LL Notes from the Editor eNL - Jun 15th, 2022
LL Notes from the Editor eNL | View online
June 15, 2022
New Products in a New World

I like this time of year, because this is when Locksmith Ledger turns its focus to new products.

Security, perhaps more than any other industry with the arguable exception of HVAC, tends to evolve slowly. Products that were introduced years ago, sometimes more than a decade ago, continue to serve customers’ demands more than adequately, so why change what isn’t broken? True, but who doesn’t like to see the latest shiny new object?

At ISC West in March and SHDA in April, I got a chance to see and touch some of those objects, and Locksmith Ledger will report on a few of them in its coming August issue. (We’re working on that issue now.) We also saw and heard about far more new products, a few of which could be groundbreaking when they come out … eventually.

Our publishing rule is that for a new product to be mentioned in our August issue, it has to be on the shelves of distributors by Aug. 1 or shortly thereafter.

That makes a lot of sense. It’s fun to tease readers with announcements of what’s to come — to break news, if you will — but it’s more helpful to talk about products security pros can put their hands on, as well as put into the buildings of their customers, right away.

Although the overwhelming number of manufacturers visited during the spring had new products to show, just as many weren’t sure whether the said shiny new objects would arrive as originally anticipated. Even products that were shown in Las Vegas in March and were expected to be out by now are a coin toss as to whether they’ll be out in time for the new-products issue in August.

You know why. It’s the same reason several manufacturers didn’t have anything new to show in the first place and why some jobs have been forced to implement a change in equipment used or delayed altogether.

The supply-chain issues that sprung up as a result of COVID lockdowns and the ongoing pandemic have continued to stymie production as well as development and innovation. Backups have become common and, in some cases, lengthy. Product materials and computing semiconductors continue to show shortages, which naturally result in higher prices.

For many companies, the message was simple: We’re going to take care of the business we can. Why bother developing something new when we’re having trouble delivering the products we already have in the catalog?

Of course, those companies are at risk of falling behind the innovation curve, because even if the world of security tends to turn slowly, it still turns. Eventually, someone else will build a better mortise jig or touchless actuator, and then companies are playing a different kind of catch-up.

The good news is there are a lot of cool new products coming — products that will help with sales and products that will help with installation — just perhaps a little later than expected in some cases. The constant is that Locksmith Ledger will tell you about them as soon as we can.

— Will Christensen


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