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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.
The heightened security following the terrorist attacks last September left us all languishing over a general upheaval in the flow of life. But the tightened restrictions were actually a good thing for one Utah business.
Off the Wall Products, a company that produces plastic water-filled barricades, saw a 50 percent increase in sales. Who was buying them? American military bases, federal agencies and businesses nationwide forced to raise their level of security.
Even prior to the attacks, military bases had received an unfunded federal mandate to tighten restrictions on entrances. But do to a lack of funds, many of them didnÕt do it.
According to Marc Christensen, a managing partner of Off The Wall, that all changed as soon as the government released $40 billion for upgrading protection following the attacks. Suddenly, the bases and other federal agencies had money and Marc's phone wouldn't stop ringing. Sales of the barricades went up, and now the company is busier than ever.
Marc told me that Off the Wall's barricades offer significant advantages to regular concrete barriers. He said for one thing, theyÕre easy to deploy. An empty Multi-Barrier model, for example, weighs about 50 pounds and can be handled by one person. Filled with water, however, it's immovable, weighing 1,000 pounds. By comparison, concrete barricades cost more to set up, considering they require a crane, a tractor-trailer and four or five guys.
Marc obtained the patent for his first barricade design back in 1995. Now, he produces eight different models that can serve as crowd control, construction barriers and roadway delineators among other things. The Multi-Barrier has been crashed tested and the government has approved its use in 65 m.p.h. zones on federal highway construction projects. Another model is being used by airports to help keep runways safe and efficient.
Off the Wall's barricades are also capable of displaying signage. So while directing traffic or controlling crowds, the barricades can prominently display company brands, logos and slogans. Well, judging by demand, I'd say Off the Wall's barricades are right on target.
For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.