Shelter : The Best Lockdown Solution

School security is one of the greatest responsibilities facing administrators, teachers, and community leaders today. With incidents rising at an alarming rate, schools have become one of the highest risk environments for live-shooters and violence.

Not only does a school environment require a new kind of response to security threats, they require better lockdown solutions. BEST SHELTER™ is that solution. BEST’s newest innovation targets lockdown in a new and responsive way. A solution that can be configured to your individual school needs and existing security protocols.

Check out the BEST SHELTER wireless responsive lockdown solution and Simply Secure Your Space and those in it.




Healthy Hardware

By Adam Matusz: Vice President Trimco Hardware

As early as 2600 B.C., Egyptians were using copper to heal wounds and purify drinking water. They seemed to know what modern humans are just starting to appreciate – that copper is an effective bactericide.

In fact, how copper kills the bacteria that are responsible for over 100,000 Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) every year is a relatively simple process. Without going into too much science, all cells include an outer membrane held together by a steady, electro micro-current. When a cell comes in contact with copper, the copper disrupts that current, causing tiny holes in the membrane. These holes allow vital nutrients to escape from the cell, eventually destroying the cell. This effect begins immediately, and can last for up to two hours. (Here’s a good link to learn more about how copper works to kill bacteria:

Tests have shown that copper – as well as similar alloys like bronze and brass – kills up to 99% of bacteria that come into contact with the copper surface. This is terrific news for hospital and medical care facilities, since many serious and even deadly infections are spread through direct contact with contaminated surfaces such as door handles, pulls and push plates.

One company is making significant strides in helping hospital and medical care facilities fight the spread of deadly bacteria. Trimco manufactures a full portfolio of high performance architectural hardware designed for healthcare, education and commercial facilities that help reduce the spread of bacteria and associated illnesses. The product line is called Healthy Hardware™, and it has already been proven effective in hospital environments. Learn more at


The Healthy Hardware™ products are manufactured from specially formulated copper alloys that are registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.) When cleaned regularly, these copper alloys have been proven to kill 99.9% of the most virulent bacteria like e-coli, MRSA and Staph. This is not a coating, but rather an all-natural, solid copper-based alloy that will last for the life of the product.

If the simple act of updating door hardware within a hospital or medical facility to copper-based door pulls, push plates, push bars and other door hardware that can reduce the spread of bacteria and lower the number of Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs), why isn’t every facility making this a priority? Let’s hope this simple-to-execute, cost effective solution becomes an urgent, worldwide initiative in the very near future.

ABH Quiet Hospital Latch: Changing the Lives of Patients – by Michael Robinson

Architectural Builders Hardware (ABH) has developed an innovation in door hardware that benefits hospitals and patients. Any of us who have experienced a hospital stay know the misery of being awakened after finally falling to sleep. The extremely loud annoying noise of the latch on the patient door being retracted and then latching is disruptive to a patient’s rest and recovery.

ABH has developed a solution that provides a healthy recovery environment. The new 6800Q quiet latch is a revolutionary product eliminating the noise of the latching system.

Not only does this product create a healthy restful recovery environment for the patient, it also allows hospitals to gain incentives under the HCAHPS. The incentive programs setup through HCAHPS centers around improving quality care for the patients.

ABH can also incorporate their Copper and Nickel Anti-Microbial, which is a process in manufacturing the product that is not a coating, but built into the actual finish of the product. This process is not the typical industry Anti-Microbial which is designed to protect the hardware, this process is designed to kill and prevent the spread of infections of patients in the hospital. ABH is on the forefront of this innovated process.

ABH can combine the quiet latch and Copper Nickel Anti-Microbial process with all of their quiet latch applications including Anti-Ligature product. The Anti-Ligature product is designed to help deter a patient from harming or killing themselves.

In addition to the above products, ABH also can incorporate designs on their hardware. A great place for these products are in children hospitals or rooms for children. A great example can be seen on ABH’s website. They show animals on the latch.

ABH products are American Made. The factory is located in the Chicago Suburbs. ABH differentiates themselves by being leaders of designing products that make the customer’s life better. Keeping the patient comfortable and healthy, but at the same time protecting their life safety and security.


Written by Michael Robinson

The Unique Experience of Architectural Sales – written by Andrew Garner

What is it that makes architectural sales so vital to the products we represent? What is an architect looking for from a product representative? What roll does the manufacturer play in supporting this effort?

The preliminary answer to these questions in a word is information. Our jobs when consulting to the architectural community is to provide accurate, timely information regarding the products we represent. Anything less will keep us from being included on bid day. We all know without that support we fail as a business.

