News and People, October 2020

Oct. 2, 2020

BEST at 100: One Man’s Vision Changed How Security is Experienced

It isn’t often that innovation withstands the test of 100 years’ time (and counting). However, the way the world views and experiences security proves that one innovation from one man has done just that. The innovation? The BEST small-format interchangeable core (SFIC).

Frank Best was a grade-school, high-school and university instructor in the Seattle area in the early 1900s. In 1912, during his tenure as head of a high-school industrial arts department, he carried a key ring that had 100 keys on it — one for every door on campus. Whenever a key was lost, he had to rekey the entire lock.

Best resolved to create a lock that would maintain security and provide the convenience of a one-key system. By 1920, he accomplished his mission and wound up transforming the lock industry. His solution has become the foundation of today’s approach to masterkeying.

Surprisingly, the SFIC wasn’t well-received initially. One manufacturer told Best that there never would be a market for his product, because it was too complex and intricate to manufacture.

But Best believed in the idea. Undeterred, he formed Best Universal Co. to build the necessary machines to manufacture SFICs. The machines were so advanced that they were used until the mid-80s.

Best moved his company to Indianapolis in 1938 and continued to develop associated commercial and architectural primary hardware components, such as locksets, padlocks, specialty locks and accessories. The company eventually transitioned from BEST Locks to BEST Access Systems to better represent its product spectrum, which now included electronic and electromechanical locks as well as traditional mechanical locks and keys. It was during this time that BEST also brought its locking systems into mainstream use for military barracks, hospitals, schools and other operations. In the early 2000s, BEST became part of Stanley Security Solutions, while retaining its brand identity.

“When we think about the BEST brand legacy, words like ‘innovation,’ ‘original thinking,’ ‘quality’ and ‘ingenuity’ come to mind,” says Alex Housten, COO of dormakaba Americas. “The brand has never strayed from its original values and from its commitment to truly understand the needs of the marketplace and exceed them. BEST joined the dormakaba group in 2017. We continue to evolve the brand by integrating new technologies into the figure-eight core that is the mainstay of the access industry.”

That innovation, born from a commitment to find the best possible solution, remains part of the DNA at BEST. From production to manufacturing to installation and service, the BEST brand advances the design and development of the next generation of security products — ones certain to transform how the world thinks about security, just as the interchangeable core did a century ago.

Security Pro Supply New Brand for H.L. Flake Group

The SPS portfolio of companies, including H.L. Flake Security Hardware, International Key Supply, McDonald Dash Locksmith Supply and H.E. Mitchell, announced that Security Pro Supply will be used as a parent brand for the combined businesses. SPS has one of the largest independent security hardware distribution portfolios in the United States, serving locksmiths and other security professionals.

As the leading full-line distributor of supplies to the security professional community for more than 108 years, along with actively providing education and training to the trade, SPS wants to establish a common brand for marketing.

“While the existing company names will continue to live on, associating them together under the SPS parent brand will allow us to clearly communicate our unified  mission to our customers,” says Travis Howell, marketing manager. “Our marketing channels, such as trade shows, education events, YouTube content and print catalogs, will be branded Security Pro Supply.” As previously reported, the companies are integrating back-end systems to work seamlessly in supporting their security professional locksmith customers, offering more than 45,000 stocked items shipping from five locations serving North America and customers worldwide.

Mul-T-Lock Academy Up and Running

Mul-T-Lock has announced its Mul-T-Lock Academy online training schedule through September 2020. Mul-T-Lock, a part of ASSA ABLOY, is a worldwide leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing high-security products and access control solutions for residential, commercial and institutional markets.

Classes at Mul-T-Lock Academy, which began in July 2020, provide a variety of solutions for electromechanical and mechanical products. Sessions typically are 30–60 minutes in length, and most are taught by industry professionals who specialize in Mul-T-Lock products.

Some of the courses include:

Introduction to SMARTair

SMARTair access control solutions are easy to use and fully adaptable for office buildings, residential properties, health-care facilities and schools. In this class, Mul-T-Lock will cover all product options and discuss features and the operation of this locking product.

Master Key Concepts

In this class, design methods used to create masterkey systems will be explored, along with some unique and simple solutions available through Mul-T-Lock keying systems. Upon completion of this course, you’ll understand our process and methods in creating masterkey systems and be able to read and understand Mul-T-Lock masterkey-system keying and pinning charts.

Introduction to Mul-T-Lock Products

This training class will provide an overview of Mul-T-Lock’s product line and offer solutions for residential and commercial markets.

Technical Introduction to Mul-T-Lock Key Platforms

In this class, patented platforms, AntiBacterial keys and the basics of the Mul-T-Lock telescopic pin tumblers will be covered. We’ll teach you about our patented platforms: MT5+, Interactive+ and ClassicPro and their built-in security features.

Other training classes are offered, and the training is expected to be ongoing. Find all upcoming virtual trainings from Mul-T-Lock Academy at and clicking on Mul-T-Lock Academy below the large main banner.

New IDN Print Catalog

IDN-H. Hoffman, a distributor of door hardware and security-related products, announced the release of the Version 89 Product Catalog.

More than 300 new products were added to the catalog, including electronic deadlatches, access control products and accessories, padlocks, maglocks, wave-to-open switches, mechanical locks, foot pulls, arm pulls, push-button locks, exit devices, cylinders, automotive transponders and fobs, and door closers. In addition, new cross-reference guides and additional resource guides are included. The most current information also can be found online at

IDN-H. Hoffman is part of the International Distribution Network (IDN), which provides security products, access control solutions and related services to security professionals through its six regional business hubs located in North America. Through a wholesale distribution network of more than 50 locations, IDN provides customers the strength and buying power of a national organization along with local product availability and personal, customized service.

NAPCO Security Technologies Inc., announced two additions to its sales staff. Stephen Spinelli is NAPCO senior vice president of sales, for all its corporate divisions – NAPCO Security, Alarm Lock, Marks USA and Continental Access. Troy Bonanno is Metro NY regional sales manager.

Spinelli comes to NAPCO having a long, successful career as a sales driver and leader in security and access companies Nortek Security & Controls and IEI, as well as considerable experience in distribution. 

“We are pleased to welcome Stephen onboard, and look forward to working with him to help shape NAPCO’s future and today’s dynamic security space,” says Jorge Hevia, chief of marketing.

Spinelli will be responsible for all NAPCO Security Technologies’ division sales, distribution-channel partnerships, key accounts and dealer relationship programs, working closely with his complementary sales teams and each division’s executive sales management: Dave Sheffey and Duane Warehime for NAPCO and StarLink Security & Communications, Bill Sporre for Alarm Lock and Marks USA Locking Solutions and Scott Schramme for Continental Access.

Based in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area, Spinelli's background includes 25 years of security-dedicated experience and a B.S. in Business Management & Marketing from Plymouth State University.

Bonanno joins NAPCO’s sales team, having years of security-industry experience, most recently in channel sales/distribution. He will provide sales support, product introductions and applications solution assistance on NAPCO’s communications, intrusion and commercial fire-security systems and connected-home solutions.

Spinelli can be reached at [email protected], 631-626-2952 or at NAPCO, 800-645-9445. Bonanno can be reached at [email protected] or 631-987-4659.

The Ilco Solitaire 800/850/900/950 Series locks and associated software, which were discontinued in 2013 by Kaba Ilco, now dormakaba Canada, will become unresponsive and cease operation Nov. 24, 2021, at 8:00 p.m. local time. dormakaba has several replacement options with up-to-date offerings available. Learn more by contacting Customer Service at or 800-849-8324.