Locking in on security: Local company helps protect 500+ banks

MANCHESTER, Iowa — A Manchester company is responsible for supplying the security equipment for more than 500 financial buildings in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin.

TurnKey Financial Equipment has operated out of Manchester since 2008 and established itself as one of the area’s foremost suppliers and maintainers of ATMs, bank vaults and other security equipment for banks and credit unions.

The company’s president and owner, Joe Petchulat, has worked in the financial equipment business for nearly 30 years. He insists that the secret to his business’ success is its commitment to properly protecting every financial institutions’ most valuable asset: Money.

“We play a lot into the security arena,” Petchulat said. “Our role is to make sure that banks are safe and secure.”

When a new bank is under construction, TurnKey Financial Equipment is the company that is called to install the bank vault, ATMs, camera systems and any other security measures. The business sells bulletproof glass, coin dispensers and any other financial equipment that a bank might desire.

After installation, the company contracts with the bank to perform routine maintenance of the equipment. Petchulat said his technicians spend much of their time traveling from bank to bank to perform regular maintenance. Turnkey also supplies branches with bank supplies, including teller canisters and cash trays.

“When you are in this industry, you need to make sure that everything is working right,” Petchulat said. “If a vault was to jam and lock the customer out, that is 12 to 18 inches of concrete that you need to get through. We stop that kind of bad day from happening.”

Petchulat joined TurnKey Financial Equipment in 2006, recruited by the company’s two owners because of his experience in selling financial equipment products to banks and credit unions. In 2007, with a vision to expand the scope of the company, Petchulat took over ownership.

Petchulat said, the company has continued to adapt to the evolving needs of local financial institutions. Along with supplying equipment that prevents physical theft, TurnKey also works to ensure that bank ATMs are protected from online hacking.

“We always have to be ahead of it,” Petchulat said. “There are a lot of different ways that people are trying to hack ATMs, and we have to make sure that it can’t happen.”

The company also embarked on selling bank branch automation equipment, such as self-service teller machines. Petchulat added that his company is often called to assist banks with improving branch efficiency, such as reducing drive-up wait time.

“It’s a very rewarding part of the work,” Petchulat said. “We are coming in to try to help the banks operate better.”

Today, TurnKey employs 16 people, and many banks and credit unions have come to appreciate the company’s local roots.

Dave Smith, market president for GNB Bank in Manchester, said his bank at one point considered contracting with another financial equipment provider but found TurnKey to be an ideal option.

“What we have found is that when we are having issues, we know that they are right down the road,” Smith said. “It’s good to know that you have someone that is reliable.”

Petchulat, a longtime resident of Manchester who moved the company’s offices from Cedar Rapids to the community, said he takes pride in being able to be a local employer.

Donna Boss, executive director at Delaware County Economic Development, said TurnKey has been a great contribution to the Manchester community since its arrival.

“The investment they have put into the community has been really great,” she said. “They are truly a valuable asset.”