A Security Industry Legend Retires. An Homage to Kip Phillips

By Gina Stuelke, CEO of Kenton Brothers

Kip Phillips RetiresKip Phillips is a rare breed in today’s world. He has dedicated 37 years of his life to the security industry, from running his own business Phillip’s Electrical Enterprises on and off for 21 years, to working for other security integrators along the way. Kip began learning the electrical field starting at 8 years old from his father and went to school to become an electrical engineer at Southern Illinois Carbondale. To this day, Kip is a life-long learner and is very passionate and committed to his craft. He has followed in his father’s footsteps by carrying on the tradition of teaching others to share his knowledge and perpetuate the industry.

Kip’s role at Kenton Brothers as Integration Manager was designed to oversee the leadership, training and development of the technicians in the field. He’s a master at streamlining processes and implementing quality standards to ensure that the technicians do the job consistently and with quality.

Kip Phillips RetiresAs a 37 year security industry veteran, Kip’s top tips to be a successful technician include:

  1. You must understand all of the systems involved
  2. You must have the desire for continuous learning; be interested in the technology, the environment you’re working in, and value your hand tools
  3. You must want to learn it, not just do it
  4. You must have the technology skills, but also be willing to get your hands dirty

The technicians that he lead loved his experience and willingness to take time with them to mentor and help them advance in the industry.

“I especially enjoy commercial access control systems because there are so many moving parts. We can do so many things with the options, your imagination with AC is limitless. Protecting people, protecting things, plus it can interface with just about anything-the possibilities are endless!”
Kip Phillips

When asked about the three most influential people that have helped him become the man he is today, he mentions his dad, his wife, and his friend Herb Farnsworth.

“My dad taught me so many skills my whole life from an early age. My wife has been my rock. She has taught me how to enjoy life, encouraged me through my career and is always there to listen. Herb Farnsworth is a unique person and has presented opportunities for many young people. He is responsible for getting me in to the low voltage systems field right out of college. He provided me an opportunity for a career, taught me about the KC market and how wheels of business turn.”

Kip Phillips Retires Kip Phillips Retires

Outside of his work life, Kip is happily married to Angela, his wife of 37 years. They have two adult children and are expecting their first grandchild this summer. Kip looks forward to traveling and camping in state and national parks, spending time in nature and taking care of their new grandbaby.

The KB team has appreciated Kip’s experience, love of the industry, willingness to give of himself and being an overall good human!  Congratulations on your next season of life Kip! We will miss you!

Kip Phillips Retires

We celebrated Kip’s retirement and enjoyed breakfast with Chris Cakes flipping pancakes to the team.

UPDATE: The Commercial Security Supply Chain in 2023

2023 Commercial Security Supply Chain UpdateBy David Strickland, Vice President of Kenton Brothers

It’s obvious that the last couple of years have been really rough on the supply chain. Manufacturers of Commercial IP Video Surveillance and Access Control parts have had a rough go of it.

Over the last year, we’ve seen wait times from some of the industries largest and most prolific suppliers in the 40-52 week time frame. Did you read that correctly? Forty to fifty-two week wait times. This has had a major impact on the industry and the customers that require their goods.

One of our customers shared, “Our trust levels in these manufacturers are at an all time low. Not because they don’t have quality goods, it’s because of their lack of delivery and timely information.

Timely and Accurate Information

Timely and accurate information has risen to the top of the concerns list over the last 6 months. Manufacturers communicate a delivery date, then as the delivery date approaches they de-commit the products and send out new commitment dates. This happened often, across many of the commercial security manufacturers, and led to the inflation of delivery projections to the 40-52 week mark.

These kinds of wait times make it difficult to finish or even commit to new projects. This has led to a surge for those manufacturers that have goods available for integration immediately. One representative recently asked, “Now that our supply chain is returning to a more manageable time frame, can we count on Kenton Brothers to come back?”  It’s a great question and one that the customer will need to answer.

2023 Outlook

2023 Commercial Security Supply Chain UpdateBased on the research of industry experts, here is a breakdown of things to come in 2023 based on their insights and opinions.

HID READERS: Outlook Grade: C

HID Readers are still going to take between 10 and 40 weeks to arrive.

The issue is still the chip and it doesn’t look likely to improve for several more months. Some versions of Lenel’s Blue Diamond readers are only 4 weeks out. Some Allegion readers are down to 4 weeks delivery time but some still have 25 week delivery times. Gallagher readers are shipping within 2 weeks.

