To Undisclosed C, I realized after typing that most of the below ended up as more of a idea dump than a response to your suggestion so please take it as such.
Thank you for your response. The mullion style you suggested was what I was trying to stay away from. Does it work, yes, but I find the single gang style to be more appealing and easier to work with from an install and replacement perspective.
As for the locking hardware, it depends. On the type of hardware, I agree as I've come across some installs where a $300 lock was installed, but only a $100 lock was needed. If you are referring to manufacturer, I disagree. While most of it works just fine, I find extra value in reputable brands like HES Innovations or one of the others. When servicing access control doors I find the issue to be one of the following, in order of frequency:
1. The user does not have the rights either within the timeframe they tried to access or to the door/area itself.
2. The card site code, card number, or both were not entered correctly.
3. Due to door spacers or people pulling on the door at the same time they swipe, there is too much pressure on the door and the pins in the electric lock hardware cannot release.
4. The power supply blew a fuse, the output board is fried, or there is no power coming into the supply at all.
5. The locking hardware is not functional.
6. The access control panel is not functional (typically the relay).
7. The proximity reader/keypad is not functional
With the exception of the door spacers, the first three are user/admin errors. Moving to #4 and #5, the first hardware to fail from my experience, either is, or controls locking hardware. 9 times out of 10 if it is the locking hardware, it's either because it was not installed correctly, used the wrong lock for the door hardware set, or it's a discount electric lock. Sure I've had popular brands like HES locks fail, but it's either an incorrect installation or its old and worn out for the most part.
Putting in perspective failures and replacements, I have at least 1-5 card readers of different types/sizes in stock. Unless I am working on a proprietary reader system like Keyscan's K-Secure (we had a few early installs of this), I will have something on hand to at least get the customer by until the reader they want comes in.
On the other hand, locking hardware varies greatly door to door in voltage, amps, types, etc., and it would be hard to keep all those types on hand. If I install cheap door hardware, it fails, and I have no stock; it could be a special delivery item I may not see for a week.
Overall where should I try to find my cost savings? In my opinion, it's much easier/less expensive to change out a reader. On top of that, if it's not a common theme of your products, you could have gained reputation points with the customer. You've understood their issue and urgency for repair, completed same day service, and fixed their issue in all of 15 minutes (Excluding of course if you went so cheap on readers that they were lasting 1-2 months before needing replacement). I've run into the same thing with locking hardware and regardless on whether you installed the lock or not, their frustration and anxiety knowing there will be a couple days of downtime will get pushed onto you.
While I do realize my emphasis/belief in quality locking hardware may be a little excessive and I have gotten a little off subject, here's why:
I used to work for a large hospital's security department for approximately 7 years. First as a security officer and later in the planning/development/maintenance of security systems. You will never know the consequences of faulty access control equipment until a patient is coding and staff runs to retrieve the life-saving medication stored in the unit pharmacy, only to find they can't get in because a device has failed.
While this never happended while I was employed there, it could have if we did not periodically test our equipement and/or have the relationship with unit staff we did (as well as stocking all system parts). Yes, the failure could be anywhere on the system, but in my opinion locking hardware and power are the most prevelent. This may not apply to many integrators out there, but coming from a security/life-safety background, it is helpful when system building to try whenever possible to put emergency situations into consideration that go beyond fire alarm system integration and active shooter preparedness.