Touch Free Doors Radio Interview
May 20, 2020
Dave, our resident lock expert, was interviewed recently by Dean Rotbart. They discussed how everything in business is changing with the new concerns about how to keep from spreading germs and bacteria in public areas of offices and businesses. Click the video below to listen how touch free doors can help keep us safe and moving back towards life as we knew it.
Transcript Of Touch Free Doors Radio Interview
[00:00:00] It's Monday morning, I'm Dean Rotbart.
On this week's podcast, we're going to be talking about bathroom doors. On first blush, I admit that might not seem like a scintillating business topic, but let me place it in its proper perspective. My guest, Dave Jabas, is what you might describe as a blue collar entrepreneur. As a locksmith, Dave has been serving business owners, nonprofits and government installations for four plus decades. He gets what it means to run a business, trying to keep employees and customers satisfied. Dave is perfect proof that you don't need to live in Silicon Valley or have an Ivy League MBA to be a successful business innovator and visionary.
Dave's business card should read problem solver. Even on very complex projects, including from government facilities that require the most sensitive and secure facilities, Dave and his team at WholesaleLocks.com can determine and recommend the right hardware, software and control systems to make sure that doors and locks do what they're intended to do. That is, keep the bad guys out and make it easy for the good guys to gain approved access. Following the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in December 2012, Dave, a locksmith, not a journalist, wrote a book. We Can Protect Our Children. The book is spelled out with clear, easy to understand descriptions and illustrations, how fast and simple upgrades to school doors and window locks and related security hardware can prevent, or at least significantly hinder any intruders access to students and teachers.
Now, with COVID 19 impacting every workplace and public building in the nation, Dave has responded once more, offering his experience and expertise on how to make employees and customers feel more at ease when they visit a store, restaurant or office, especially when it comes to using the bathroom. It might be laughable if it wasn't so serious the contortions that people employ to open doors without using their hands. The most common methods involve elbows, knees and feet. Just last week, McDonald's announced that it is recommending all its franchise owners install contactless paper towel dispensers, a contactless sink and foot poles to open bathroom doors. Foot poles, if you've ever tried to use them, require balance and foot dexterity. That's not ideal, especially if you're elderly, disabled or like me, a klutz. For those of us who aren’t contortionists. Dave recommends a much better solution: motorized touch free doors that can quickly and efficiently make each workplace and public facility safer and less threatening, often with just the wave of a hand.
[00:03:20] And the bottom line is every minute of the day and basically, you know, there's hard to have any 20 minutes in your office or anyone that you're not touching something. And that's going to be the front door in the bathrooms. So if you can take that high touch point and make it safer, that's a good investment to help us all get back to what we want, which is normal.
[00:03:44] Dave is one of the nation's foremost experts on touch free doors and really just about every other commercial lock hardware you and your business might ever need. It's why I invited Dave to join my new Monday Morning Radio community called Small Business Paramedics, which asks those who are the best in the fields in which they specialize to share their knowledge with our listeners. The community is still forming, but you can preview it, under construction, at SmallBusinessParamedics.com.
Basically, if you've got a business related question, be it how to solve a problem or how to achieve greater success, our squad of paramedics will be there to provide free advice. Did I mentioned that it's free to owners and entrepreneurs seeking expert insights? Likewise, if you're a small business specialist in fields such as financial planning, human resources, law, employee embezzlement, real estate, supply chain, customer retention, or like Dave Jabas, facilities, we are currently accepting expressions of interest on becoming one of our small business paramedics. Go ahead and contact me directly at 303-296-1200. That's 303-296-1200 or e-mail me at Dean at Monday morning radio dot com.
[00:05:13] Now my interview with Dave Jabas, innovator, visionary and founder of WholesaleLocks.com.
[00:05:26] This is Roy Williams, founder of Roy H. Williams, marketing and co-founder, along with my wife, Penny, of the nonprofit Wizard Academy. The academy draws successful business owners and executives from around the world. You're listening to Monday Morning Radio featuring interviews with unconventional men and women who are putting into practice the profitable lessons we teach at Wizard Academy. Monday Morning Radio is produced by Dean Rotbart, part of WHO co-host the popular business Unconventional Radio News magazine.
