One Source Security keen on keyless locks

20-year-old firm does some automation, but locksmith division is main driver for its residential business
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Friday, January 9, 2015

MERRIMACK, N.H.—One Source Security and Automation’s residential focus as it enters its 21st year is on keyless locks—by card, keypad, fob or finger.

While just 20 percent of One Source’s accounts in New Hampshire and Massachusetts are residential, its full-service locksmith division targets homeowners, company co-founder and president Steve Hammes told Security Systems News.

The locksmith division is an area of growth for the company, he said.

“We wanted to bring locksmith services to our [residential] customers. We now do a lot of access control and that helps to be a one-stop shop for them,” he said.

The security systems provider, based here, puts much stock in its name, Hammes said.

“We try to make our name mean something, to be a single source that can do anything—home access, CCTV, fire alarms, hardware. We want [residential customers] to have one number to call, and we take care of the rest,” he said.

The company has grown every year since Hammes and Shane Thornton started it in a basement 20 years ago. The pair started out with security systems, CCTV and card access offerings. The company now employs 25. Hammes declined to comment on his company’s RMR, total accounts and revenue.

One Source is looking to hire additional locksmiths and expand its territory.

Residential business in the past came mostly by word of mouth rather than as the result of marketing, Hammes said.

“The only reason we’re [marketing] now is to continue to build the locksmith division,” he said.

The company looks for higher-end homes under construction and works with the builders on prewiring.

“We don’t mass market to every homeowner, we find that’s just inundating. We’re much more picky to who we market to—those who actually will buy our stuff—because we can’t compete with the $99 ADT, we don’t even try,” Hammes said.

One Source thought at one time that it would get into the home automation market, he said, “but it’s just so competitive. We’ve done it, but it’s not a focus for us.”

The company primarily relies on Napco and iBridge for security. “With the Z-Wave modules, where you can use Z-Wave to turn your lights on … we’ve done a lot of that … because it is more affordable, it’s simple,” Hammes said.

Customers, especially younger customers, “love it that they can do it from their phone; look at their lights, turn heat up and down from that thermostat, be able to lock doors remotely,” he said, but keyless entry systems are the main driver. 

“They don’t want to have a key. They’re so used to being able to use a fob or finger at their offices, being able to use biometrics so they don’t have to carry keys anymore. Our lock division has been working on that quite a bit.”