ABLOY USA Helping Locksmiths Secure Critical Infrastructure

Aug. 2, 2019

ABLOY USA is world-renowned for engineering, design, and innovation in the field of electromechanical locking technology. Throughout a 45-year history operating in the USA, this company has offered locksmiths business-building opportunities to serve end users in high security environments. At the ALOA show this month in Las Vegas, locksmiths will have a chance to learn more about ABLOY USA’s high security solutions and intelligent key systems for telecom, utilities, power generation, rail and other critical infrastructure sectors where, more than ever, the locksmith plays a central role.

 “We want to be a great partner to locksmiths and their distributors, supporting them with access to products and training, especially locksmiths that serve those customers with high security applications across the country,” commented Jerry Burhans, Managing Director for ABLOY USA, which has headquarters in Irving, Texas.

 “We’re researching these market verticals and building our brand visibility with an aggressive marketing effort to bring opportunities to our locksmith partners and their distributors. And to respond to this end user demand, we are forging new relationships with important partners in the locksmith distribution channel to make these products readily available.”

ABLOY USA’s parent company ABLOY OY was founded in Finland in 1907. ABLOY’s unique rotating disc cylinder technology and storied track record of making superior high security products is recognized around the world.

ABLOY USA padlocks and hardware today are found in many critical  locations, such as energy and water utilities, government and military installations, and transportation companies. Abloy solutions are also used in other high-security applications like casino gaming, art museums, and sensitive corporate environments. All told, ABLOY USA is a highly-respected brand wherever security and access control are top priorities.

New Growth Opportunities for Locksmiths

One promising new avenue of opportunity for locksmiths is the critical infrastructure sector in the USA. ABLOY USA is concentrating efforts on developing solutions for telecom, water utilities, power generation and rail companies, where these operators are facing increasing cyber and physical security threats as well as a changing regulatory environment in response. For example, in the wake of threats to vital facilities, government organizations such as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have updated Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) standards to address access control physical security standards for utility operators. It is now imperative for utilities to meet these standards, or they could face steep fines for non-compliance.

“Utility executives understand the electric grid is vulnerable to sabotage or a terrorist attack. They wrestle with finding the newest compliant solutions to control access and keep their facilities safe,” explained Burhans. “They also have a lot of real estate to cover, not only in their main buildings but also their substations spread across county or state lines. With ABLOY products, enterprising locksmiths have the opportunity to service this type of customer.”

Utility installations spread out over a wide area of the country are usually located in remote areas with extremely challenging weather conditions. Burhans explained that the ABLOY Super Weather Proof (SWP) padlock is an example of a locking solution in which the components are extremely well protected to ensure operation in all conditions. It meets IP68 standards, meaning it is fully protected against dust and water ingress. The IP68 designation for these padlocks also indicates a hermetic seal.

“This is the perfect locking solution for energy and telecom networks, the mining industry and utilities where it absolutely has to work in difficult environments,” added Burhans. “It is battle tested to handle the harshest environmental conditions. No amount of heat or cold, nor any moisture such as salt water, dirt, dust and grime, can penetrate it.”

Controlling Security Permissions of a Mobile Workforce

At the center of the ABLOY security products platform is the revolutionary online access control application CLIQTM Connect. Introduced earlier this year, it allows managers of large installations with hundreds or thousands of employees to control the security permissions of a mobile workforce from their smartphones.  Gone is the threat of what happens when keys are lost or stolen, or a contractor needs special access privileges.

“With an intelligent key system matched to an ABLOY Super Weather Proof padlock, it helps these critical infrastructure organizations comply with new physical security standards and federal mandates,” said Burhans. “CLIQ Connect allows user rights to be controlled via the internet. Both keys and locks provide an audit trail, and the critical components are protected for reliable operation in extreme conditions.”

More Support for Locksmiths and Distributors

Tasked with the responsibility to build ABLOY’s security distribution channel in the USA, Burhans indicated more high security and access control products are in the pipeline and being developed with the locksmith in mind. “The innovative new products that will be coming to market in the near future are geared for the locksmith to build on his successes with ABLOY,” said Burhans.

Another support strategy Burhans is employing across the USA is enlisting experienced vertical market managers to engage critical infrastructure end users, security directors and operations executives, and to build demand for ABLOY products and the services of its locksmith partner community.

 “None of our competitors is doing the legwork in the field comparable to ours. We are generating interest in ABLOY solutions, and locksmiths benefit from it,” Burhans says.

And a robust distributor program with training tools, merchandising aids and service support helps ensure this demand is easily fulfilled.

“Our distributor program is getting stronger every day,” continued Burhans. “We are proud to be associated with Doyle, Accredited, Anixter, and others. Having their ‘feet on the street’ is a huge advantage for us. By working with them, locksmiths don’t need to maintain a large inventory of product. They simply need to place an order and deliver the right solution to their critical infrastructure customers.”

Locksmiths attending ALOA will see the entire ABLOY product and technology solutions portfolio waiting for them in booth 117. “We are excited to show locksmiths the paths we are taking to help them grow their business,” sums up Burhans. “There is great opportunity ahead and we are on a mission to strengthen our relationships with locksmiths. There’s never been a better opportunity or a clearer need in the market for what we can offer customers together.”