So what does that mean? It means being an industry expert. We not only have to know our own product, but the product supplied by our competitors. Presenting an AIA presentation is one of the best examples of presenting the industry as a whole, without bias, to professionals who rely on us for industry trends, new technology and explanations of product performance. Further, unique to the nature of our business and our vendor relationships, is the complexity of the parts and pieces that are required for a successful installation for their projects. We accommodate this by having a standing offer to help them write their specifications. These professionals are reliant upon us to share our expertise, write a specification that best serves their client even if our own product offering cannot meet all of their needs.

That can be a difficult pill to swallow especially in this competitive world we live in, but better to take a hit than misrepresent ourselves or the industry for immediate gain with something we cannot do or advise against particular performance criteria when it is available in the market elsewhere. This breeds trust, the biggest factor for repeat business opportunities in this segment. Once you have gained trust, you will be regarded as a go-to person. It takes time (well managed) and attention to detail. If you choose to be completely self interested, with no regard for the interest of the architect or their client and trust is lost, you may never regain it.

We have information to share and an understanding of what it takes to get us there. What is the vendor’s roll? The obvious and immediate answer is support, right? Of course, but it is much more complex. Every vendor I have ever had the pleasure of representing has always said, “We are here to support you”! Vendors have multiple levels of a marketplace they must keep their eyes on, competitors, distribution, general contractors, sub-contractors, consultants and yes, architects. They’ve got to be on the ball for all of these, but much of the success is dependent upon being specified or co-specified. It often starts at the architectural office.

Vendors are required to always keep an eye on the whole marketplace. Research and develop new innovative products or perhaps develop or adapt something in reaction to a product not in our offering but offered by a competitor. It’s also service with a quick response and warranty that protects their clients in the event of product failures.

It is this bloggers steadfast belief that architectural sales is a “soft sell” environment, meaning provide them with the resources, i.e. literture, samples, test reports and any other item or pieces that support the case you are making for product acceptance. It will certainly be important for you to do your thing here, point out the features and benefits, but realize that ultimately it will be taken out of your hands. Seasoned architects and specifiers are expert product evaluators and will want to be left to their own methods in order to evaluate on their terms.

Make sure that the literature and test reports you use are completely up to date and from reputable testing agencies. If that’s not the case run to your vendor and make this a requirement. Have samples and the rest of your selling tools cleaned, without blemish and in working order. Since it’s ultimately their call not yours, leave nothing to chance to give yourself the greatest probability for success!

Architectural selling takes planning and patience. Appointments are always necessary and you may have to extend the appointment further out than you would like. That is the nature of the business, never cold call.

Finally, to vendors, dealers and rep agencies make your websites easy to navigate, eliminate any registration requirements, have a place to go on your tool bar that says, “I Am An Architect” and have local representative contact information easy to find and up front. Architectural offices everywhere are going paperless; they don’t want our binders anymore! This is where they get their information, trust me!

Good Selling!

Re-evaluating our time in 2015

This is my first attempt at writing a blog and it is our company’s first official blog!  Here goes jumping from the shore into the water.

What do the rich and poor, the old and the young, the weak and the powerful, the kings and servants all have in common?

The answer is time!

What makes people who they are and different from each other is how people use their time.

My challenge to our team and to myself is: “let’s re-evaluate our time in 2015 and develop a lifestyle that maximizes our time.”

This applies to personal life and work.  Time ticks away the same for every person.  We need to find the best use of our time to make us who we are and achieve our destiny.

Time is a gift.  One day we will look back on our life and wonder where all the time went to.  We can never get it back.

Our leadership is challenging our team to develop a new time management program to allow them to be more productive at work.  In addition, we are hoping they mirror this program in their personal life and make it a lifestyle change.

Our goal is to also help our team grow personally and professionally.  This is what makes many small businesses and us different from corporations.  We want our employees to feel like it is their business and more like being a part of a family than a daily job grind.

We want to enable, develop, and empower our employees to succeed.   We want them to start their own businesses, and we help mentor them to do so.  Of course, we don’t want them competing with us, so we help them work either within our group as a partner or in conjunction with our organization.  Not everybody wants to or is capable of owning their own business, but those who have that drive should not be discouraged.

If you enable, develop, and empower your employees, they will help you grow your business and win against your competition.

This brings me back to time.  When you are helping to improve your team’s life, they in turn will work very hard for you.  They will understand the importance of time not only during their work day, but throughout their life.