Reduced man-hours and easier installation are key reasons why dealers and locksmiths are branching o

In 1991, Dennis Vessels, co-owner of ABC Locksmiths in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., ventured into low-end access control. The 11-year-old locksmith company did not make this marketing move as a result of declining sales but out of a desire to mature and prosper in an already thriving business.

“I think any smart business owner has got to expand his or her horizons to meet the needs of the public,” says Vessels.

Today, many dealers and locksmiths are following this same path by exploring the advantages of providing non-integrated access control to their customer base. Low-end access control systems and equipment include self-contained keypads, electromagnetic locks, telephone entry systems, single-door systems and stand-alone devices.

Applications for low-end or non-integrated systems may include manufacturing facilities, schools, universities as well as small office buildings and suites.

It is predicted that by the year 2000, approximately $79 million will be generated through the sale of single-door systems, according to J.P. Freeman and Co.’s “1995 Report on the U.S. Access Control Market.” The report also projects that revenue from telephone entry system sales will reach $59 million by the next millennium.

Stand-Alone Systems Are Not Dependent on Network

Stand-alone units are single-portal, self-contained systems. These systems have the capacity to make access decisions based on user identifiers, authorization levels and other access criteria.

For easy programming, dealers and locksmiths can offer stand-alone keypads. The installer need only program the single microprocessor-based unit by keying in a default maintenance code. Some models vary in terms of passcode storage.

Dealers, Locksmiths Foresee Potential Growth

“Access control is something we’ve been dabbling with for the past six years,” says Vessels. Since making the transition, ABC Locksmiths has been able to expand its client base, which ranges from providing access control for a community swimming pool to installing systems in several health club branches.

No-Fuss Wiring Makes Low-End Installation a Snap

Curt Stetter, president of ParkPro in Phoenix, Ariz., says doing a low-end access control installation is less complicated than installing a networked system. For instance, a stand-alone system is not beholden to a centralized CPU; thus, it doesn’t need all the wires that connect each controller to a CPU.

“It’s much simpler because you’re not dealing with linking all the devices together,” says Stetter.

Non-Integrated Access Requires Minimal Training Although not everyone is qualified to install these types of systems, professionals within the security field can take comfort in the minimal amount of training required for low-end access control.

Technological Advancements Lead to New Applications

Part of the reason more security professionals are leaning toward low-end access control is due to vast improvements in the technology. Access control equipment has become more user friendly for both the installer and the client.

Stetter believes that if the products on the market continue to improve in quality and efficiency, and then more installing companies will expand into this market.

For a complete “Unlocking the Doors to the Non-Integrated Access Control Market” article, you can purchase the January 1998 issue for $5 by calling (310) 533-2400 and asking for the circulation department.

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