Forever Safe Shelters expands their market
by John Romero
In Texas, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and other natural disasters are a fact of life. Those families, schools, and businesses that have a Forever Safe Shelter have a piece of mind knowing there is a safe place that can withstand whatever nature can produce.
Forever Safe Shelters, in Athens, TX, is a family owned and operated manufacturer of above-ground shelters and safe rooms. These shelters are constructed off-site from precast, modularized components that allow for significant advantages in budget and quicker onsite installation.
When Forever Safe Shelters started production in 1991, they knew they were in a niche market. After establishing themselves in that market, they wanted to grow their business. To do so, Forever Safe Shelters needed to better understand all other market segments they could explore to expand their customer base.
They needed assistance from someone that had the expertise and resources to conduct the appropriate research, as well as the manufacturing and operations know-how to capitalize on all new markets resulting from that study.
Forever Safe Shelters reached out to TMAC for this assistance.
The TMAC team immediately went to work gaining an intricate understanding of not only Forever Safe Shelter’s products, but also their capabilities and strengths – sheet metal work and fabricated plate manufacturing.
A market intelligence study was conducted via secondary research, pulling data from various business related databases, and primary research, contacting industry experts and major players for direct interviews. From this study, TMAC was able to produce a prioritized list of new markets Forever Safe Shelters could penetrate and identified any changes in manufacturing operations needed to accommodate each new market. In addition, TMAC identified a number of industry associations that are related to Forever Safe Shelter’s business and how they could benefit from each one.
TMAC even took it a step further by identifying the federal and state building codes and policies that drive shelter adoption. This opened the door to a number of possibilities, primarily how Forever Safe Shelters can readily respond and operate on state and federal contract opportunities. This required a certification that the shelter met the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) 320 and 361 standards. Certification required professionally engineered plans and destructive testing data. TMAC worked with professionals and material science laboratories in the Department of Engineering at Texas A&M University to obtain the needed data.
The market intelligence research conducted by TMAC has helped Forever Safe Shelters expand their market and grow their business. Shortly after TMAC’s efforts concluded, the company has hired three full-time welders to build out initial inventory with the prospect of hiring more welders as they continue to grow. The laboratory testing and other university resources coordinated by TMAC has proven that Forever Safe Shelters go well beyond industry baselines to keep their clients safe.