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December 16, 2020

How Designetics Pivoted to Making Protective Barriers

Protective barriers in a retail store.

At Designetics, we focus on solutions, not products. And sometimes, that means pivoting from our core competency of fluid application to solve an important problem – but one that isn’t related to fluid application – for a client. Here’s a story of just how flexible and entrepreneurial our team is, and how this pivoting mindset is helping to keep front-line workers, and the general public, safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How the Pivot Started

In March of 2020 – shortly after the pandemic took hold in the U.S. – our Sales Manager was contacted by a healthcare facility in desperate need of mobile, protective barriers for their workspaces. These barriers were critical to helping separate workers and the general public, but they were becoming increasingly difficult to obtain as more and more businesses were adopting physical barriers to help keep their workers and customers safe.

The Designetics Sales Manager and the President reached out to a cross-functional team within the organization to look at the customer’s requirements and determine the best solution. It was an “all hands-on deck” mentality, and everyone was on board with the idea that they needed to help this customer solve a critical problem, even though it was outside of Designetics’ core competency. Everyone on the team had a job, and by the end of the day on Friday, the team had a concept ready to go. A few design tweaks were made over the weekend, and with the design finalized, materials were ordered on Monday. The team manufactured and assembled the customer’s rolling barrier shield on Tuesday and delivered it on Thursday – barely a week after the initial inquiry.

2Shield Protective Barriers

Designetics’ newest product – the 2Shield protective barrier – was born, and more importantly, it was protecting workers on the front line at a healthcare facility. Based on this success, and the positive impact these barriers could make at countless other facilities, Designetics decided to formally take the 2Shield to market.

Although the first customer for the 2Shield protective barrier was a healthcare facility, other uses quickly became apparent – for example, in salons and fitness centers.

It turns out that there were many companies that needed physical barriers to protect workers and customers, and interest in the 2Shield quickly grew. But again, the Designetics team was tasked with approaching customer needs from a solutions perspective, rather than a product perspective.

For example, we soon received a request for a barrier to be used at a reception desk. The initial designs had been movable, rolling barriers, but this one needed to be stationary. That would be a relatively simple design change, but the customer wanted a barrier that they didn’t have to permanently fix to the countertop – they wanted it to be easily installed and removed. So the Designetics team came up with a stationary barrier design that would remain upright and stable without permanent fixturing or anchoring.

Many other special requests have come in since the 2Shield was launched – custom rolling designs, stationary designs, barriers suitable for cubicles – and each time, the Designetics team has taken the approach of, “We’ll design a solution to fit your needs” – the same mindset that we use in our core business of designing fluid applicators and application systems.

After providing 2Shield barriers for a local Costco store, Designetics received a request from Costco Headquarters to provide barriers for a number of their stores, to be used at checkout stations, food counters, and automotive service counters.

The Designetics Way: Focus on the Right Solution

Since that initial request in March, Designetics has produced hundreds of 2Shield protective barriers for applications as diverse as medical, offices, retail, restaurants, salons, schools, fitness studios, and sporting events. Thanks to our team’s willingness and ability to look at a problem outside of our core competency and say, “We’ll find a way to do that,” not only have thousands of people been protected by 2Shield protective barriers in a wide range of situations, we’ve also been able to keep our employees and facilities open and productive at a time when our core business has been impacted by the pandemic.

To order a 2Shield protective barrier, or to discuss the best solution for your application, please reach out to us. We’d love to help you with your challenge – whether it’s choosing the best fluid applicator or designing protective barriers to keep your employees and customers safe.