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Lubbock Lock and Key:
An Old-Fashioned Company Gets a Modern Security Update

PDK Case Study Lubbock Electric

When father-and-son team, Bill and Riley Moran, purchased the industrial services company Lubbock Electric in 2022, they were committed to preserving its legacy as a family-run business that prioritizes personal relationships with its customers. The company sells, repairs, and services critical electrical and automation controls, motors, hydraulic systems, and compressors used in industrial and agricultural applications.

Lubbock Electric Co. Logo

However, not all aspects of the Lubbock, Texas-based business could continue operating as they had for 70 years. Security required a serious upgrade.

Owner Bill Moran recalls, “One of the first things I realized was that I couldn’t get a key to the building. Every door was different. I needed five to six keys for a complete set, and there was no logic as to which key worked where. Even more troubling was that we had no idea who else had keys. After so many decades in business, we knew there must be countless copies floating around the community.

When I walked into Lubbock Lock and Key seeking assistance, the staff gave me a knowing smile and told me, ‘We’ve been waiting for you to come looking for help because everyone in town has a key to your building!”

Lubbock Lock and Key is a traditional locksmith shop about a mile down the road from Lubbock Electric. “We’ve been around since 1971,” says owner Ryan Burden. “We do mostly locks, keys, and safes, but we’ve transitioned into offering Electronic Access too. It’s what the market demands.”

PDK with Lubbock Lock and Key

Initially, Moran planned to hire Lubbock Lock and Key to rekey his entire facility. He and technician Bill Norris drew a map of the property and identified all keyable locations. “It became crystal clear, very quickly, that rekeying everything didn’t make any sense,” says Moran. “We would be much better off going with a digital system to control everything – something we could activate and deactivate at a moment’s notice.”

The solution? A high-security Red access control system from PDK.

Lubbock Electric Tall View

The Site

Lubbock Electric is a sprawling compound. At 5000 square feet, its main building spans the equivalent of about six city blocks and has been added to, piecemeal, over a period of 30 years. There are also two smaller structures on the site, a warehouse and a mechanics shop, one of which is not wired for ethernet. The main building, alone, has 19 active exterior doors, and probably another 10 to 12 that have been sealed up as building extensions were added.

Norris and Moran determined that all those doors were no longer necessary as points of entry. They agreed that the installed solution would secure just eight; four in the main building, plus two doors in each of the others.

Employees are still permitted to exit through doors not connected to the PDK system, but cannot enter through them without a physical key. Only Bill and Riley Moran, the head of HR, and two other highly-trusted employees have keys. “We intend to keep it that way,” says Moran.

The Electronic Solution

A PDK Cloud Node in the facility’s main building communicates between all the site’s door controllers and the system’s cloud-based PDK software platform. Most of the system’s infrastructure is hard-wired, but the peripheral building lacking ethernet uses PDK’s proprietary, secure WiMAC wireless mesh to transmit between its 2-door controller and the Cloud Node. From an operational perspective, the hybrid solution is seamless. “When using or managing the system, they perform exactly the same way,” Norris explains.

PDK CN Featuring WiMAC

All PDK hardware is from the company’s Red OSDP-compliant high-security line, which features two-way encrypted communications and cannot be disconnected without detection.

Norris installed Command Access electrified lever sets as part of the new system. “Wires are running inside the doors, and there are door contacts so you can see their status. I didn’t have to make many changes to the doors to install these. It would have been tough using mag locks or electric strikes because the buildings are so old and the frames are filled with concrete.”

Physical installation took about two weeks.

“At this site, we weren’t punching in ceiling tiles and pulling wire,”

recalls Norris. “It was far more complicated. No two doors in the building are the same, and no two door jambs are the same. We were routing cables through walls that are decades old, and we had to route wire over and around two overhead cranes inside the shop. Frankly, getting it done in two weeks was impressive.

However, getting the actual PDK system up and running was a breeze; we were able to enroll all 65 employees and grant them access in just one day.”
65 Employee Enrollment

System Configuration

From a security perspective, software configuration is as critical as the hardware features. Norris helped set up the default access rules based on hours of operation and employees’ roles. Most doors are scheduled for standard workdays according to a first-person-in rule. Once someone enters through a locked door, the door remains unlocked until the end of the workday, when all door locks automatically re-engage. Separate schedules govern the main doors and the plant doors at the back of the facility. In addition, certain areas that require tighter security remain locked all the time and can only be accessed by a smaller group of employees.

Three people at Lubbock Electric have administrative access to the platform. Moran’s son and co-owner, Riley, is responsible for issuing cards, turning them off when people leave, and setting permissions.

“He had to modify some of the permissions early on, as we discovered who needed access to certain portions of the facility. He’d go into the software and make the change, and ‘bam!’ it was done. That level of flexibility is just what we wanted,”

says Moran.

Red Reader and Red Credentials

All employees have been issued 13MHz smartcard credentials. Norris points out, “The smartcards are highly secure. Unlike older proximity cards, nobody can take these to a kiosk and get them cloned. We’re determined to keep this facility locked down nice and tight.”

“We also wanted to keep it simple,”

adds Moran. “We’ve made a lot of changes here recently that employees are adjusting to, so we felt it would be easier to get everyone acclimated using familiar access cards rather than teach them how to use mobile credential on their phones – an option that PDK does offer.”

Rollout has gone smoothly, with just a few easy-to-correct hiccups. In addition to adjusting a few employees’ permissions, Moran recalls an incident that occurred soon after installing the system. A worker went into the building on a holiday to handle an emergency shipment, and when he went to leave, the door didn’t lock behind him. He called Moran for assistance. “It turns out that we had forgotten to program the dates of national holidays into the system, so the PDK software thought it was a regular weekday and followed the first-in protocol. Thankfully, with PDK’s mobile app, I could lock the door remotely within seconds. Having full administrative access through my cell phone is a tremendous convenience.”

Norris notes that the system has since been programmed for holidays.

Measuring Success

Moran admits, "When we bought the company, we were aware from the previous owner that inventory shrinkage was a huge problem. Since we've taken this step of closing down the shop after hours, I anticipate that most of that will stop. Employees know we can see card swipes for everyone who enters secure areas like the tool crib. If things go missing, it's much easier for us to investigate," says Moran.

Lubbock Electric Facility

"Also, we're not in a nice neighborhood. I'm sure that in the evenings after we're closed, anybody walking through the alley next to our building is jiggling all our doorknobs looking for an opportunity to cause some trouble.

Now, if anyone stays working late, I have peace of mind knowing that all the doors will automatically lock behind them when they leave. Plus, I have a system that notifies me when they're opened. Having that level of awareness is extremely beneficial."

While Lubbock Electric has turned to Lubbock Lock and Key on an ad-hoc basis through the years, this project is the first time the company has partnered in a facility-wide solution. Based on Moran's satisfaction, it won't be the last.

PDK Platform

"Bill Norris was so knowledgeable, professional, and took such pride in this project, you'd think he owned Lubbock Lock and Key," says Moran. As Lubbock Electric continues to upgrade security, including the eventual addition of a modern camera system that integrates with the PDK solution, there's no question where the company will turn for assistance!


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