Wesco-Anixter ramps up locking solutions business in Canada
Wesco-Anixter is in the process of significantly ramping up its locking and door hardware solutions across Canada to complement its existing security business.
Gary Mistak, the distributor’s vice-president and general manager, security and communications solutions, said the renewed focus on hardware will help to round out the company’s offering and meet the needs of more of its customers. “We were missing locking solutions and it’s a critical add to our portfolio,” he said.
Wesco-Anixter is taking a two-pronged approach to increasing its hardware presence in Canada, said Mistak, bulking up inventory from popular lock and hardware makers and also hiring more in-house expertise.
Larry Malo, director of business development, Locking Solutions Canada, joined Wesco-Anixter last year, bringing with him decades of experience in the hardware market.
The distributor isn’t starting from scratch in the market but is moving into a much more active focus on this aspect of the security business, said Malo, adding that he is assembling a team within the division and building up a presence across Canada.
“Right now, it’s all about training, getting our teams up to speed,” said Malo. “If the customer has an inquiry for a mechanical product, then they have a resource to lean on for information.”
Mistak said that Wesco-Anixter is also taking a global approach to this, with plans to increase its hardware business across multiple territories. Until recently, the U.S. was the only major market where Anixter had a robust portfolio of locking solutions through its Clark brand. The company acquired Clark Security Products, a California-based distributor of security and locksmith supplies, in 2010.
The company’s Clark heritage is definitely a benefit and will give Canadian operations a head start and game plan to refer to, said Mistak.
Aside from adding some new products to its arsenal, the locking division also helps Wesco-Anixter deliver on its solutions focus, added Mistak. Locks, doors and access control have become increasingly intertwined and integrated in recent years. “More and more, you’re seeing technologies meld. You’re seeing locks becoming IP-enabled,” he said.
“Access control does not work without a latching device,” added Malo. “You need a lock, you need an exit device, you need a door closer. Those are natural things that go hand-in-hand with our business.”
Likewise, more locksmiths are embracing the electronic side of the business and Mistak believes Wesco-Anixter can be a partner they can look to for support. “It’s about relevance to the market you’re trying to address,” he said.