New Opportunities

Dec. 2, 2020
As traditional products and procedures disappear, new items point to a bright future for every locksmith.

Five years ago, a meeting was held at ALOA on the State of the Industry. A large group of locksmiths gathered at the meeting, and each was given an opportunity to describe how their business was coping. One attendee explained that he had achieved success as an automotive locksmith by using his impressioning skills. Most locksmiths spoke of similar experiences.

When it was my turn, I asked why the ALOA convention floor featured little or no electronic security items. An ALOA representative replied that manufacturers weren’t bringing electronics to a locksmith convention.

It is now five years later. The average vehicle on the road is 11 years old. Few vehicles made in the past 11 years have an ignition lock to impression. Successful automotive locksmiths have dropped their files and added electronic tools to program remotes for the average car on the road. Most newer vehicles have one lock cylinder, usable only for entering the car when electric door locks fail.   As vehicle laser locks become replaced by push-button starters, new lock-picking products have changed to concentrate on picking residential locks.

Residential security also has taken a turn away from mechanical systems. A few months ago, one of our neighbors had some serious damage done to their landscape decorations. A nearby neighbor had a camera system and caught the culprits in action. The police apprehended the young pranksters, who had to pay $2,000 for their mayhem.

What this shows is that security is changing from prevention to detection. Millions of residents have installed doorbell systems that contain cameras. Doorbell videos only show what happened for later viewing. If detection is what the public wants, it’s time for locksmiths to enter into the video arena.

Most of the announcements of new products arriving at my desk feature electronic items. As opposed to five years ago, manufacturers now see locksmiths as a possible sale for their electronic security products. During this COVID era, people are staying home and becoming more interested in security products for their home. Commercial customers seek to allay customer fears by installing breathing barriers, temperature readers and apps that indicate when people aren’t maintaining proper distancing.

Opportunities abound wherever you look. Dozens of prevention and detection products are in demand by the public. As traditional products and procedures disappear, new items point to a bright future for every locksmith.