The Situation: A large retailer with over 10,000 locations worldwide was having significant issues with security grille lock damage. Approximately 30% of their security grilles were in need of recurring repairs to the lock bar on their push up security grilles. The constant service calls for the same issue raised red flags with this retailer. Not only was the cost of the constant repairs an issue, there was the additional cost of hiring a security guard to man the store after hours since the grille could not be locked. This retailer approached Cornell Storefront Systems to help determine the cause of this issue and find a solution.The Task: We were tasked with helping our valued customer find a solution to this drain on their service budget. We developed a plan to ensure the correct products were provided, ultimately reducing the number of repairs and service spend.
The Action: We knew the recurring issue was with damaged lock bars, so we decided to visit multiple locations to watch the employees use the security grille and interview them on their procedures. We noticed that at closing time, employees were not locking the grille properly. Instead of closing the grille and engaging the lock, employees would pull the grille down halfway, engage the lock and then slam the grille closed. They had to slam it closed because the locking mechanism was not designed to be engaged in any position other than the closed position. The employees were forcing the lock to operate outside of the way it was designed because they did not want to bend down to the floor in order to engage the lock.
The Result: We brought this information back to the customer and told them we would redesign the lock mechanism to work the way the employees were using it and ensure that it was a solution that could be retrofit onto their current grilles. They initially thanked us for our help, and told us they would work on modifying employee behavior instead of adding this new lock. We knew that if this was an issue with this customer, it was probably an issue with others, so we developed the Lock and Drop. This locking mechanism allows an employee to engage the lock at any position throughout the opening and closing of a grille. This solution prevents the lock bar damage that was common for this customer. After a few months of the customer trying to modify employee behavior to no avail, they decided to purchase the Lock and Drop to retrofit onto their grilles that had the most locking service calls. Our solution allowed employees to lock the grille without bending over. This ultimately saved the customer a significant amount of money as they no longer had the emergency service calls, nor the added expense of hiring a security guard when the locks broke.