[00:05:59] Dave, it's a pleasure to have you with us. Thanks for being on the podcast.
Thanks for having me on the show. I appreciate the time.
[00:06:06] Well, you are an expert. You certainly have credentials when it comes to commercial door hardware applications with electrified door hardware. You can integrate that with card access and fire alarms. But we'll explain what all that means. Basically, let's start by highlighting some of your qualifications, specifically as a security expert and entrepreneur. You're the founder of A-OK Locksmith Company, which online goes by Wholesale Locks, that’s WholesaleLocks.com. Your company has incredible connections with suppliers all around the world, manufacturers, suppliers, et cetera, globally. You founded the company in 1976. How did you get started in locksmithing and security? And how did you grow your network as large as it is today?
[00:06:57] Well, a friend of mine and I, he was a locksmith and working for a local locksmith company, and I was currently working in a place as a metal fabrications estimator.
[00:07:10] And we looked at and said, well, we think that we could start our own lock company. So what we did is we, I had a car and he didn't, so he was technically the locksmith at that point, and I was the business guy. We both threw in 10 bucks for business cards and he had 500 bucks and tools. We said, let's go for it, and so we would go ahead and market to friends and family and stuff and people through work. Then we were installing locks after hours, and then we eventually built up enough business so that we could venture out on our own. And then we went to other locksmith companies and took some of their leftover work that they were throwing away and built up to the point that we had two trucks fully equipped and we're both working full time. Then we were off and running.
[00:08:01] Well, I think the important point is, is that you're not only able to advise business owners and entrepreneurs on workplace safety issues that relate to things such as touch free doors, but you have been an entrepreneur. You know the ups and downs of entrepreneurship inside and out, so I think that is I think that's impressive.
[00:08:26] I think the main reason, really, Dave, that you can offer small businesses something valuable in this podcast, it really, really stems from the COVID 19 pandemic and people's reactions. First of all, employers are interested in making their employees as comfortable as possible in the workplace. So even if you run a business that doesn't have public traffic to it, when your employees have to go from one office to another, they have to go to the restroom, whatever it happens to be. The idea of touching doorknobs is going to make people uncomfortable for quite some time. Then layer that in, if you have a restaurant business or you have some other business that really does have a supermarket, a fast, convenient food store that has people coming in and out on a regular basis, getting into and out of your facility and also, again, maybe restrooms within the facility, suddenly the idea of touch free doors seems like a really good idea. Until now, until this pandemic, what has been the most common placement for touch free doors or for power doors?
[00:09:43] Where have those businesses installed them and why?
[00:09:46] Where most people see them or their experience with them, for the average person, as you're seeing it on a public building that has a reasonable amount of high usage. It could be, for example, like a library or a regular type office building.
[00:10:03] And there you're going to see it on the front doors. And sometimes you'll see it on some of the bathrooms, but not all of them. The other place that you see this is if you think about when you you're going into a hospital, there's times where there is a pair of doors and they'll either present their card to access opening the doors or they'll push the button and then both doors will open. Then this allows them to easily move patients through the hospital because you need that wide of an opening so that you can actually easily, you know, get the patient through there as they're being moved about in the hospital. The other place that you see it all the time is in the commercial application, like factories and stuff where they're moving material through for trucks, pallets.
Then the part where we're actually taking all of this this technology from that's out there regarding the touchless part is there's clean rooms and clean room applications where they need to make sure that as they're moving about, that whatever they might be carrying or the fact that they are trying to maintain the fact that they're limiting the risk of any contamination of whatever they're working on, that they can actually move through areas. But yet you still have separation. So this technology has been out there and it's being used. Now, what we're doing is we're just taking that and we're applying it to more common applications. But now that's actually being seems more logical to use it as we're dealing with this pandemic.
