Reinventing or Just Renaming Locksmiths?

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Jan 08, 2013

Nothing conjures up images of an old, dusty, and dank trade like the word "Locksmith". While they specialize in a important area, locksmiths have seemingly been left behind in the fast-paced world of 'physical security'. In response, the largest trade organization for the locksmith trade, ALOA, has changed their name. Will this rebranding by the organization establish relevance in the 'new age of security' and energize it's membership? We examine the situation in the note below.

Broader Appeal?

ALOA (Associated Locksmiths of America) has changed its name to 'ALOA Security Professionals', signaling a broadening of the organization and a redefinition of the trade itself. While the organization claims over 12,000 members, the name change is intended to break preconceptions of the locksmith scope and attract new members to its ranks. The ALOA SPAI President states:

"By adding 'Security Professionals' to our name, we expand our view for the future ...and by keeping 'ALOA' in the forefront of our name, we stay grounded in our past and assure that we don't lose the name recognition and reputation that we've built over many years."

The 'new' ALOA claims to be involved in "all facets of locksmithing, including automotive, door hardware, electronic access control, digital video, CCTV, investigative locksmithing, safes, and other areas relating to physical security." Do locksmiths - and ALOA - have room to branch out and take place among today's preeminent security organizations and trades?

The Case For Locksmiths

Any move to adapt locksmithing to the modern IT-driven security marketplace is a positive sign. Frequently, the specification, installation, and maintenance of 'dirty' mechanical door hardware is often neglected or left to generalists like facilities maintenance groups. The complexity and importance of this hardware to facilities security is frequently understated and misunderstood, often resulting in the 'first layer' of security controls having 'the largest vulnerabilities'.

Even when given due-credit, the mechanical hardware industry lacks an unbiased, security-centric voice. Today, selecting critical security hardware is entrusted to specifiers working directly on manufacturer payrolls or by independent consultants heavily incentivized to specify one brand of hardware regardless of suitability.

In this environment, 'ALOA Security Professionals' and locksmiths alike stand to gain ground and influence. Much like integrators, who typically represent multiple product lines and develop facility-custom surveillance systems, locksmiths stand to address the needs of the end-user first, not the sales quotas of the manufacturers. For many customers, this frequently lowers the operational cost of security and enhances systems performance through selection of robust, 'world-best' equipment.

The Challenges Ahead

Simply stated, locksmiths - and even the newly minted ALOA Security Professionals Association - need to do more. Rather than being content eking out a living based on individual service calls in a commodity-priced market, Locksmiths should aggressively embellish their specialized mechanical knowledge of doors and hardware with comprehension of the IT-driven security marketplace.

Making the transition into IP is a long leap for locksmiths - longer than it has been for many analog integrators. The inability or unwillingness to do so is likely to be a significant source of mortality for many (a majority?) within the ALOA ranks, but it is a vital transition the Locksmithing trade must make in order to remain relevant in the security markets, much less gain ground.

Instead of simply existing as a phone number to be called in emergencies, Locksmiths should actively engage in Electronic Access Control (and other high-security projects like safe/vault work) and become proficient designers/installers in those segments. Building from this foundation offers many end-users and even IT-centric integrators an invaluable resource - a distinction that ALOA SPAI, and its member organizations would love to claim.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports on Integrators

Uniview / UNV Favorability Results 2019 on Feb 12, 2019
Uniview / UNV, the self-proclaimed #3 China manufacturer, while starting late, has been working to make inroads internationally. In IPVM's 2019...
Barnes Buchanan 2019: Despite 'Strange Narrative' Great Time To Be In Security on Feb 11, 2019
A "strange narrative" is being spun, said Michael Barnes at the 2019 Barnes Buchanan Conference. However, despite that narrative, it is a "great...
FLIR Favorability Results 2019 on Feb 08, 2019
FLIR has had a challenging past few years including FLIR Security business struggling, FLIR restructuring their security division and FLIR selling...
Sony Favorability Results 2019 on Feb 05, 2019
Sony Favorability amongst integrators improved moderately compared to their 2017 favorability results, with a modest net positive...
Hanwha Techwin Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 31, 2019
Hanwha Techwin's favorability results surged, in IPVM's 2019 study, going from barely neutral in 2016 to strongly net positive, as the results...
Vivotek Favorability Report 2019 on Jan 29, 2019
Taiwanese video surveillance manufacturers, even relatively large ones like Vivotek, have lost ground in the PRC-China-driven race to the bottom....
Genetec Favorability Report 2019 on Jan 25, 2019
Genetec's favorability moderately strengthed, in new IPVM integrator statistics over their results from 2017, with 2019 results showing solid, but...
Bosch Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 23, 2019
Bosch's favorability moderately strengthed, in new IPVM integrator statistics over their results from 2017, with 2019 results showing strong net...
Milestone Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 21, 2019
Milestone's favorability moderately strengthed, in new IPVM integrator statistics over their results from 2016. While the industry has been...
Avigilon Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 15, 2019
Since IPVM's 2017 Avigilon favorability results, the company was acquired by Motorola and has shifted from being an aggressive startup to a more...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Casino Surveillance Pro Interview: James Lathrop on Feb 15, 2019
James Lathrop has been working in casinos for almost 25 years. During that time, he says he has held "just about every job you can do in the...
Hikvision 2018 Revenue Tops $7 Billion USD But Growth Slows To Low on Feb 15, 2019
Hikvision's annual revenue topped $7 billion for the first time in 2018, although growth slowed sharply. In this post, we analyze the latest...
Hanwha Smaller Multi Imager Tested (PNM-9000VQ) on Feb 14, 2019
Hanwha's first repositionable multi imager PNM-9081VQ tested well, but was huge, over 12" wide and weighing in at over 10 pounds. Now, they have...
ADT And 'The Defenders' Silent About Massive Complaints on Feb 14, 2019
ADT's largest dealer, "The Defenders" has been the subject of a massive number of complaints over many years and many forums, most recently a CBS...
Hikvision Chairman Praises United Front on Feb 14, 2019
Hikvision’s controlling shareholder held a meeting last month praising the United Front, a Communist Party organization known for its secretive...
Sales Turnover At Anyvision on Feb 13, 2019
Anyvision raised a $43 million Series A and according to their newest investor: what you need to do is push the gas pedal and build an...
Cisco Meraki Cloud VMS/Cameras Tested on Feb 13, 2019
Cisco Meraki says their cameras "bring Meraki magic to the enterprise video security world". According to Meraki, their magic is their management...
Uniview / UNV Favorability Results 2019 on Feb 12, 2019
Uniview / UNV, the self-proclaimed #3 China manufacturer, while starting late, has been working to make inroads internationally. In IPVM's 2019...
Nortek Mobile Access Reader BluePass Examined on Feb 12, 2019
Nortek's Linear access control division claims to make mobile credentials "more secure and easier to use than ever before" with their BluePass...
Solink Raises $12 Million - Company Profile on Feb 12, 2019
Most industry professionals have never heard of Solink, a company whose tagline is: It's time to revolutionize the way business uses...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact