“With the only truly battery-free solution, iLOQ is helping accelerate the USA’s shift from mechanical to mobile smart locking.”

Joni Lampinen, General Manager, USA, iLOQ

Building the foundation for US market takeover

Taking over the North American market as a European company is no simple feat. The opportunity is huge, but a lot of legwork is needed. We recognized the potential and laid the foundation. Now it’s up to us to make the hard work pay off.

Getting the basics right

Preparations for market entry into the US began already more than a year ago. Before doing any business in America and Canada we needed to start by building up a portfolio of ANSI products to meet the local standards. This was the first prerequisite for any kind of commercial success in North America. This is where our strong entrepreneurial spirit and belief in our solutions kicked in. We hit the streets running.

Within just a year we have developed a complete portfolio of products for the US market. The Gate 4 review for our ANSI offering was done by October 2023 and the first customer deliveries already made by the end of the same month. We were able to commercially launch our full offering on schedule, which is a virtually unheard-of feat. The final product variants will be out to market during H1/2024. As of today, all our products have been tested and piloted with some 100 pilot cases run across USA and Canada. By the end of the year 2023, we already closed our first student housing case worth more than USD 100K.  

Making a great first impression
We officially launched iLOQ and its ANSI offering into the US business landscape at the ISC West convention in Las Vegas. The reception our technologies has been overwhelmingly positive. For the first time in iLOQ history we entered a new market with a completely keyless, mobile-only solution. Compared to many other markets the US is more ready to go straight from mechanical to mobile smart locking. With the only truly battery-free solution, iLOQ is helping accelerate the USA’s shift directly from mechanical to mobile smart locking. 

Our solutions are seen as an ideal fit for retrofit projects in multi-family housing in the big cities. The iLOQ solutions provides a great user experience for owners and tenants while being easy, fast and cheap to install and maintain with virtually no wiring and no need for regular battery changes. Some industry insiders have been quoted saying that this is the best thing to happen in access management in the last 10 years. We could only have dreamt of this type of market acceptance in our first year.    

Building operational capabilities
But obviously it’s not enough to have a great product. We have concentrated on building a local organization that allows us to operate, sell and do business in the states. We started by hiring our VP of Sales, USA, Robert Mancuso in March. From there we’ve hired a Technical Manager and a strong sales team to get the ball rolling. From the greater New York area where we started off, we have expanded our reach to the four big cities in Texas, Chicago and the South East reaching from South Carolina and Georgia all the way down to Florida.

We are looking to also expand onto the West Coast in 2024. Our growth and expansion is limited by resources, and we are carefully selecting our first locations across this vast land. We are currently also building our network of certified resellers and setting up our partner portal to allow a smooth partnership and order process.

Currently, we are able to provide stateside delivery within 10 days of the order. Anticipating growing volumes of business, we are also already pushing ahead with plans to establish a Logistics and Distribution Center in Texas to speed up deliveries and ensure local availability. This logistics hub would be able to support our business not just in USA and Canada, but also across Central and Latin America.

Positive forecast for the future
The financial year 2024 will be a time of proving the worth of the upfront investments made into the North American market entry in 2023. We have been able to do a lot of good things within a short timeframe, and we feel that we need to do equally well in terms of delivering results now that the capabilities for doing business have been established.

The product is great, the sales team is motivated and ambitious, but we still have a lot of work to do regarding brand recognition and general awareness. The opportunity to grow rapidly and make a real impact is there. We just need to capitalize on it by being active in marketing, communications and allocating resources to making iLOQ known to the American and Canadian players in the multi-family housing, commercial and public building spaces.

We are looking forward to a hectic and result-driven 2024 financial year with more sales and more attention allocated to developing marketing and HR capabilities within our US organization. We’ve had a great start out of the gates, but we are pacing ourselves for a long race. Instead of gearing for a quick win, we are getting organized, being strategic and building a strong foundation for longevity.