New Security Industry Association (SIA) member SHP is a team of dynamic architects, engineers and designers whose product FrameFrog was developed to help the security and access control industry complete fully functioning installations. SHP is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, and its subsidiary company Tadpole Products, creator of the FrameFrog solution, is based in Bellevue, Kentucky.
SIA spoke with Ron Hicks, an owner and vice president of SHP and general manager of Tadpole Products, about the company’s history and offerings, the security industry and working with SIA.
Tell us the story of your company.
Ron Hicks: Tadpole Products, LLC, is a subsidiary of SHP, a 120-year-old architectural firm, and was formed to encourage the talent and creativity of our firm to invent new products for the design and construction industries. Our first invention is a product called FrameFrog, thus the Tadpole connection!
SHP’s primary project type is education facilities, so you can understand why security has become a major focus in our design solutions, especially after the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. As with most rapid change, initial design solutions were not fully understood, resulting in struggles to complete a fully functioning security system.
These struggles were thrust upon SHP’s field department to solve. Gary Johnson, a senior field rep, was the first to address the “collision” of wiring installed in a door frame. This reactive approach was met with limited success, so he pulled me in to drive changes in our design solutions. Through our efforts, FrameFrog was ultimately invented to solve the problem.
The security and access control industry is rapidly evolving and will continue to develop new and sophisticated products for electrified door hardware; however, the method of installing wires to power these products at the various locations of a door and frame has historically been fragmented, inconsistent, ignored or misunderstood. The struggles to complete a fully functioning installation remain pervasive on the jobsite to this day. FrameFrog was created to solve this problem.
What solutions/services does your business offer in the security industry? And what makes your offerings/company unique?
RH: FrameFrog is the first electrified hardware back-box specifically designed to simplify the installation of wires through hollow metal door frames for connectivity to various hardware components critical to an operating access control system. It provides a consistent, professional and highly adaptable method of installing wires in an efficient and cost-effective manner. FrameFrog is a future-proof design, allowing for easy access to the pathways even after construction is complete.
What is something we might not know about your company – or something new you are doing in security?
RH: After releasing FrameFrog to the market through Don-Jo in April, 2021, we have listened to the many and various suppliers and contractors that have a hand in access control installations. In response, we just released the FrameFrog Prep Kit. This kit of parts provides everything that a hollow metal shop needs to install the pathway within the frame at the shop, or it can be sent to the construction site for field installation. The prep kit provides the owner with ultimate flexibility for installing access control devices at any opening at any time in the future.
What is your company’s vision, and what are your goals for the security industry?
RH: We believe that the market is rapidly moving toward wired hardware on virtually every door opening in every facility. Driven by increasing need for security, coupled with the newest need for touchless entries, it seems prudent to prepare virtually all door openings for the eventual need for some kind of wired door hardware. Through preplanning and minimal investment, owners can now easily prepare their facilities for increasing security demands, changing functionality and evolving technological developments for all aspects of electronic door operation, without intrusion to existing conditions.
What are your predictions for the security industry in the short and long term?
RH: I think the electronic security industry is in its infancy and still discovering itself. The opportunities are endless.
What are the biggest challenges facing your company and/or others in the security industry?
RH: Our biggest challenge has been finding our place in the construction industry. FrameFrog sits in the gap between hollow metal frame manufacturers, door hardware suppliers, electrical contractors, technology contractors, security providers and probably a few others. Where is it specified? Who should provide it? Depending on your audience, you get different answers. These questions will get answered, and we expect to be a voice in the solution.
What do you enjoy most about being at your company – and in the security industry?
RH: What I enjoy most is discovering all the various companies and approaches to security solutions. It is a continual learning experience, and I am bewildered by the various and numerous players in the industry. This segmented aspect also provides enormous opportunity for solutions that bring together the different components into a seamless solution. We believe FrameFrog does just that.
What does SIA offer that is most important to you and your company? And what do you most hope to get out of membership?
RH: I think SIA is the perfect organization for bringing together this segmented industry and encouraging collaboration among the vast number of participants. Everyone has something to contribute, but the ones that find ways to fit in and play with others will excel.
How does your organization engage with SIA? What are your plans for involvement in the next year?
RH: We have only been a member for a few months, but we are already seeing benefits from networking with others, and we have started the grant writing course offered by SIA to assist facility owners in getting financial support for their security needs.
The views and opinions expressed in guest posts and/or profiles are those of the authors or sources and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Security Industry Association.