The Falcon

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PTI Access Control Systems
Gaining access to success

Just three productive months into his term as the new owner/president of PTI Access Control Systems, Lance Comstock is making things happen for this Scottsdale, Ariz.-based designer and manufacturer of access-control and security systems for the self-storage industry. Though PTI has been in business since 1979, the surge of new blood in the company has lead to an expansion of products and services.

A graduate of DeVry Institute of Technology, Comstock was hired by Minico Inc. 14 years ago to assist in the development of an access-control system for self-storage. He later began his own company, Classic Security Systems of Baltimore, Md., where he has worked for the past 10 years handling installations and supplying equipment for access controls and security. With as much as 80 percent of that company's business being dedicated to mini-storage, Comstock had the opportunity to develop close ties with PTI's previous owner, Dale Bone. "I was already very familiar with PTI's equipment because I had installed a lot of it while working at Classic. I had worked with the previous owner hands-on with the designs," Comstock says.

The Falcon

The company's signature product is the PTI Falcon, a PC-based, access-control software that allows remote control of the security system, including rental-unit alarms, by telephone modem for an unmanned self-storage operation. The Falcon is a stand-alone system that will continue to operate a facility's access control and security even in the event of a PC failure. It both allows and denies entrance into and out of a property, controlling gates, door strikes, elevators and lighting-control boards.

"We can control lights in buildings, elevator/floor access, different levels of access into a property, alarms on individual units and perimeter beams around a property," explains Comstock. "Virtually any peripheral device can be controlled with our Falcon." The system also has virtually unlimited time zones and is Y2K compatible.

Also offered by PTI are detailed security graphics, gate-access controls, an alarm multiplexer, security panel and Code Express, a weatherproof keypad with an integral credit-card swipe that allows customers to use any standard magnastripe card to enter the property.

Times They Are A-Changin'

Since his new ownership of PTI, Comstock has been busy implementing improvements to the company's already solid list of offerings. "Since I've been here," Comstock says, "I have hired an engineering team and increased our service and staff support immensely. We have increased our production and service area by more than 5,000 square feet. We have written a Windows®-interface program to complement our Falcon system, allowing for better reporting and data entry via the click of a mouse. We have also rewritten our graphics-site program into a Windows format, which allows the customer to edit and manipulate his site, or even create his site if he wants to. That saves him a lot of money." Also added to the repertoire is a new, quick-key keypad.

The Internet will also be a part of the changes taking place at PTI. "We're going to be using the Internet a lot," says Comstock. "We have a large international customer base, and the Internet allows us to work with them more efficiently. Our clients in Europe, Australia and New Zealand are able to communicate with us via e-mail, and that's important." Not only that, but the company's Falcon system is designed to accept upgrades from a download off of the company's Web page.

What else is on the horizon for PTI? "The direction we're going to pursue is definitely customer service," asserts Comstock. "My background has always been in a customer-service-related field, and I feel that's our strongest point. We've implemented a customer-tracking database to make sure that we return calls and keep our service up to speed. We're going to ensure that happens." Comstock also plans to increase the company's staff as time goes on and maintain PTI's dedication to using cutting-edge technology.

It's all in the name of moving forward and gaining access to more success. "I've been in this industry for 14 years, and I have all these ideas that I can now implement into our product," says Comstock. "That's what's been most exciting for me. It's like being a kid in a candy store."

For more information about PTI Access Control Systems, call (800) 331-6224 or (602) 602-1259; Web:

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