Interview with Beloxx Managing Director Matthias Blunck “We have not only solved the problem of keys, but also answered the question of how the code reaches the lock as straightforwardly as possible!”
Beloxx has had an exciting and successful few months. High time, therefore, to talk to Managing Director Matthias Blunck about the internationalization of the business, new trade partners and product innovations in both hard- and software.
Mr. Blunck, the past twelve months were eventful for Beloxx in a positive sense. How do you view the year gone by?
Yes, eventful is the right word!
We have internationalized further and, alongside successful product introductions in bigger companies, we have been able to internationalize and expand our dealer network. What’s more, in January of last year we began introducing the BeCode brand for international sales.
We began in the UK, where we selected the company BeCode UK as a premium trade partner – “BeCode” to correspond with our product name, as is fairly obvious. In the summer of 2014 we then managed to set up a branch in the USA, which deals with the sales and marketing of our products exclusively for the American market.
That naturally helped us a great deal at speeding up sales, as we were able to gain a foothold with bigger companies more quickly and in situ. We have thus already been able to equip companies like Oracle and eBay. This then helped us to acquire other big customers.
Will there be new premium trade partners this year too?
That remains to be seen. We saw last year just how many potential partners applied to us. They are then entered into a selective filtering process.
We needed a long time, for example, to find and decide on an appropriate partner for the USA. The same goes for the UK. And we have more applicants for other countries. It’s great if the right one is among them, but quality is far more important than quantity.
How do you view the development of your industry? What are the overarching trends?
Incidentally – and happily for us – there is a trend towards keyless systems. Naturally for us that’s not a bad thing. The whole thing began some time ago, and we set ourselves on the path of “Keyless Intelligence” for a reason.
We would like to offer solutions in this area – including with a focus on furniture. There are not too many providers around who are currently as attractive. But if you have bigger buildings with 10,000 employees, with 5,000 employees or 3,000 workspaces then the key problem is considerable. Keys are always liable to be stolen or break.
Solving this problem has become a very high priority for many companies.
Which innovations can we expect from Beloxx in 2015?
There will be two major themes: hardware and software.
We will now officially present the software product in March. We have standardized the already successfully introduced cloud-based service TANmode, with which users manage their locks autonomously via cloud servers and with which codes can be sent to the individual locks internationally.
We are now offering four software packages for this, which can be ordered with immediate effect. The software packages make code management considerably easier. So we not only solve the key problem, but also answer the question of how the number, i.e. the code, reaches the lock as straightforwardly as possible.
The second innovation is in the area of hardware. Here there will be an entirely new product that in its look and feel is entirely different to what we’ve seen before. Some exclusive premium customers have already been able to see this in advance – and they are looking forward to it being ready.
Alongside design, one of the main Beloxx themes is security. To what extent do you see your company as a driver of innovation in this area?
We naturally take security very seriously.
Now you could of course argue – and this is something I discuss frequently with our customers – that for certain items of furniture we can’t talk primarily about security. If we’re talking about a simple wooden cabinet, then you could install the best safe lock there is, but that doesn’t make the wooden furniture item secure per se.
If we think about a similar steel furniture structure combined with one of our keypad locks, which are designed specifically for security, are vandalism-proof and cannot be manipulated from the outside by slotting a credit card through the slit (unlike some other products), then we’ve got a much more secure item.
Beloxx locks can easily be integrated into existing locking systems. Is that your main argument when talking to customers?
Let’s just go through it briefly. My arguments are:
The product always looks better. We have had industry designers make it pretty, you might say.
The products can be retrofitted.
And they pay for themselves very quickly. That means that after three or four years the investment has already been recouped if you think about the savings in terms of key management and the expenditure that goes with it.
Another huge advantage is that we can apply it to existing furniture. This way, the cost for the customer always remains within reasonable limits. So if the customer sees a product he or she likes – and that should be the case with us – then he/she doesn’t need to buy a new cabinet. Otherwise it would be considered a step too far.