Many of our customers are having to choose prox readers that are less secure in order to get “into the building” with plans to replace them later on.

Commercial Video Surveillance: Outlook Grade: C+

Multi Imagers, PYTZ’s and Fish Eyes tend to be the issue in this category. The chips are the issue here also.

AXIS has seen times come down and product is starting to hit the distributors shelves. However, their serve time is still as far out as 40 weeks on some of their lines. Axis has been switching out chipsets and launching new part numbers to help. Avigilon is running up to 24 weeks and has seen some progress. Hanwa and Bosch have better serve times, but with their more sophisticated cameras they’re still suffering from longer than normal times.  March Networks has normal serve times for their cameras and recorders and are picking up market share because of it.

Access Control Systems: Outlook Grade: B

This is a tale of two types, Mercury and Non-Mercury.

Mercury serve times have fallen in the last several weeks and availability for some of the manufacturers will improve in the next couple months. Lenel is currently between 1-12 weeks in most of their projected serve times. 4 months ago these were up at 28-40 weeks. Software House and S2 continues to have serve times between 6 and 20 weeks but these represent half the serve time they had just weeks ago. The mercury delays effect Avigilon also and other manufacturers using their technology. Gallagher Access Control is shipping within 2 weeks.

Electrified Locking Hardware: Outlook Grade: D

Unfortunately, this category is where the largest delays are manifesting themselves and there doesn’t seem to be any “light at the end of the tunnel” coming soon.

Currently, both major players, Allegion and Assa Abloy are communicating between 20-40 weeks for their more popular smart locks. This has opened an opportunity for manufacturers such as Alarm Lock who is currently shipping their smart locks in 4-6 weeks. This delay continues to effect projects all over the country with all Access Control manufacturers.

I know our customers will be excited when these times come down to more normal levels.

Overall Grade for 2023 Commercial Security Supply Chain: C

According to the experts at Forbes magazine, the 2023 supply chain issues will not return to pre-covid levels for a few years. The two biggest issues they say are contributing to the slower recovery are inflation and the disappearance of workforce. They’re saying that this is the new normal for a while. They also see a larger issue with raw materials being sourced in a timely manner as lower wage workers found ways to earn more by learning new skills during the pandemic.

In summary – Commercial Security supply chain serve times are improving in most categories, so we’ll give them a passing grade. We love our partnerships and are rooting for our partners to prove the experts wrong. Our manufacturers are led by talented and passionate people. This gives us confidence that things will improve in 2023.

Kenton Brothers Ranks in Top 10 Law Enforcement Solution Providers

By Gina Stuelke, CEO of Kenton Brothers

govCIO Outlook LogoGovCIO Outlook, a technology publication focused on IT and security trends, scouts the IT market for vendors who offer state of the art IT solutions for government agencies such as law enforcement and emergency management organizations. In December of 2021, Kenton Brothers Systems for Security was included among the Top 10 Companies that are at the forefront of providing law enforcement solutions and impacting the marketplace.

Is you legacy security system still effective?KB offers state of the art security solutions to address the security gaps in law enforcement, which is fraught with challenges caused by legacy security infrastructure—especially those found in detention centers, jails and correctional facilities.

To bridge the gap in security, Kenton Brothers first analyzes the client’s security needs and evaluates the effectiveness of the existing systems. Then, with the assessment results and years of security experience, the KB team designs and implements a comprehensive, purpose built system that can be managed from a single, easy-to-use platform, significantly reducing the operations staff’s workload. And because there are no longer multiple platforms or disparate infrastructure issues, the client experiences dramatically reduced installation and ongoing maintenance costs.

“When it comes to security, we understand that a cookie–cutter approach just does not work,” says David Strickland, COO, Kenton Brothers. “By thoroughly understanding our client’s requirements and goals, we craft solutions that are unique and fit for purpose.”

Interested in reading the digital version of the GovCIO Outlook magazine?

Kenton Brothers Systems for Security…protecting people, property and possessions since 1897.

Let us help you be All Secure.

All chips great and small. How microchips are holding the security industry hostage.

By David Strickland, Vice President of Kenton Brothers

Microchip ShortageYou  may have heard… There is a chip shortage. Current projections by industry insiders say that things will return to normal in early 2023.  Last month, STMicro CEO Jean-Marc Chery said that while “things will improve in 2022 gradually, normal product availability won’t return “before the first half of 2023”.