[00:11:40] Just from my personal experience, you are the expert. And I'm just the consumer. But I think of it in a few ways. One is, if I go to my local supermarket, I triggered the door opening because I walk on a mat. There's like a rubber mat. And when I walk on it, it typically opens. Then I have experience. I live in a high rise apartment building, and for Americans with disability, they can push a button. It's a large, big square button. They can push a button and that will trigger a power door. And then as you talk about, in some facilities that I have been in, there is some kind of a motion detector, if you will, that hangs over the top of the door. And when I walk into its purview, the door opens.
[00:12:25] Are you advocating for one type? You're talking about touch free is the touch free door you're talking about, one where it has a motion sensor? Is that the most logical hardware to turn to for the typical office building manager or owner or the typical consumer restaurant or dry cleaner or whatever it happens to be?
[00:12:49] The thing that you have to determine is: what's the application and then how are you going to deal with it?
[00:12:56] So depending upon what's there, if you use for your example of the grocery store or like a door at the airport, that's triggering the fact that you're walking up to the door and it's sensing that you're coming up to it because you're approaching it and then you want the door to open.
[00:13:14] OK, that's fine for that application. But in businesses, every time somebody walks up to a door, you may not want to trigger that door. So you don't want to open the door unnecessarily because that can create security issues that can create the fact that you losing, you know, your energy efficiency of the building. So you have to look at each application and say, “what am I going to put on this door so that it performs the way we want it to?” In some cases, the motion sensor from both sides is OK. In other cases you want to actually be able to say, hey. And in most cases this is why you're using the pushbuttons. Is that then you're saying we'll select number of people will choose this option.
We don't want to do it every time. There's also applications where if you're carrying stuff, then you may want to do it for easability. So you can actually set up these touchless activator buttons as to where they're located and how sensitive they are. So you have to look at each application and then ask the right questions to determine how to actually give them the right pieces of equipment to be able to work within the confines of what they're trying to accomplish.
[00:14:36] So if I'm understanding you correctly, let's assume and I'm just going to use a for example, let's assume that I have an accounting practice and within my accounting practice, I have a number of accountants and I have other support staff. And then there are also outsiders who come to visit my accountants. I might want to have to the extent that I believe my employees would be more comfortable in a limited touch or completely touch free door environment. And that visitors to my offices would prefer that than having to deal with conventional door handles. I might have a variety of different touch free power door responses as opposed to one size fits all. Correct? Even within the same-
[00:15:24] Yeah, for example-
In a lot of applications, you may want to keep the door locked all the time because you want to restrict access for many different reasons. So now not just using something touch free for just the power door operator, you could actually put in something touch free as opposed to a doorbell and then that could connect to…
[00:15:48] So, for example, in an intercom system. So somebody waves their hand, that starts the intercom system or alerts the person inside. Then they can communicate with the person on the outside and then they can hit a button from where they are, which activates the door operator, the lock, the electrified lock and the door operator to allow somebody to come in. That's for your guest. Now it's touch free for visitors, and you're still maintaining all of this for your staff as well. When your staff comes up, then you could just have a card access button or a card access reader out there, which could use like a prox tag.
[00:16:27] That means that you just wave the key tag in front of it. You don't have to touch anything. It just has to be within a close enough proximity to the reader. And then at that point, it's an authorized access to come in. So your employees can come in without actually touching anything, and yet your visitors can come in based upon access that you want to grant.
[00:16:49] Really interesting. In general, obviously, to go from a standard door that has to be open from a handle to a power door and or a power touch free door. I have to change the hardware. Do I have to change the door typically or the jamb?
[00:17:08] No, you don't have to. Changing the doors is extremely uncommon. What you have to do is you have to modify the hardware. You don't necessarily have to change it all out completely, you have to modify it in some way because the door is latched. Whenever you're going up to a door, when you are operating the lock, you're releasing the latch. That's what you're doing when you're pushing on the panic bar or when you're operating the lever on the door. You're releasing the latch and then you're opening the door.
With the power door operator, what you have to do now is you have to now take care of that latch retraction either with an electronic release or you have to do it with some type of motor kit of some sort added to the lock body or added to the panic bar. So that when you do activate with motion, with your hand or by push button, the first thing that needs to happen is the latch has to retract and then the power door operator has to go ahead and sequence. So you have to make all of this integrate together and do that in the proper sequence so that the hardware operates correctly.
