By Byron Whetstone, American Direct President
In the contract hardware space, we’ve seen for several years the accelerated convergence of the mechanical, electrical, and electronic components of the door opening. This collision of networked digitization with traditional ‘doors and hardware’ was most prominently marked in 2016 when the Construction Specification Institute (CSI) MasterFormat re-categorized access control hardware, including electrified locking devices, from Division 8 to Division 28 (8/28). We, at American Direct, refer to this as the “age of 8/28”.
In this age of 8/28, a door is no longer “just a door”; it is a digital checkpoint in a rushing river of data: billions of devices connected to the Internet, collecting and exchanging data in real time. This networked intelligence at the door opening offers immense opportunity to simplify, improve and secure human life. At the same time, this very interconnectivity introduces significant vulnerability — a vulnerability heightened by the inherent complexity of the door opening and the dysfunction of existing sales channels.
Unfortunately, at a time when integration is more important than ever, existing Division 8 and Division 28 sales channels are fragmenting. Even the most advanced access control solutions are still often driven by a “low-bidder” mentality, where the physical, electronic, software, and digital solutions are provided by multiple purveyors (with varying levels of openings expertise) in a complex, inefficient interaction.
This disintegration is costly, time-consuming, and stressful for every stakeholder in the process, but especially for the end user left on the hook. Most concerning, this inefficiency often leads to failure at the door opening. And in a world of increasing hostility, where a door can mean the difference between life and death, failure is not an option.
The 8/28 Opportunity
While the 8/28 convergence is challenging much of our industry, it also presents opportunity for game-changing innovation — one that goes beyond the latest and greatest products, the most enhanced “value-added services,” and “access control technology.”
In fact, the profound innovation at hand is the 8/28 sales channel itself. Through this emerging channel, the market is now equipped to fully combine Division 8 and Division 28 product, service, and expertise at the door opening. Ultimately, this enables a truly distinct new offering: totally integrated safety and security solutions.
While American Direct has long been prided itself on providing true “innovation at the door,” we realized over the past several years that this 8/28 collision would fundamentally change both our business and the industry overall. As a result, we have fearlessly pursued true, enduring innovation. We have spent significant resources transforming our business to more efficiently meet the increasing demands of an openings industry inextricably intertwined with safety and security functions.
A major step in this evolution has been our acquisition of AccessNsite access control solutions, formerly a division of Quintron Systems, Inc. Since acquiring AccessNsite, we have invested aggressively in expanding the capabilities of its open architecture software and best-of-breed hardware, releasing three major software upgrades in just six months. With these ongoing enhancements, AccessNsite is a true total access control solution, combining all related security functions and data into one comprehensive user interface, with powerful systems interoperability and automation configurable to a building’s distinct needs.
The Obvious Choice
The acquisition and growth of AccessNsite has fortified American Direct as the only company in the nation wholly able to design, source, install, monitor, and maintain every facet of a building’s openings — from the mechanical and electronic components of the actual door structure to the software and hardware that manages and uses the flow of data. In addition, with our national network of integrator partners and Regional Service Centers, we can deliver customized solutions for projects of any size, providing local support every step of the way.
Ultimately, this is our true innovation: combining Division 8 and Division 28 product, service, and expertise to provide totally integrated safety and security solutions at the door opening. With this innovation, we are bringing order to chaos. We are investing in people and processes that can simplify the seemingly complex. We are providing unparalleled service and support to save everyone involved significant time, money, and stress. Most important, our totally integrated 8/28 safety and security solutions lead to a better end result, creating safer and more secure spaces for people to work, learn, and live.
Watch this video to see why American Direct is the obvious choice for true 8/28 innovation at the door opening.