LL Notes from the Editor eNL - Aug 16th, 2023
LL Notes from the Editor eNL | View online
August 16, 2023
State of the Industry Time!

Yes, it is that time again here at Locksmith Ledger as we prepare to send out our State of the Industry survey to the locksmith community soon to get their feedback on several key topics around their business, including market and product areas that locksmiths are seeing the most growth. The report also looks at where locksmiths buy their products, what they look for in a distributor, and what factors are most important to them, beyond price, of course. What I really like about the survey is we pick locksmiths’ brains, no pun intended, on what technologies and trends they feel are most relevant to them.

With COVID somewhat in our rearview mirror, and supply chain issues beginning to ease a bit this year – although this is one topic that won’t go away completely on the manufacturer and distributor side – this year’s state of the industry is also focusing on how much the workplace has changed, with more hybrid work environments becoming the norm, and many more employees working from home full-time.

So, we will look at what this workplace paradigm shift means for locksmiths, business-wise, and how this has affected their ability to hire, train and retain good people, one of the top issues we have been hearing from the entire security team here at Endeavor Business Media, including Locksmith Ledger’s sister publications, Security Business and Security Technology Executive magazines, and Securityinfowatch.com. While I have only been on the Locksmith Ledger team for about seven months, the need to find and retain talent has been a recurring theme throughout my seven years covering security from the perspectives of so many different security professionals.

Which brings me to my next question: Where are tomorrow’s locksmiths coming from and what will they look like in terms of skills and abilities? And how will this next generation influence and change the locksmith industry? For example, in the September issue that we just wrapped up and will be in your mailboxes shortly, I spoke with locksmiths about that very topic. They noted that the pivot to electronic access control is creating more opportunities for locksmiths who have traditionally just focused on the mechanical side of the business.

“If the locksmith doesn't come out of just doing mechanical work and go into electronic access within the next 10 years, their business is going to be really affected in a negative way because keys are important, but a lot of people are turning away from keys,” says John Nolan, owner of Reliant Security, based in Grand Junction, Colo. “The mechanical locksmith is always going to be there, but ultimately when we talk about electronic access, it's anywhere from someone putting a real simple electronic deadbolt on their house to putting electronics on access to every single door inside of a building.”

With the shift to electronic access in full swing, it will be interesting to see this year’s State of the Industry findings, and to provide analysis and a roundtable discussion, all of which will appear in the November issue of Locksmith Ledger.


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