Chamberlain Group: Redefining Access Solutions

Read the new The CEO Views interview with our CEO, JoAnna Garcia Sohovich, for their Top 50 Most Innovative Companies to Watch 2021 issue. JoAnna shares how Chamberlain Group is providing customers with smart access solutions that allow them to move safely through their garages, homes, communities, businesses and storage facilities. In the article, JoAnna describes how myQ connectivity is enhancing our products across our various customer segments and highlights how we are adding to our partners’ services with examples from the myQ Connected Garage and Amazon Key In-Garage Delivery.

Chamberlain Group is a global leader in smart access solutions. As the corporate parent company to prominent brands LiftMaster, Chamberlain, Merlin, and Grifco, the organization designs and engineers residential garage door openers, along with dock leveling systems, commercial door operators and gate entry systems. The products are connected through its innovative myQ ecosystem, which empowers customers to control and monitor entry points and events through smartphone access.

“Innovation and customers’ evolving needs are driving our access solutions strategy,” said JoAnna Sohovich, CEO of Chamberlain Group.  “Chamberlain Group leads the way in providing customers with reliable solutions that allow them to move safely through their garages, homes, communities, businesses and storage facilities. To ensure we are keeping pace with our customers’ needs, we embarked on a business, technological and cultural transformation centered on delivering smart access solutions to our customers.”

Chamberlain Group has been recognized as one of the Top 50 Most Innovative Companies to Watch in 2021. The organization is a family-owned company guided by eight family values: Good Corporate Citizenship, Partners, Employees, Customers, Integrity, Long-Term Growth & Profitability, Leadership, and Quality & Excellence. From a safety and security standpoint, the organization knew that connectivity was the business’s future, so it had to define where that transition may take it. As its capabilities expanded, consumer needs and expectations also evolved. The organization learned how to add value to connected customers who want knowledge around access points in their homes and businesses.

One of the first problems the organization encountered was that many garage door openers in the market are not connected to the internet because they traditionally did not have Wi-Fi chips. So, the organization invented the myQ Smart Garage Hub that allows you to connect your existing garage door opener to the internet via Wi-Fi. If customers buy a new LiftMaster or Chamberlain garage door opener, it will be Wi-Fi-enabled, but, in the meantime, if their opener is still working fine, the customer can buy the hub, and that helps enable a connected garage.

Chamberlain Group is aligned closely to its various customer segments. By listening to the customers, the organization can better understand their pain points and work with them to solve their problems. “We tried to expand our thinking from garage door openers to overall access. We just launched the myQ Pet Portal to allow pet owners to let their pets in and out of their home while they are away. We replaced the door entirely, and there is a panel on the lower half of the door that opens up like an elevator, which has video streaming and two-way voice communication. It is a terrific example of building productive relationships with customers around access, not just garage door openers,” extols Sohovich. 

Three megatrends shaping the access industry are connected homes and communities; smart vehicles; and e-commerce and delivery solutions. People are expecting smart home solutions, and with the rise of urbanization, there is also a rise in gated communities as people are more specific about their security and privacy. There is also an increase in remote work arrangements as many people are conducting business in their respective homes. People began to think about how they can use their homes differently and design them to fit their lifestyle.      

In terms of smart vehicles, there are three main categories. In today’s world, vehicles are coming in and out of the garages mostly using a transmitter where one can push the button, and the garage door will open. Also, there’s newer technology where the buttons are integrated into the car’s overhead console, mirror or visor. As we move forward, there’s going to be an app on the telematics screen, so there won’t be any extra buttons or transmitters.

E-commerce and delivery solutions spiked during 2020 because of the pandemic. Chamberlain Group’s in-garage delivery solution was very timely. The organization also looks at it from a logistics and warehouse domain perspective because it controls docking systems. The organization has dock levelers that provide smart solutions, including gates for warehouses and door operators.

Chamberlain Group has a long history of innovation around making garage doors, gates and docks smarter and safer. The introduction of the myQ smart technology was a game-changer by allowing its LiftMaster and Chamberlain products to become part of a connected ecosystem. The organization integrates other connected device platforms – it has cloud-based access control systems for businesses, and it does vehicle-to-home communications. The myQ app allows users to receive real-time notifications for the status of their garage door, set scheduled events, share access and integrate with leading automation platforms.

Chamberlain Group has worked with several partners of various sizes. While working with Amazon, the myQ Smart Garage Hub has been an essential tool in raising consumers’ garage connectivity rates. The product’s awareness has been tremendous since the myQ Smart Garage Hub is often a top seller on the Amazon marketplace. The myQ Smart Garage Hub’s success, combined with the ability to connect customers to their garages, opened the door to partner with companies like Amazon. By working together, they add value to Prime delivery services through Amazon Key In-Garage Delivery to provide a secure ecosystem for delivery.

The myQ technology is helping Mitsubishi Motors redefine in-vehicle garage control with the myQ Connected Garage. myQ smart access allows automakers and tier 1 suppliers to integrate smart vehicle access within their infotainment system, so drivers can safely monitor, open and close their garage door from anywhere through convenient in-dash touchscreen control. The technology will debut on the 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, a technology-forward compact SUV, and the all-new 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SUV. It will also be available to 2018-2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross owners through the My Mitsubishi Connect app.

Chamberlain Group moves from a company that opens doors to one that creates seamless access journeys by connecting people, points of entry, and events. Creating smarter hardware with enhanced data, knowledge, and visual insights, the organization is building a smart access ecosystem. The ecosystem expands access points in homes, businesses, and communities. Beyond that, the organization will leverage technological applications like analytics and artificial intelligence to provide people with more convenience around access points.

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