Bismarck’s automotive transponder key fob headquarters!

“Some lines of work haven’t changed in years,” said Ken Hoff, the proprietor of Warren’s Locks & Keys. “Not to say that the guy changing oil at a garage has an easy job, but he’s still reaching for the same half inch wrench that he did on the day when he first started out. The locksmithing business doesn’t give you that luxury. If you keep using the same technology and equipment that you did even a few years ago — if you fall behind one gear — you’re going to find yourself out of luck pretty quickly.”

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Ken’s industry has been marked by relentless innovation since he started out in 1993, but it was not only by constantly investing in the most cutting edge equipment, and regularly attending classes on his trade, that he made Warren’s Locks & Keys the Bismarck area’s premier locksmithing business. Ken also owes his success to a rather old-fashioned concept: a job well done.

“I always put quality over quantity,” Ken continued. “Great workmanship is everything to me. I would never do a job that I can’t take pride in, even if it means taking fewer service calls than I’m able to. Doing 100 jobs a day sounds like a great way to make money, but if you dig a little deeper you’ll realize you’re never going to get repeat business that way. My customers count on me because they know I’m going to take my time and do the job right, and always on the first time.”

One newer aspect of locksmithing that Ken has done particularly well at keeping up with is the transponder car key, the little remote that locks and unlocks your car from a distance. (It never gets less satisfying, hearing the little beep as you’re walking toward your car with your groceries.) Indeed, Ken has made Warren’s Locks & Keys into Bismarck’s very own automotive transponder key fob headquarters.

“One big advantage of having specialized in our line of work for so long is that we’ve figured out how to give our customers the absolute best value that the lock and key business has to offer,” explained Ken. “Our transponder key fob service is a perfect example of that. Because we’ve established a good buying relationship with the people who make the devices, learned to code them so efficiently, and worked with practically every make and model vehicle you could find in North Dakota, we’re confident that we can produce a transponder key fob for the lowest price the job can be done for.

“I offer a lot of other high tech products like safes and keyless door locks, but some facets of home security can’t be improved on, like the deadbolt. At the end of the day, everything I do comes together so I can offer my customers a complete approach to home security. Unfortunately, I’ve found that a lot of people are reactive instead of proactive; They only invest in the home security they should have gotten before a break-in happened. Crime is inevitable, and while you can’t stop it, you can prevent it. Home security has always been a passion of mine, and it’s been my honor to have helped so many people in our community protect whatever is most important to them.

“You might think that any line of work would get stale after a while, but that’s never the case with locksmithing. The sheer variety of the technology I get to work with, the challenge of mastering every new kind of lock that hits the market, it keeps everything fresh and enjoyable. I’m looking forward to another 25 years in this business — who knows what locksmithing’s going to come up with by then?”

Warren’s Locks & Keys is located at 920 E Front Ave in downtown Bismarck. You can learn more about the services they offer by calling (701) 223-0938 or visiting


By David Scheller