Opportunity for Locksmiths
How will all this impact the security industry? These changes have enabled a new generation of Do-It-Yourself for consumers in their homes. However, not everyone wants DIY, especially in the commercial sector. Our impression is that the key to future success will be bringing value to the end user by understanding their specific needs and leveraging these new abilities to serve those needs. Instead of a siloed market based on vendor and product relationships, solutions may become massively end user oriented with components coming from a broad variety of sources, not just security industry vendors. Those closest to the customer, such as locksmiths, may be in the best position to leverage these new abilities.
Tony Hokanson, President of Bloomington Security Solutions in Bloomington, Minnesota, said in an interview for this article, the idea of locksmiths as the front line of IoT in the security industry is an interesting one. His view is that there are likely only a few locksmiths in each market progressive enough to adopt the approach today. However, he sees the opportunity for them to do so as very real. “Every locksmith has access to the decision makers.”, Hokanson said. “Our solutions are becoming more and more automated. It’s definitely a gateway to discuss IoT.” Multifamily is one of the markets they serve. He added, “We’re seeing what people are actively looking for is really in the IoT space. This has expanded to include light switches, thermostats, etc. I see the features of access control expanding with the use of things like smart keys and data on card.”
Chad Lingafelt, Managing Partner at Loc-Doc Security in Charlotte, North Carolina, regarding locksmiths as the front line of IoT in the security industry said “I don’t think locksmiths are embracing it as a majority. There are separate cloud systems, electronics and web services. But a small portion of locksmiths are using and applying them. I do believe there are huge opportunities in this space for those that want to pursue it.”
Mark Kenniston, General Manager of Beishir Lock & Security, St. Louis, Missouri replied to the question with “It depends on the locksmith. It comes down to the expertise you have as a company. We see IoT as a huge piece for our business – everything from commercial security, access control, and video surveillance to home automation.”
We asked how often the locksmiths are installing intelligent locksets. The consensus was that it was still a lower portion of the secured openings but rapidly becoming a larger portion, especially for larger installations and in multifamily environments. One comment was “We see more traction when we talk about intelligent locksets. People keep asking if they can control it from their phone. It seems like developers usually go with what they are familiar with, but we’re seeing more of them asking us for what is best for the situation. People seem to have had low expectations in the commercial market on what can actually be done, but as these systems become more and more prevalent in residential, they are increasingly looking for it in their commercial environments. They seem pleasantly surprised when they find out we have cloud solutions. It’s important for locksmiths to embrace IoT because it’s a way to add value for their customers.”