Articles by Tzachi Wiesenfeld
At this year's IFSEC 2013, ASSA ABLOY willoffer a complete range of door solutions focusing on the slogan "Access Your World" To discuss broader issues within access control and the security industry in general, Tzachi Wiesenfeld, Executive Vice President and Head of ASSA ABLOY EMEA division, gave us his take on new trends in access control, the effects of the world economy on the industry and the role ASSA ABLOY EMEA plays within the security industry. ASSA ABLOY EMEA business status SourceSecurity.com was keen to find out more about the role ASSA ABLOY EMEA plays within the access control security market. Having just released its Q1 report, the company has found positive growth and reception in its emerging markets within the EMEA in particular; Russia, East Europe, Turkey, the Middle East and Africa were all experiencing satisfactory growth. Tzachi did suggest however that some southern parts of Europe were experiencing organic decline in the first quarter. "We estimate that half of this decline is coming from the “Easter effect”, Tzachi explains. “Easter shifted from April to March, but even excluding Easter there is a small decline which is due to the tough market conditions in Europe.” Growth drivers for ASSA ABLOY EMEA Economically, the decline in business in some parts of Europe is not surprising to hear. To tackle these issues, ASSA ABLOY EMEA has set out to identify growth drivers to allow the business to continue to expand and reach all potential markets. Tzachi explains the four main growth drivers that ASSA ABLOY EMEA has identified as essential to business growth: “The first one is the introduction of new products, the second is the Emerging Markets in EMEA, the third is specification of projects, including the full door opening solutions concept, which includes all the components around the door and in a growing number of cases the door itself, and the fourth growth driver is acquisitions. Perhaps the most essential of these growth drivers is the introduction of new products, which Chris highlighted in more detail earlier on in the interview. Tzachi has pointed out that ASSA ABLOY EMEA's product rate innovation is up to 30%, meaning that 30% of EMEA sales are coming from products introduced in the last 3 years. Like Chris, Tzachi suggests that ASSA ABLOY EMEA’s product success is partly due to the Aperio range of products; an ever expanding product range. Tzachi has pointed out that ASSA ABLOY EMEA's product rate innovation is up to 30%, meaning that 30% of EMEA sales are coming from products introduced in the last 3 years Other products which have contributed to the businesses product growth driver include the CLIQ range with the CLIQ remote functionality, which is due for further expansion in the coming months, Digital Door Locks which are selling very successfully in a growing number of countries, ASSA ABLOY Door Closes, which have been hugely accepted in an number of residential markets and finally Smartair, a lighter access control system which continues to grow fast. Aperio and Smartair access control technologies - open and closed architecture systems SourceSecurity.com were keen to find out in detail the main differences between ASSA ABLOY EMEA’s Aperio and Smartair access control systems. Tzachi points out that Aperio is an open architecture system and is aimed at access control companies who are integrating Aperio into their own existing systems. Essentially, the Aperio range allows for state- of- the- art electronic locking devices to be added to already existing systems. Unlike Aperio, Smartair is a closed architecture system. The stand-alone system is aimed predominantly at locksmiths and small system integrators. “Aperio and Smartair are fully complementary and we are very proud that ASSA ABLOY is offering two access control solutions to accommodate the different needs of the market place and to be sold through different business partners we have.” Security industry trends - solutions and sustainability Considering a broader look at the security industry, SourceSecurity.com asked Tzachi to highlight what he believed to be the current trends within the industry. He suggested that there is a clear trend in the growing proportion of elmech and electronic security solutions, such as electronic cylinders. For ASSA ABLOY EMEA, elmech and electronic product ranges represent around a quarter of their total sales, which continue to grow steadily, “much faster than the average growth”. "I'm extremely happy to have Traka on board asit is a fantastic company which is growing at a rate of 30% per year. It is very innovative and has a tremendous team" Sustainability, in particular sustainable products and manufacturing, is also growing in importance within the security industry. Interestingly, Tzachi also says that customers are becoming more particular in their security system choices, with a “growing interest in customers interested in buying the complete [security] range from large players such as ASSA ABLOY…in particular for large, long term projects”. He continues by suggesting that “professional end users prefer to work with large companies which are finally robust and stable suppliers.” ASSA ABLOY and Traka - one year on Traka, part of the ASSA ABLOY group, are a world leader in innovative technology for sophisticated intelligent access control solutions and keyless electronic lockers. In April 2012 SourceSecurity.com reported the acquisition of Traka by ASSA ABLOY. A year on and Tzachi expresses nothing but positive things from the acquisition: I’m extremely happy to have Traka on board as it is a fantastic company which is growing at a rate of 30% per year. It is very innovative and has a tremendous team. The one thing that we can all learn from Traka is how to satisfy a customer need in a complete and accurate manner and offer them a solution that can accommodate their problem in a very professional and cost effective way. The security industry - what does the future hold? SourceSecurity.com concluded its interview with Chris and Tzachi by asking them both for their thoughts and feelings regarding the security industry going forward. Both expressed a state of optimism, especially for the medium and long term. Although both agreeing that the industry is currently experiencing tough times, especially in Europe, the security industry is in fact growing above the GDP average growth. Tzachi was keen to point out that for ASSA ABLOY EMEA in particular, the company is in a very good position to grow faster, especially due to its success in product innovation that the company continues “to launch at an accelerated rate and the massive investment we have been doing in the emerging markets.”
