This year’s conference and the delivery of EPDs has demonstrated the importance of an agenda for ARGE and its members, but as our EPD journey completes its current phase the question is, what’s next on the agenda for ARGE?
At this year’s conference we presented on a number of topical issues, all of which could affect our industry. One of those was the technology revolution, namely the increase in connected devices.
By 2020 it is estimated that there will be 50 billion connected devices with home security playing a major role in driving that growth. Research has shown that 25% of consumers expect to purchase a connected security system within the next five years.
But what does this trend mean to ARGE members?
The potential collaboration with global players and the integration with non-security devices opens up new routes to market, which bring both risks and potentially unprecedented opportunities for manufacturers.
Clearly there is huge economic potential, with the value of “smart”, connected locking products likely to step change the size of our lock markets. Plus with the opportunity to drive replacement sales through product innovation the rate of growth and change in the market for manufacturers will be unlike anything we’ve seen before.
Equally, as more ‘non-security’ manufacturers converge on the connected home market it could change the entire business model, with homeowners renting products, as per a mobile tariff rather than buying outright. This will have significant long-term economic benefits, but importantly if manufacturers are not prepared to adapt to this change, then they could miss out on this critical commercial opportunity.
This is where the role of ARGE is key to the technology revolution. We as ‘local’ manufacturers are vulnerable to opening up our industry to new market entrants and global players and the risk of introducing new products of untested and uncertain performance and quality.
As we have seen with the development of the electro-mechanical locking market there are many standards to comply with but the rate of change of the products themselves often means these standards become redundant before they can be enforced.
It is critical that new security devices and connected systems are supported by clear and widely adopted performance standards to ensure user satisfaction and the reputation of the lock and hardware industry. As it has done for EPDs, ARGE has a role in providing common Pan-European standards and highlighting this to CEN, which will ensure sophisticated electronic locking products that are integral to residential safety will provide the performance levels the market needs.
Electro-mechanical and even connected devices have been prevalent in commercial buildings for many years, so it is critical that ARGE considers what this latest trend means for the residential market, campaigning for appropriate European-wide standardisation.
With our attention turned to the residential sector and the need for common European standards, another agenda, which could be valuable to ARGE members, is the issue of cylinder attack through snapping.
Within the lock and hardware industry it is no secret that this type of attack is on the increase across Europe, yet there is no pan-European standard to address this.
ARGE, with its experience of advocating for change at CEN and governmental level, could co-ordinate the development of a Pan-European anti-snap standard and support its publication. Promoting the awareness of snapping and the need for counter-measures, ARGE could form and help encourage the adoption of a new anti-snap standard across Europe. As with all standards’ driven movements this helps to uphold the reputation of our industry and ensure user security and safety.
It is important we continue to look toward the future and continue to push for change and value adding standardisation within the industry.