Paxton Access ramps up U.S. presence

Paxton Access, the UK-based firm specializing in electronic access control solutions, is ramping up its presence in the U.S. market.

The company recently hired Bob McKee, a 32-year veteran of the access control business in the U.S. to lead its sales and marketing operations. McKee has held several high-level positions at U.S.-based companies during his career including Pelco, Samsung Techwin, PCSC, and Cardkey Systems.

“Customer service is probably the number one mantra here and I truly believe in that. What attracted me (to Paxton Access) is that they really took care of their employees and their customers,” McKee explained.

Paxton Access was established in 1987 and became a top access control supplier to distributors such as Norbain and ADI in Europe. Over the years, however, the company had very little visibility in the U.S. Last Year, Paxton established a U.S. headquarters in Bellevue, Washington.

“They weren’t getting much penetration whatsoever,” said McKee. “So, they really decided to make an investment so they could achieve what they did in Europe in the North American market.”

McKee, who has been charged with developing a program to bring more dealers and integrators on board, said that the company is now focused on growing its installer base. The company has done well in the distribution space, according to McKee, but as it goes out to build its U.S. brand, he said it will have to focus on marketing and exposing dealers to their products.

“We have a very big job in front of us to show dealers ways they can improve their profit margin,” he said. “In today’s tough economic times, that’s truly what you’re trying to do. When business shrinks, you have to be more financially competitive because everyone is trying to survive. We show them installation and service advantages and that sells itself.

Besides pursing the dealer channel, McKee says Paxton is also going into the OEM market and already has some OEM agreements to provide is products to other companies. Paxton Access, which initially began its tradeshow marketing program at ESX earlier this year, will be marketing at ASIS 2009 next week.

According to McKee, one of the differentiators for Paxton Access is that the company tries to provide “quick installation and ease of use” in the access control business.

“Most end users only use 10 percent of the features associated with an access control system,” said McKee. “One reason is that some systems are just too complex, the other is that the customer truly just wanted a simple system for getting back to the basics; just to replace the key system and more easily control who has access to the facility and audit who had been in and out of the facility.”

That said, Paxton’s solutions aren’t always bare bones. The company recently has introduced products that include marine pads designed for outdoor, marine type environments and has gained some attention with its LCD reader, a card reader that features an LCD screen on the keypad that can be used for displaying access control information, instructions, or to even welcome guests to facilities.

It’s a technology that McKee says could really be used in advanced methods. He points out that that the LCD screens could potentially be used in the future for things such as mass notification or emergency procedures.