Companies You Should Know: ZKAccess
What’s a business unit of a huge global company to do when demand for its products begins to surge? In January of 2015, ZKAccess transitioned into an independent company so it could better focus on its areas of specialty — access control.
ZKAccess began in 2012 as an access control-focused business unit of ZKTeco, a global developer of security and time management solutions. As demand increased, however, ZKTeco decided to spin ZKAccess into its own entity. As a result, ZKAccess LLC has expanded its sales and engineering teams and recently opened a new office in Fairfield, N.J., to accommodate its growing staff, warehouse and customer learning center. Larry Reed, long-time vice president of sales, was appointed CEO of ZKAccess, and biometrics industry veteran Manish Dalal was appointed COO and product manager.
Prior to opening its new doors in January 2015 with an already established customer base, ZKAccess had nearly doubled year-over-year in prior years. Much of that growth Reed attributes to the popularity of its feature-rich yet low-cost security products, which especially appeal to the huge small and medium business (SMB) market.
“Separating the company in January 2015 allowed us to better focus, and now we’ve been able to more effectively grow and support various sales channels that we didn’t have time to focus heavily on before,” Reed said. “We’ve developed a distributor network all across the country that has hundreds of dealers going through those distributors. We became members of the ESA where we have a three-credit course on advanced biometrics access control (accredited by ESA, BICSI and several states’ contractor-licensing boards). We are also members of PSA, the world’s largest electronic security cooperative, where we’ve conducted trainings for several of their more than 500 members, and we exhibit every year at PSA’s annual technology conference. We also have OEM relationships in which access control software companies are now private-labeling our hardware.”
While none of these things are brand new, Reed and Dalal explained that having more time to focus on and exploit these areas has been a huge part of their success.
ZKAccess is a company that knows its niche and works hard to meet the needs of those it serves. Sometimes, Reed said, a small company with perhaps 20 or fewer employees in a small building doesn’t need a great deal of complexity. “Our business proposition to the SMB market is, if you just have basic needs, why are you paying twice as much money?” Reed said.
Reed explained their ability to produce trusted and reliable security products for so much less than their competitors stems in part from their unique ability to manufacture everything themselves under one roof; the sheer volume of products they manufacture yields enormous economies of scale for the company. “We’ve also purposefully chosen a low-margin, high-volume business model which allows our partners to make money,” said Reed. “If our partners are making money, then ZKAccess will subsequently make money and thus take market share from our competitors.
In describing what he sees as the unique value of ZKAccess, Reed said, “Our biggest value proposition comes down to, we will match or exceed whatever features exist in our competitors’ product lines at typically half the price. In addition, ZKAccess is not dependent on third parties to supply us with access control panels, readers or software. At ZKAccess we do everything ourselves. This results in feature-rich yet low-cost integrated products from ZKAccess with no risk of interoperability issues.”
Dalal added, “Our product line is diverse and flexible. We can mix and match products to suit our customers’ needs.” Since ZKAccess products are all interoperable, Dalal says, it can offer a company a complete access control solution, offering biometrics solutions in a market that is growing increasingly favorable to biometrics.
“The market is changing big time,” Dalal said. “With the introduction of biometrics in consumer electronic products, people are asking for it.”
ZKAccess recently released its ESX Innovation Award-winning BioCam300, an IP-based, stand-alone access control camera that unlocks doors upon positive face recognition once authorized users walk within 12 feet of it. (Read more about this and other biometrics products here).