Kaba Restructures Access

By Brian Rhodes, Published Sep 06, 2012, 08:00pm EDT

One of the oldest companies in door security has announced a sweeping reorganization of their electronic access control brands. Is this move smart business, or does it signal the beginning of the end for Kaba's EAC lines? In this note, we look at the situation.

The Kaba Name

In terms of longevity, Kaba is an old and successful company. Originally founded in the mid 1800's, Kaba was one of the first hardware companies to mass produce keyed door locks, and trades in mechanical door security hardware to the present day.

In the mid 1990's, Kaba began building an electronic access control portfolio to keep up with migration to electronic door security, eventually growing to include the Kaba Access Control system, e-Plex and e-Data [link no longer available] brands, and electronic safe Kaba Mas product lines.

Reorganization

The press release announced the restructuring of the brands above, along with mechanical push button/cypherlock brand Simplex into a new group, named "Kaba Access and Data Systems (ADS) Americas. Which will combine the sales, marketing, product management and support functions of Kaba Access Control, e-Data, Kaba Mas, and Kaba's physical access systems under one sales and marketing unit."

After speaking with contacts close to the reorganization, the move has also involved the dismissal of several long time Kaba US sales staff. While attrition in sales staff is not uncommon, the timing of these moves, as they coincide with a major restructuring could signal the company's de-emphasis of Access Control business unit and refocus on other, more profitable offerings.

Market Impact

Regardless of the outcome, the greatest impact of these changes will be in Europe - Kaba's strongest Electronic Access Control markets. However, for US based brands like e-Data and Simplex, this reorganization could signal Kaba's intent to turn away from Electronic Access Control and refocus itself on its door hardware roots.

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