ASSA ABLOY has the largest installed base of locks and lock systems throughout the world. These products are tail-ored to the different needs and lock standards of world users. ASSA ABLOY's pace of innovation is reflected in the many patents that Group companies own. Mechanical products still account for the majority of patents, but electromechanical products are the fastest-growing area.
A continuous flow of innovative new products is the single most important source of organic growth, and focused product development is a critical success factor.
Complete security solutions vital to sales
ASSA ABLOY works all the time to develop its products in ways that will satisfy the end-user's requirements for security, safety, convenience and design. To meet these customer requirements more comprehensively, the Group focuses on developing total security solutions for different customer segments. Such solutions incorporate mechanical and electromechanical products that also make installation and after-sales service simpler. These complete security solutions are becoming ever more crucial to the Group's sales and earnings.
The use of electromechanics in doors is growing rapidly, which strengthens the need to integrate security solutions with access control systems. ASSA ABLOY has therefore created an organization named Shared Technologies to
take responsibility for the standardization of electronics throughout the Group. The goal of standardization is to achieve lower development costs and shorter development times for new products. One area concerned is electronic lock cylinders, which includes the Group's CLIQ product range. Another is Hi-O (Highly Intelligent Operation), a platform for intelligent communication among the various components in the door environment.
The importance of design
In all product groups, design has become an ever more important factor in winning sales. Customers appreciate the added value of being given greater choice regarding shape, color and finish. ASSA ABLOY is working actively
to integrate design as an important part of product development, and on several markets has taken initiatives to work with industrial designers and interior decorators in developing designed products. Such products tend to appeal more strongly to architects and specifiers, and demand for them is rising steadily.
The Group has launched Hi-O (Highly Intelligent Operation) a new range of electromechanical doors and door frames with a pre-installed cable harness and contacts ready to connect up the lock unit. The new products are thus far simpler to install and can easily be upgraded to more advanced locks later.
ASSA ABLOY's sales by product group
Many of ASSA ABLOY's mechanical products employ identical building blocks, which provide great opportunities to gain benefit from economies of scale. By making product development more efficient and basing products on modular platforms, Group companies can utilize common components without loss of product variation.
Economies of scale in purchase of materials are another advantage of using modular platforms. In addition, improvements and updates are rapidly applied to the whole product range, and products can be adapted quickly when customers' demands and requirements change.
The Evolution series of lock cases is one example of modularization applied to both product development and production. The modular series of lock cases makes it simple to provide new functions in the products while the company can continue to utilize and improve existing components. In comparison with the company's previous series of lock cases, Evolution provides a better range of products with 60 percent fewer components.
Mechanical products still account for more than half of ASSA ABLOY's world sales. Mechanical locks provide the two basic functions of any security device: identification (the key) and mechanical strength (the lock). There continues to be a large market for these products, which combine good functionality in meeting many security needs with a moderate cost. Examples of traditional mechanical products include door locks, padlocks, handles and door closers.
Increased security needs
There is a clear trend towards higher levels of security in mechanical products. In many developing countries, for example in Asia, rising standards of living mean that more people feel a greater need for security. Simple, low-quality locks are therefore being replaced by modern high-security locks. But a growing demand for sound security solutions applies to industrialized countries too.
A large installed lock base
ASSA ABLOY has a large base of installed locks, which creates great opportunities for product upgrades and represents a solid foundation for the important aftermarket. An essential part of the Group's strategy is to offer products that comply with existing dimensional standards, but that are better at satisfying higher security demands and easier to install.