The Locksmith Ledger
The Locksmith Ledger publishes the year’s most notable new products every December. This past year in “Best of 2022: The Year’s Top Products:” they included TownSteel’s BetterConnected Locks as one of the year’s most notable new products. The two products listed are TownSteel’s tubular series (e-Genius 6000) and TownSteel’s mortise series (e-KONTOS 1B Series).
The Locksmith Ledger covers key markets, including access control, mechanical locks, electronic locks, high security, and door hardware. They are considered “The Bible of the industry” and are one of many affiliations that connects TownSteel to the larger door hardware community.
Let’s look at why and how TownSteel’s industry associations work. Some are notably important associations but not essential, while others are an integral requirement of running a successful door hardware manufacturing business.
Connecting to industry associations such as Locksmith Ledger offers more than publicity to help promote products. Involvement with industry organizations has long ensured that door hardware manufacturing meets product performance standards.
Why Are Industry Associations Important?
At the same time, other accreditations can support staff diversity, education, and networking among industry professionals. Plus, membership affiliations can help employees learn about changes, innovations, and best practices within the industry.
There are 187 door lock and lockset manufacturing businesses in the United States. This number reveals the size of the larger community affiliated with Locksmith Ledger and lets us know who the other door hardware manufacturers are and what products they offer.
The most important thing to know is that the same standards regulate all products. So let’s look at the organizations that regulate, assist, and connect the broader community of door hardware manufacturers.
How Townsteel Adheres and Contributes to Industry Standards
The definition of association states, “an organization of persons having a common interest,” and the definition of affiliation states, “being closely associated with another, typically in a dependent position.”
These definitions are important because they reveal the interdependency of a business and the organizations to which they belong. In short, associations often consist of members of the subject they represent; one cannot exist without the other.
TownSteel and other door manufacturers are directly involved in sharing knowledge, creating new standards, and redefining existing standards in an ever-changing market. Whether this is through having staff on the board of directors or by meeting regularly with organizations, TownSteel is a committed member of the following four associations:
- BHMA (Builders Hardware Manufacturer Association). It is only possible to succeed in the door lock business if you are a member of this organization. They are THE trade association for North American manufacturers of commercial builders’ hardware and currently consist of approximately 50 member companies in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
In the United States alone, more than 80 percent of all builders’ hardware manufacturers are BHMA members. These companies produce the vast majority of hardware items used in the nation’s commercial and residential buildings.
BHMA is involved in standards, codes and life safety regulations, and other activities that impact builders’ hardware performance standards for locks, closers, exit devices, and other builders’ hardware.
TownSteel currently has a long-term employee who maintains TownSteel’s seat on the BHMA Board. He helps manage TownSteel’s BHMA certifications and contributes to setting industry leadership standards.
- The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) gives accreditation to BHMA. They develop and maintain builders’ hardware performance standards. Many ANSI/BHMA standards define different product grades for a particular hardware item.
These grades are grade 1, 2, or 3, with grade 1 being the highest. They are defined by specific performance benchmarks in each applicable ANSI/BHMA standard and are also classified by the BHMA product number.
Most of TownSteel’s products meet the required ANSI/BHMA Grade 1 requirements.
Brad Parks, the contract pricing manager for TownSteel, explains, “The BHMA/ANSI standards help level the playing field so that all products are tested the same way according to the procedure laid out in the standard.”
“For example, if the standard says your product must cycle a million times, it is a million cycles, pass or fail. Also, ANSI standards must be re-evaluated every five years, requiring the BHMA industry stakeholders, including TownSteel, to work together to establish, monitor, and revise these standards.”
- DHI (Door and Hardware Institute) is an association serving door security and safety professionals and the companies they represent in the non-residential construction industry. Through education, advocacy, accreditation, and facilitated networking, they provide members with the collective intelligence to meet their customers’ security and safety needs.
DHI is North America’s largest community of door security and safety professionals. The Door and Hardware Institute (DHI) supports its individual and corporate members through career-enhancing education, certification, networking, resources, and advocacy. It has credentialed more than 2,000 door security and safety professionals worldwide.
TownSteel has long attended the annual DHI Door and Hardware Institute Conference and Trade Show.
- MBE (Minority Business Enterprises) and WBE (Women’s Business Enterprises) are both certifications that are attained through MWBE Enterprises, Inc. (MWBE). MWBE was established in 1998 to provide expert consultations to minority and women-owned business owners seeking MBE, WBE, DBE, and other business certifications. These certifications allow businesses a wide range of information and business-related opportunities.
TownSteel’s president is affiliated with one of the listed minority groups and maintains the MBE certification. Our company also has a female CEO and holds the WBE certification.
MBE specializes in certifications for minority-owned businesses that include:
- Subcontinent Asian: origins in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the on.
- Black American: any Black racial group originating in Africa;
- Hispanic: origins in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Central, and South American, or other Spanish or Portuguese cultures;
- Native American: a Native of Alaska or Hawaii or certified member of a federal or state-recognized Indian Tribe;
- Asian Pacific: origins in the Pacific Islands, China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, or Philippines;
WBE specializes in certifications for women-owned businesses:
- A for-profit business located in the United States;
- 51% owned by a woman, or a group of women who, but for an inheritance, contributed a proportionate amount of capital to acquire ownership;
- When applicable, the governing board is controlled by a woman or a group of women; Top executive officer responsible for daily operations is a woman with a technical expertise (experience) in the firm’s primary business activity;
- Women business owners are U.S. citizens or legal residents.
Better Connected Associations
In closing, we want to show how industry affiliations are more than just an annual membership requirement. These connections help shape our industry, and we help shape these organizations.
We are a part of a large door hardware community that helps equalize standards, network with other companies, and share knowledge.
The door hardware industry straddles a broad range of products and standards in a climate of increasing technological advancements, automation, and remote applications. We can keep up and contribute to the changes as we stay current with our industry associations.
Behind our practices, product lines, and employees are the organizations we are a part of. The standards set by these associations allow TownSteel and other manufacturers to offer quality, integrity, and customer satisfaction in door hardware manufacturing.