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50 Best Companies to Watch 2019

An Interview with Dan Cook, Alfred International Inc. President: ‘We Believe in Using Technology to Make Life at Your House Safer and Easier’


“We don’t build products that we want to sell, we build products consumers want to buy.”

Recent years have seen a rapid increase in the use of home automation technology across several first world countries. The digital revolution (especially in the world of IoT) has fuelled an exciting new phase with companies in the home automation industry, offering consumers new and improved smart home technologies and giving rise to a totally interconnected, easy-to-control environment termed the “smart home.” These devices offer consumers remote monitoring and control of common household devices and improved utility savings.

In light of the foregoing, we’re thrilled to present Alfred International Inc.

Alfred is a company dedicated to using the best technology to make life at home as safe and comfortable as possible.

Beginning with its DB2 and DB2-B smart home touch screen deadbolt locks, Alfred International plans to expand its products line adding a variety of smart home products.

The company was incorporated in 2018 and is headquartered in Toronto.

Dan Cook, Alfred International Inc. President, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Q. Why was the company set up?

In early 2018, drawing on our extensive experience and network of resources we commenced the journey to create ‘Alfred’ and its line of superior market-leading ‘Smart Lock’ products.

By late 2018, we had launched our first series of products. Until then the market was basically being offered locks with a pushbutton keypad attached to it, maintaining a traditional look with little of the conveniences people are looking for today.

Moreover, we build our products to exceed the market standards and certify them to meet the codes in effect in the marketplace such as BHMA, UL and National building codes. As an example, our locks are fire rated and tested to over a million cycles in a standard that only asks for 250,000 cycles.

Q. There is nothing more important for a successful small business than clearly defined goals?

Our goal in creating the Alfred series of Smart Locks was to achieve the perfect blending of security, convenience, and design: Easily installed on any standard door and capable of integrating with Smart Home and Security Control Systems utilising the existing ecosystems and voice assistants in the marketplace.

Q. How successful was your first project rollout? Share the experience.

We officially launched at CES in Las Vegas in 2019 and the response from retail, trade, consumers and our competitors, far exceeded our expectation. It confirmed all we had imagined when we started the journey to create the Alfred line of products. Since that show, we have been accepted as the product of choice by North America’s top developers who have already specified our technology on their future developments. Third-party software developers have also embraced us as their lock of choice for Property Management, property rentals and assisted living facilities. Major retailers have us online and we should be on their store shelves later this year. That’s normally a three-year process.

Q. Any company, big or small, must have a sense of authenticity and originality to succeed, is your company a leader or a follower?

The moment we launched we took the marketplace by storm. We became the market leader in design, innovative technology and ended up pretty high in the ranking on base technology against most of our competitors. Companies in business for over a hundred years, still do not offer what we did at startup. We know we can hold our design position going forward and our list of innovations that are on our development roadmap is impressive. Most of all, unlike the industry incumbents we can deliver on these innovations to the market quickly while still maintaining design, performance and feature-rich products.

Q. Fostering a culture of feedback is crucial to the success of every organization. How is this true with your company?

Every single piece of feedback from consumers, sales teams etc. is shared with all management and acted on if relevant to do so. Based on feedback, we have made running changes and included features for future releases of the product. We want to build a product-driven by consumers demand features and technology, not simply on what is easy to build.

Q. What are the factors that make your company stand out?

Consumers want to address change without disrupting the way they always did or want to do things. Pin codes, keys, phones, connect to major consumer ecosystems, install it themselves or have it professionally installed. Alfred’s design criteria address these needs. We don’t build products that we want to sell, we build products consumers want to buy.

Q. How do you stay relevant to the consumer interests and needs in this highly volatile market?

Our speed to market is incredible. We are fast, nimble, and make decisions quickly. Remember, we can take a product from design to stock on our shelves, ready to ship to consumers in less than nine months.

Most importantly, we have a huge amount of industry experience and have control of the complete supply chain, thus ensuring we can bring high-quality innovative products to market quicker than anyone else.

Q. Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

We will maintain our lead in design and innovation. We look to make huge headway in volume against our competitors; bearing in mind they have a huge lead on us, at the moment. That said, consumers drive the market and we believe we will be the consumers choice for many years to come.

Dan Cook: Successful Entrepreneur

Dan Cook serves as the President of Alfred International Inc. He leads the small dynamic and extremely experienced management team who have over a hundred years of experience with manufacturing, mechanical locks, electronic locks, and retail.

“We have a huge amount of industry experience and have control of the complete supply chain, thus ensuring we can bring high-quality innovative products to market quicker than anyone else.”