Guardian’s origin dates back to the mid-1970s. In 2009, Guardian moved its production into a 70,000-square-foot building. The new Gold LEED-certified, state-of-the-art manufacturing site was redesigned exclusively for the production of Guardian’s emergency equipment. Today, Guardian employs roughly 50 people and maintains its production and warehousing operations in its downtown Chicago facility.
What has been your company’s business strategy to gain market share?
Our sole focus is in the production, assembly, and testing of emergency eyewash and shower equipment. Complete, undivided attention is given to each step in the manufacturing process. All Guardian products are inspected, assembled, and 100-percent water-tested before shipment, which means customers are guaranteed the highest quality emergency equipment each time, every time.
Describe the core branded products of your company that you promote most heavily.
All Guardian emergency equipment, including showers, eyewashes, combination stations, portable units and more are manufactured and promoted as the highest quality emergency products. Specifically, the G1562 Portable Eyewash and Drench Hose “keg” unit is immensely popular for low-traffic, low-hazard environments, or for those customers who do not have access to potable water. And our redesigned Freeze-Resistant Heat-Traced Safety Stations are excellent cold weather solutions for customers requiring both eyewash and shower protection.
How do distributors contribute to your success in the marketplace?
Guardian will not sell direct to end users. Business is conducted exclusively through our distributor network. We do not compete with our distributors — we avoid conducting business in a manner that would jeopardize those relationships.
Do you offer distributors training or other value-added services?
Our teams of engineers and regional sales managers answer questions and provide training, assembly and installation assistance. Guardian sales teams regularly accompany distributor representatives on end-user visits to conduct building surveys and ensure ANSI compliance. We also publish our ANSI Guide, offering easy-to-read customer assistance to help understand ANSI requirements and product selection and installation. Both the Survey and Guide are available for download on gesafety.com.
What business characteristics do you look for when selecting to work with a distributor?
Our most successful distributor relationships are true partnerships — the distributor truly invests in Guardian products by marketing and merchandising our equipment effectively. Strategies for product offering and expansion are often discussed in relation to a distributor’s target customer base. We seek partnerships with distributors who share our vision, and have the internal support to sustain expansion.
Do you have any recent news about new facilities or new personnel to report?
During the past year, the safety distribution side of our business has grown dramatically. To sustain this growth, we have added two new regional Sales Managers to further support our distributor network. Additionally, we added a Marketing Manager, whose responsibility is to oversee our media campaigns as well as lead the production of our new full-line catalog, slated for release later this year.
Describe your current financial picture.
As a privately held company, we consider finances proprietary and confidential. However, we are willing to share that we are experiencing rapid growth, both organically at the end-user level, as well as establishing what we expect to be new long-term distributor relationships.
What should distributors know about your company’s future, in terms of short- and long-range plans?
With an ownership that is willing to reinvest in its people and facilities, Guardian is primed for future growth. From a distribution standpoint, we are keenly aware of the headaches resulting from end-user assembly/installation confusion and defective product problems. Distributors often lack the technical experience necessary to resolve assembly/installation issues, and should never have to replace defective product. Guardian’s rigorous quality control policy includes full assembly and 100-percent water-testing, assuring proper equipment function and mitigating assembly problems and defective/return issues at the end-user level. This brings immense value to our distributors and we look forward to continuing this same trend in the future.
Guardian Equipment, (312) 447-8100