Many factors have caused the shortage including the Pandemic, a fire and a drought. There are only a few microchip manufacturers across the globe. With the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) marginalizing Chinese chips in the American marketplace, it comes down to three plants available to the security industry. One plant had a major fire last year that impacted its ability to produce chips as late as August 2021. The largest facility, located in Taiwan, has been affected by a severe drought over the last 18 months. The factory requires 63 tons of fresh clean water a day in production. These factors as well as an all time high in demand have led to a crushing shortage.

Microchip ShortageMajor car companies are projecting 110 Billion in losses in 2021 by not having enough chips to meet demand. If you have recently tried to rent a car, you’ve seen it firsthand. Car rental companies all over the globe have sold off their stock because they’re getting premium prices with the new car shortage. Simply stated, there are fewer cars to rent, so the price has inflated with demand.

How is this affecting the security industry?

Some manufacturers have recently issued warnings that some product lines won’t be available for 18 weeks, or until February 2022. A security manufacturing insider recently shared, “Make no mistake, if a component has a chip in it, it will be delayed. This problem effects everyone involved, from the manufacturer all the way to the end user.”

Current estimates for many components : (09/21)

  • Commercial IP Video Surveillance : 8-18 weeks
  • Access Control Components : 6-18 Weeks
  • Doors Frames and Hardware : 8-12 weeks
  • Hardwood Doors : 12-18 weeks
  • Servers and Switches : 8-12 Weeks

So if this is the obstacle, how do we solve it?

Kenton brothers Systems for Security has been around a long time and has some experience with dealing with obstacles. We’ve been through two world wars, the Great Depression, the Great Recession and 5 pandemics. 123 years has taught us something. There’s always a way to get it done.

Top 5 Tips for overcoming the great Chip Crisis of 2021 – Security edition

1. Communication

(The number one way to over come the chip crisis.)

Have regular meetings with your customers and help them understand their choices. No one likes to be confronted with a no option crisis. At Kenton Brothers, we like to come with solutions. You won’t be defined by having a global chip crisis. You will be defined by how you respond to it. Options, planning, and communication all work together to overcome any obstacle.

The reality of the chip crisis is that it will effect your business. The response to the crisis is what counts.

2. Substitute

Have a list of resources available to use for substitutions. If one manufacturer is out of a component, understand what you can replace well before you start the project. Managing this is key. Many integrators are surprised daily with bad news of delivery.

3. Go Old School

Temporarily using mechanical solutions will still work for access control. Prep the doors for electronic locking devices, but use mechanical locks until the electronic components arrive.

4. Monitor specific serve times for the manufacturers you use most.

Many manufacturers have portals you can utilize to track current part serve times. Call your manufacturers rep to get the inside story.

5. Plan Ahead.

Understand the serve times and roll that into your Gant charts for your project. Understand that you will need to order al lot earlier than you normally would to meet the construction deadlines.

Kenton Brothers Receives KCEDC 2019 Cornerstone Award

By Kristen Harper, Controller and HR Manager at Kenton Brothers

KCEDC LogoThe Kansas City Economic Development Corporation has a personal mission to drive economic development. Their goal is to create an environment in which businesses and residents prosper in Kansas City, Missouri.

For 30 years, the KCEDC has hosted the Cornerstone Awards to recognize companies and projects that have helped strengthen Kansas City, Missouri’s economy.

Kenton Brothers was one of 11 Cornerstone award recipients, along with 21c Museum Hotel, Bar K, CommunityAmerica Credit Union – Crossroads & South Plaza, Fountain City FinTech Accelerator, Hy-Vee Arena, Ignite Medical Resorts, Kansas City Levees Coalition – Led by the Kansas City Industrial Council (KCIC) & Missouri and Associated Rivers Coalition (MOARC), Linwood Shopping Center, McQueeny Lock Building, Wonder Shops & Flats.

The event was held on May 29th at the Kansas City Marriott: Downtown Muehlebach venue. For more information, please visit the KCEDC page devoted to the event.

Kenton Brothers Cornerstone Award 2019

We’re Invested in the Economic Growth of Kansas City’s East Side

Kenton Brothers is very invested in adding jobs to the Kansas City economy, additionally it’s so important to us to be good neighbors and bring value and economic growth to KC’s East Side. We’re loving our new facility and neighbors and enjoy sharing our expertise to protect people, property and possessions.

We are truly honored and stand beside these amazing companies to be recognized for our efforts in implementing tools and programs that fuel the Kansas City economy and growth.