In the July/August 2017 edition Keynotes I wrote an article titled Locksmithing Risk Mitigation: Preventing Callbacks. In this article, I identified the 3 sources of call backs:

  1. User error
  2. Technician error
  3. Manufacturer error

As I noted in the article, we don’t have much control over user and manufacturer error. Yes, we can try to do a better job of teaching our customers about utilizing their hardware and, yes, we can evaluate products prior to selling them but we will never have control over user and manufacturer errors in the way that we have control over technician error, or a callback that occurred due to our work.

In the article, I stressed that technician error can be drastically reduced, if not outright eliminated, by simply doing things the right way. So what is the right way?

The Right Way

The right way is nothing more than doing things the way they’re supposed to be done. Sounds trivial, doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to be.

The right way is installing door hardware the way the manufacturer’s instructions call for. Some may think or say that 6 screws in the case/head unit of a Von Duprin 98/99 is overkill but that’s what the instructions call for. Or how often have you seen hardware that wasn’t installed correctly? Examples abound but the fact remains: install per directions. Don’t make any interpretations or go off script; they developed and tested their product, they know what’s best.

The right way is going with the correct repair or installation, not the easiest. That’s not to say they’re always going to be mutually exclusive but often times they are. Stripped mounting screws on a surface mount door closer on wood or metal door. Easiest solution? Go to the next biggest size screw size and re-install. Correct solution? Through-bolt it because surface mount screws, of any size, obviously didn’t work the first time around. Or how often have we seen broken screws that the person before left? Easiest solution is just to ignore it but the correct solution is to remove the broken screw(s) and replace them.

The right way is recommending the correct solution, not the easiest and/or most lucrative. Most of us love this job and this trade but at the end of the day we’re all here to make money. That said, don’t let laziness or greed take precedence over professionalism.

These aren’t the only qualifiers of the right way but they should hopefully begin to paint a picture of what the right way is. To simplify the right way, how would you want someone to treat you or your property when you called on them to perform a service? You’d want them to install and/or maintain your property like a professional. You’d want them to make professional recommendations and sell you professional solutions. Put plainly, you’d want to be treated the right way.


At the end of the day, we all have to atone for our decisions in life, both professionally and personally. I cannot for the life of me fathom why anyone would not want to at least attempt to give their best and do things the right way. Never mind a reputation or customer satisfaction or a business practice, I’m talking about self-respect and self-worth. We should all strive for our very best and our work should absolutely be a reflection of that. Don’t take short cuts, don’t half-ass things, don’t be lazy about it. Do it the right way.