Orangeville, ON (Harold Doan and Sons Ltd.) Before computers and the advent of the electronic age, we thought of security as metal-to-metal. Anyone seeking extra security turned to a locksmith first. Every security product was either in a dormant stage of locked or unlocked. Persons with authority could operate the security product. There was no recorded history of lock usage.

Nothing changed during my 30 years as a locksmith. The most important tools on my workbench are pin kits, tweezers, followers and key machines. My customers were only interested in stronger or more secure mechanical locks. Nobody asked me for audit trails or keypads. The alarm industry was never my competitor.

The recent development of electronic items has changed everything. Mechanical products need long lead times for designing and bringing to market. Changing electronic chips can be a much shorter and less costly process for manufacturers. There are even new products that can add electronic operation to existing mechanical hardware.

Who ‘owns’ this new market? It is true that security products still have a metal-to-metal basis. But pin kits and followers are not required. Sales and service becomes less manual and more intellectual. Computers and volt meters have become the new workbench tools of necessity.

Now alarm companies, integrators and manufacturers themselves are competing for security hardware sales. A new, different and expanding amount of security products are available. Our identity as security providers must change with the times or we will get lost in the shuffle.