The other part of it that you have to do is that on the outside button, because I keep saying button, but it's an activator. There you have to determine again with the electronics and the security and the integration as to when that is actually functioning. Because if you're securing the building for the night, you don't want the outside the activator to work because then somebody could just come up and get in. You have to be able to understand all of that and integrate that properly. So it depends upon the application. Any perimeter doors are much more sophisticated and requires more integration than a bathroom door.
[00:18:58] The bathroom doors, that's the easier part. So it just depends on which door.
[00:19:04] I always have the experience, Dave. I shop in normal times at a Safeway. And before you actually get into the store between the sort of the outside entrance door and the inside entrance door, there's an Amazon locker. You know, it's one of these things where I can order from Amazon and they put my package into a locker and I come and I enter a code and the door opens and I take my package. Well, whenever I'm in there, almost any movement I, I make triggers the outside door to open. So probably 10 times while I'm in there, that outside door opens. Obviously for air conditioning and other reasons, that's not a very efficient process. If it was installed correctly, would that be something that wouldn't happen?
[00:19:49] Any time you have an application, this is why you have to take everything into consideration as to what's going on, because you're trying to make it so that it's operating properly, and that it doesn't open at the wrong time.
[00:20:03] One example that I can give you is a worked for one place where they had they had these huge trays. I mean, some of them were as much as like 18 feet long. And they had these springs in there that had to be, that they were carrying and they had to be sterilized.
[00:20:19] And so they had to go into a room with these trays. And it took two people to do this, you know, to carry the trays. But they were commonly going down this hallway and then they got to a door and they, they needed the door to open automatically. But there was a tremendous amount of foot traffic going down the hallway. What we ended up doing for that particular case, because otherwise these doors would be opening all the time is we actually put electric eyes in the door frame of the door that they were going to go through. And so then what they had to do and that was on the push side. And all they had to do then was go up to the door and then they would just have that, we had tape on the door so that they knew where the electric eyes were. Then they would go ahead and slowly approach the door so that the tray would actually be at the same height as where the tape was, which that's where the electric eyes were. Once they did that, then the door would open.
Now on the inside, now they're trying to exit. Well, we can't do the same thing on the inside because now the door is gonna open and hit their tray. So what we did instead is we put, we built brackets on the walls and we had the electric eyes vertically so they would go up towards the door, but then they would actually wave the tray between the electric eyes that were vertical. And then that would open the door, and then they could go out. So this way, the door was only opened when it was supposed to. They could go ahead and work with the trays easily, And then all of the non-relevant traffic didn’t effect the door opening.
[00:21:50] One thing that our conversation thus far makes pretty clear, Dave, is that doing this right is not a job for do-it-yourself amateurs.
[00:21:59] If I am an accountant running an accountant office and I try to buy and install the power hardware, the touch free hardware myself, chances are it's going to be tough. You have actually through WholesaleLocks.com, you have actually figured out a really intelligent way for an entrepreneur - not surprising you’re are safety lock paramedic - you have actually figured out a way for that accountant, the person who runs that accountancy to get this job done professionally. It starts with them contacting you and sending you some photos. Describe that process.
[00:22:41] Well, we've made it easy. There's, you need to take five pictures of the door to start with. You open the door and you take a picture of - the reason we ask you to open the doors so that there's good light on it - and we ask you to take a picture of the face of each side of the door and the edge of the door. And then take pictures of the door frame and the top of the door frame. But we have this on our website. When you go to our home page, WholesaleLocks.com, we'll have a link that says “Touch Free Doors”. And you click there and we'll actually have a page showing you examples of exactly what we want with those pictures so that you're not guessing or trying to remember what I just described.
