Allegion’s leaders admired STANLEY Access Technologies (Access Technologies) long before the acquisition became a possibility in 2022.
The company invented the world’s first automatic swinging door—patented in 1931—and has been an industry leader in manual and automatic door solutions since. Much like Allegion’s leading brands, Access Technologies invented its own product category centered on innovation and accessibility.
Now, it’s been one year since the business broke from its former parent company, STANLEY Black & Decker, Inc. (SBD), after more than 90 years with the tool company.
Today, Access Technologies manufactures, installs and services sliding, swinging, folding and transit door systems, as well as the sensors, controls and security options that accompany them. The business is a natural fit—the perfect addition to the portfolio—as Allegion strives to expand its door opening, security and accessibility solutions.
“As I think about our overall enterprise goals, our vision around seamless access and a safer world, and how we’re fueling technology into our business, the Access Technologies business fits right smack in the middle of all that,” said Dave Ilardi, senior vice president of Allegion Americas.
“We both drive accessibility and connectivity around the opening. We're trying to help solve customer problems on an ongoing basis. We’re building on a strong legacy. And to me, that's a great roadmap for the future success of this business.”
‘A better place’
Allegion and Access Technologies are one year into the integration. The business added to Allegion’s global presence, bringing a team of more than 1,300 employees across 30 branches, two manufacturing facilities and two regional distribution facilities.
For Access Technologies General Manager Brian Pertman—who’d spent his entire 25-year career with SBD—the initial call about his company’s decision to sell was emotional at first.
“It was an intense period for us as a team and individually, as an event like this can go in many directions,” Pertman said. “But along with that emotion was genuine excitement about the future. And we knew that taking our door business to a door company like Allegion was right for us.”
Pertman said Allegion employees and leaders, alike, have been open, warm and welcoming throughout the acquisition and transition processes. The investment, support and positive employee culture has poised us for a successful future together, he said.
Customers have given positive feedback about the focus on delivering customer satisfaction throughout the acquisition and ensuring the transition didn’t interfere with operations.
“Here we are, one year in, and we couldn't be in a better place than we are today,” Pertman said.
Strategy, challenges and investment
When Allegion spun off from Ingersoll Rand in 2013, leadership began looking at what parts of the security and access industry it wanted to be a part of. Automatic doors were always a consideration, Ilardi said.
“Our customers would always ask why we can’t support them in the automatic sliding door areas,” he said. “We look at our LCN business in the legacy Allegion portfolio and we have the automatic operator. But we were missing that sliding door solution. It was exciting for us to finally get an opportunity after that long of a strategic plan.”
That opportunity came during the height of post-pandemic supply chain challenges and economic headwinds, Ilardi said.
Still, Allegion has already made investments in Access Technologies, which include modernizing manufacturing equipment, migrating enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and investing in technicians, quality and environmental, health and safety (EHS) personnel, to name a few.
“In year one, one of the only constants was change,” Pertman said. “And as Dave and I talk about what year two is going to look like, we will continue to evaluate wise investments and leverage the combination of our two businesses to grow and take care of our customers together.”
Once those investments start to make their way through the business, we expect to see continued improvement in performance, he said.
“Change is hard,” Ilardi said. “Part of the way we work through change is through constant communication and by taking a very structured approach to ensure we’re not working through it too quickly. We recognize that change can be painful, but the goal is to get our teams more productive and successful as we continue to look forward to the future.”
‘The long haul’
Allegion and Access Technologies are excited about what the future holds as our company continues to grow and invest in our business while unlocking the potential of all our employees across the organization.
“We’re in it for the long haul,” Ilardi said.
Pertman added that he’s been grateful to Access Technologies’ incredible employees for rallying and supporting both each other and Allegion through the acquisition.
“We couldn't be happier where we are. We were a door business at a tool company, and now we’re a door business at a door company, and we could not be set up for more success,” Pertman said.
“Culture wise, it’s been incredible for us. So many friendships and strong working relationships have already formed.”