Home Depot Case Study: The Origin of the ZonePro®
By recognizing a customer need and finding an innovative solution, Andrew Reiner invented a brand-new product — and established a whole new company. Welcome to the ZonePro® origin story. As the CEO of commercial maintenance company Glide Rite, Andrew realized that Home Depot, a major client, was repairing or replacing metal accordion gates, used to block aisles, on a regular basis.
The gates were being damaged, mostly at night, when staff members restocked shelves. Forklift drivers would accidentally hit gates while turning corners — even when they were retracted. This was due to their bulky design, which protruded into the aisle. Andrew, a mechanical engineer, came up with the idea of making a product housed in a metal canister, which would have a much smaller footprint than the metal gates: namely, the ZonePro®.
“What's unique about this product is its durability,” Dawn Reiner, ZonePro®’s VP of marketing, says. “Even if a forklift driver accidentally hits the unit, there's a lot of give.” The secret lies in the plastic brackets that secure the barrier to the racking. “They are really inexpensive and easy to replace,” she says. “We simply send them to Home Depot stores when they need them.”
That product, which is now known as a fixed unit, was the beginning of an intense, 5-year period of research and development. Andrew also saw the need for a portable product that could be moved around quickly and, in some cases, only block a section of the aisle. “When staff members move products around on a Ballymore, they can easily have a ZonePro™ on the back and deploy it anywhere,” Dawn says.
After the ZonePro® appeared in Home Depot, customers started asking where they could buy one for their home or business. By addressing a specific need for Home Depot, Andrew had inadvertently invented a product with a much wider audience. There was a gap in the market for a well-engineered and elegantly designed safety barrier — and thus our company was born!
Find out how the ZonePro® can address your needs by visiting our website.