And then at that point, you can either email them to us, which will have that address there, or you can text them direct to my cell number, which we’ll have on the site. And then at that point, I'll look at those pictures and that'll give me a really good idea of what you have and what follow up questions I'm going to have to make sure that we can give you complete information about what you're going to need, which type of power door operator is going to work for your application. And which includes the amount of traffic, too, because there's such a variance in price. And so we can give you a complete list of the items that you'll need along with the cost. And then we can also help you to determine and help you with your search and direct you towards what type of company that you'll need to have to get this installed for you. Because depending upon what the security needs are of your building, I mean, this is going to take at least a couple of trades. You know, an electrician for wiring in the power door operator. Then you need to have a door security specialist or locksmith to install this. And then you may have to also bring in your card access or a systems integrator to coordinate everything.
[00:24:38] We’ll go over all of that with you so that you're not running into a bunch of surprises because you want to approach this in an efficient manner so that you can get it done as cost effectively as possible.
[00:24:52] Now, my guess is that when people deal with you and Wholesale Locks, there's one major advantage, and that is that you've done this so many times that you understand this like the back of your own hand. And if you call just a local handy man - you ask Home Depot or somebody who doesn't specialize in power doors and touchless doors - especially since it involves the integration with a number of different systems, that, one, you may not get a working door in the way that you want it to work. And two is I suspect it ends up costing you more to do it by having the person who you buy the hardware from also be the installer, such as at a Lowe's or Home Depot. Versus buying it from you, having you advise, and then, Dave, do you also interact with the various, like the electrician or the installers, etc.? Do you interact with them if need be?
[00:25:55] We do that with some of our customers. And, you know, we've worked with architects and business owners and we work with door manufacturers as well from different doors suppliers throughout, you know, from various parts of the world. But the bottom line is that whatever we can do to help limit the chain of communication. Because the worst thing that happens is that I don't want to tell the owner, “well, you need to tell them to do this.” It's like, no way. If you're going to work with us, then we can go ahead and make sure that you have that we can give you correct information when you're going to electrify the lock hardware.
[00:26:33] Then we will make sure that they're getting the information that they need to know up front. So like for with the panic bars, for example, like a Von Duprin panic bar.
[00:26:43] If you need to electrify that, you can put in a motor kit or an electrified latch retraction kit, which is what - they both do the same thing - but we can provide you, we'll make sure that you have the instructions for that.
[00:26:57] If there is some video that's out there that helps to make it easier for the insulation, we can help you find that.
[00:27:03] Then we can find it and can give it to you and give you access to it. But the big thing is, is that we want to make this so that there's no surprises and there's no guesses. The biggest part of this that you also have to be aware of is that doors have certain ratings as far as life, safety and fire codes are concerned. So these doors are currently complying with whatever that is, whichever one is applicable. Now, if you go and put the power door operator on and then you make some change to that status, like eliminating the latch, then now you've created a fire hazard in the building and now you're no longer in code compliance. So you want to make sure that when you do go to change the way that this becomes a touch free door, that you still comply with the existing building codes and life safety codes and fire codes that apply to that door.
[00:28:02] You want to make sure that you're improving it and that you're not actually eliminating something.
[00:28:08] Dave, so now I've gone through the expense of installing the hardware and the electronics that I need to have a touchless door. Am I going to have a lot of problems with it? With a conventional door that has a handle that I put my hand on, I open it. You know, it can last decades without needing any attention. What kind of attention am I likely to have to give to any kind of a powered door?
[00:28:34] It's not going to require anything extra special. It’s normal maintenance.
[00:28:39] But what's important here - and this is the part about door hardware that people don't totally understand - is that we have to make sure that we give you the proper hardware or the proper door operator that is designed for the level of usage that you have. So, and it's the number of uses that it has. So, for example, if you have a, you know, a medium range power door operator - just the costs of the operator only, you can get those in a range of like $1200 to $1600 - that's fine for something that's medium use on an average office. That's just the operator, nothing else. You still have to add everything else to that, I'm just using that number as a comparison.
[00:29:25] Whereas if you get into something that is higher usage - for, say, like it's a front door on a doctor's office or a medical building or like a mall - then on those doors, because of the higher use, that operator is going to be like $3000 to $3500, maybe a little higher. And the difference in that price there is what actually makes it so that it's going to last longer and keep your maintenance at the right level. As far as the electrification of the lock, whatever you're doing to the electrification of the lock. All of that stuff is designed for the higher end traffic. Once you put it in, other than just general maintenance like lubrication, it's gonna be fine.
