about his travels as a musician. This same title could be used by people involved in the hardware industry. As Spring and Summer approach, hardware conventions suddenly appear like dandelions in your lawn.

From the perspective of Locksmith Ledger, one of the most interesting events of the year is called an Industry Advancement Summit sponsored by Security Hardware Distributors Association (SHDA). SHDA was just held May 6 to May 10. SHDA has just celebrated their 49th year. During this one-time event each year, distributors drop their normal competitiveness and collectively learn new methods to better serve their customers.

In addition to business education among distributors, a long list of manufacturers are also invited to each SHDA summit. This is where it becomes really interesting. Over a three-day time frame, manufacturers set up 25-minute appointments with distributors to showcase their latest new products. SHDA has been kind enough over the years to allow Locksmith Ledger to also schedule half hour appointments with manufacturers so we too can get a glimpse of every new development for locksmiths.

Each year we use SHDA to reflect trends in our industry. As someone who has attended SHDA since the early '90s, I cannot help but notice the disappearance of tools on display such as lock picks or car opening tools. Manufacturer emphasis has definitely changed towards upgrading to new and better products instead of ways to service existing products. Words such as impressioning or progression were never mentioned at SHDA summit 49. Instead, manufacturers displayed products which can be used to upgrade security to today's standards.

Mechanical locks have not been overlooked. One new cylindrical lock has a lever which can be pushed inward instead of rotating the lever to open the door. Indicator plates for school classroom locks were on display with indicator lights or display screens. Doors can be easily secured from inside the rooms while the lights or displays show locked or unlocked position of the hardware. HIgh security lock systems have made a resurgence as several companies featured lock cylinders for LFIC, SFIC, knob and mortise cylinders which can all be keyed alike using one keyway. New electronic products were prevalent at almost every meeting. With every company showing somewhat parallel products, depend on your local SHDA distributor for their suggestions.

As expressed every year, Locksmith Ledger is grateful to SHDA for the opportunity to see the dozens of new products on display. During the coming months we will cover every one in the pages of Locksmith Ledger.