Fear and Loathing of Video Surveillance

April 4, 2022

In this issue of Locksmith Ledger, I wrote a story related to the expanding role of video security many of our readers are being confronted with. I spoke with a veteran locksmith, a distributor/systems integrator and a video vendor. The consensus is that adding video security to your business isn’t as scary as one might believe, and it provides the opportunity to extend your reach. So, I want to kick off the conversation with my editorial.

If I were a locksmith, I certainly would want to know how I could incorporate an integrated approach to implementing access control and video surveillance that’s cost-effective and functional for my clients and makes sense for me.

Ted Wilkinson, a director for channel partners and end customers at Axis Communications, says locksmiths shouldn’t equate cost-effective with “cheap” and should look for vendors that can supply systems that can do access control and video surveillance in an integrated way. “Locksmiths should seek a vendor who has the willingness and ability to support them with training and resources for their staff,” he says. “Another option is to consider a third-party provider who can offer a platform and white-label the connected services they need to provide their customers with solutions for the future.”

According to Don Snowden, senior vice president and general manager for global markets, communications and security solutions at Wesco International, you should focus on what matters to your customers, which, in most cases, is convenience and ease of use. “Knowing that convenience is often at odds with security, the locksmith must be capable of explaining the complexities of the solution while achieving the customer’s goal of simplicity,” he says. “Products vary depending on the supplier. For example, some embrace open architecture and integrations while others operate in closed systems. Locksmiths should understand these differences and be able to explain them to the customer.”

Snowden believes that you have an advantage, because most locksmiths already have a broad base of clients in commercial and residential.

“Locksmiths are trusted professionals who handle the safety and security of our businesses, homes, cars and public spaces, so they have a position of influence and trust,” he says. “Adding video security with the key system, door repair and safe-combination changes reduces complexity and even labor costs. By focusing on existing customers, the locksmith can create more value for their clients. This works best with commercial clients.”

Snowden bemoans the fact that many locksmiths are missing opportunities to add a lucrative revenue stream.

“Security is an ecosystem, and you want to be able to provide the whole solution, not just pieces of the puzzle,” he adds. “I see fewer locksmith generalists in the industry in the future and more specialization. I’d recommend locksmiths educate themselves through trade shows, events, trainings and association meetings. The video security market is exploding, and I highly recommend getting involved.”