[00:30:08] I mean, I'm looking at your website, WholesaleLocks.com. You really have a large selection of top quality providers of the hardware. If there is a warranty issue, something does fail, how does that get resolved? Do they come back to you? Do they have to go to the manufacturer of the equipment? What happens if it doesn't meet its own standards?
[00:30:35] If you're buying something from us, then the warranty issues end up working through us. You're, these are based upon the manufacturer's warranty. But because we're the ones that provided the hardware to you, then you bring it to us. We work with you to get you, first off to determine what's needed and that it's covered under the warranty, and then we communicate with the manufacturer and then get you the correct stuff, which may include getting back the defective part. So ultimately, the warranty issues work through us to the manufacturer. So everything is warrantied by the manufacturer. But because we provided it to you, then we're the ones that are helping you resolve the issue.
[00:31:21] Dave, again, you have been an entrepreneur for four plus decades. You understand the psychology of being an entrepreneur. So you're an expert on locks and doors and security, but you're also a business owner, and the people who are going to be listening to this are business owners. Talk from their perspective, not somebody who is a locksmith or just a business owner. Talk about why installing these doors, in your view, makes perfect sense.
[00:31:51] You want people to feel safe when they come to your business. We're all getting emails every day that people are saying, well, we're cleaning everything top to bottom.
[00:31:58] And it all sounds the same, which is good. But the big thing is you want to make people feel safe.
[00:32:06] We're all walking around right now, literally scared to death to touch something. We're all washing our hands over and over and over. And every time we touch something, then it's like, well, where’s the hand sanitizer?
[00:32:20] So the more comfortable that you can make your own self feel as well as your, your own staff and any of your clients or customers, that's going to help your business succeed. At the same time, yhis is also helping you to keep your own staff safe because you want them to stay healthy so that your business can survive and get through this.
[00:32:45] So this is an important step. When I mention this to people and say, here's what we suggest, quite often the response is, “you know, I've always wondered that in bathrooms, everybody's washing their hands and then they go up to the door
[00:32:57] and they’re touching that anyway.” You know, and everybody says that.
[00:33:01] And it's like, then why don't you put this on the doors? But of course, everybody always looks at it. And at that point, it's a preventative mindset. It's like, “well, we really don't have to and we really don't have to spend the money.” That's kind of the thought process that we all have when we're trying to make a decision on prevention. But right now, because of this and the fact that we've been quarantined for six plus weeks, life's completely different. And that means that you need to treat your business different, too. And this is an investment in your business and an investment in keeping everybody safe and healthy, including yourself. So that's why I think it's really important to take this step and do this if you have any doors that have power door operators on them right now.
[00:33:49] A very simple, easy thing to do, take pictures of those, go to our website, click on the link. Get them over to me.
[00:33:57] And then I can tell you which button, which activator, touchless activator that you need to replace the one that you have.
[00:34:06] Some of these are wireless and need to be - and what it's gonna take to upgrade them. But the bottom line is take the steps, whatever steps you can take to have an immediate response. And the bottom line is every minute of the day and basically, you know - there's hard to have any 20 minutes in your office or anywhere that you're not touching something. And that's going to be the front door and the bathrooms. So if you can take that high touch point and make it safer, that's a good investment to help us all get back to what we want, which is normal.
[00:34:41] Terrific. I think that's a great point to stop at. Again, its’ WholesaleLocks.com. The nice thing is you get in touch with WholesaleLocks.com and you're not dealing with some just out of college kid who's trying to advise you. You're dealing with an expert, a small business paramedic like Dave Jabas. Dave, it's been terrific. Thank you so much for your insights.
[00:35:20] You've been listening to Monday Morning Radio with Dean Rotbart. Be sure to read and subscribe to my weekly e-mail column. The Monday Morning Memo, at MondayMorningMemo.com, where I share my observations on the world at large trends, taste's, marketing, advertising, small business, whatever else is on my mind. This is Roy Williams.
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[00:37:45] Good luck. All the best, until we hear from you again.
Posted in New By David Jabas