ASSA ABLOY UK will showcase its range of leading solutions for locksmiths, including digital products ASSA ABLOY UK is exhibiting at this year’s European Locksmith Federation Convention, with its brands Mul-T-Lock, UNION and Yale. ASSA ABLOY's leading solutions for locksmiths to be showcased Held at The Grand Hotel Malahide, Dublin, from 22nd-24th May 2014, ASSA ABLOY UK will exhibit on stand 4, showcasing its range of leading solutions for locksmiths, including digital products. Tzachi Wiesenfeld, Executive Vice President Head of ASSA ABLOY EMEA will also present at the international conference, offering an insight into current and future trends in the lock industry. Mul-T-lock's SMARTair™ Genesis Visitors to the stand will have the opportunity to get some hands-on experience with technology driven products from Mul-T-lock. Representatives will reveal how locksmiths can enter into access control sales without breaking the bank with SMARTair™ Genesis and will also present ENTR the new key free front door lock. UNION at the event UNION, an ASSA ABLOY Security Solutions product brand, will display its StrongBOLT® range, known for its superior strength and exceeding the requirements of BS3621: 2007 and will uncover how the extended range can now save locksmiths time, without compromising on quality. UNION will also display their Eximo® Panic and Emergency Exit Device range, as well as their C-series mortice locks. Yale will reveal how it is leading the way in developing sales opportunities for its locksmith partners, with its digital, smart products including CCTV, Smart Living Keyfree lock and digital door viewer. ASSA ABLOY UK, Business Development Director comments Paul Browne, Business Development Director at ASSA ABLOY UK, said: “The strength of ASSA ABLOY lies in its brands, which include some of the best known and most trusted names in security hardware for locksmiths. “Mul-T-Lock has always designed products for locksmiths and strives to deliver state-of-the-art products to help customers sell solutions, often into difficult markets. For over 160 years the UNION name has been synonymous with reliable, high quality hardware and is currently developing forward-thinking solutions, whilst maintaining its heritage. Yale is a consumer-preferred brand and is currently way ahead of its competition in terms of its digital product offering and marketing effort that has significantly increased sales opportunities for locksmith partners. “This European lock conference is the perfect chance for us to showcase the breadth of our offering and invite feedback from our locksmith partners.”
This alliance sees significant future development of the business Traka is pleased to announce a strategic development which sees the company being acquired by ASSA ABLOY, the world leader in door locking solutions. Traka has been a remarkable success story from the company’s formation in 1995 to becoming the world leader in key management and access solutions generating sales in excess of £10m with a total workforce of 92 people. With average growth rates in excess of 20% per annum, excellent profitability and strong cash reserves, the future business opportunities are vastly greater than it is possible to develop organically. With this in mind, John Kent, owner and founder of Traka has secured an outstanding partner to help deliver the future growth strategy, and on the 6th April, sold the business to ASSA ABLOY Ltd, a world leading organisation. This alliance paves the way for significant future development of the business, with over 40,000 employees and a reputation for acquiring and developing high quality businesses, ASSA ABLOY will provide routes to market previously unavailable to Traka or their network of distributors. “I am very pleased to welcome Traka into the ASSA ABLOY Group,” says Tzachi Wiesenfeld, Executive Vice President of ASSA ABLOY and Head of the EMEA Division. “Traka’s leading technologies and solutions will provide us with access to new markets in the UK where we are not active today and will enhance our offering in other regions. Traka brings to ASSA ABLOY an attractive product range and an excellent team” The Traka management team of John Kent, Robert Smith (Managing Director) and Duncan Winner (Technical Director) will continue in their current positions with full responsibility for the future growth and development of the business. John Kent, President of Traka plc commented: “Having ASSA ABLOY as our new owner and partner gives us a much greater presence in the world market place with the opportunity to bring our innovative and creative solutions to a wider audience than ever before”.