The Dranjer Story
Radon causes lung cancer, as many as 20,000 deaths every year in the United States.
Radon occurs naturally in the soil. It can enter the home through the openings and cracks in the basement floor or the slab. The biggest opening is the floor drain or the sump lid. Dranjers seal those while allowing water to drain.
Dranjer started as a side business in 1986 by, an engineering professor, a marketing consultant, an economics consultant and a CPA.
We designed products, incorporated, obtained a patent and registered a trade mark. Then we worked and watched.
Many homeowners hear about the dangers of Radon and intend to do something about it. But life gets in the way.
Builders and air quality regulators want to make homes safer. However, they are reluctant to add costs.
Some jurisdictions require Radon testing of homes for sale. In Canada, Realtors resisted the government’s proposal for that and it died a quiet death.
The market is small. There will not be a multi-million dollar IPO in this business.
The engineering professor and the marketing consultant drifted away, saying good-bye to their investment in time and money. Harold Westdal and Allan Grant continued with Dranjer while pursuing their full-time careers.
As one observed, “You won’t make a living with Dranjer, but you will save some lives.” This may not be finding the cure for cancer, but preventing some is rewarding.
Homeowners want to protect themselves and their children from Radon. Prospective buyers want to know Radon levels in a home.
An economical first step is to seal the single largest opening in the concrete floor with a Dranjer. Then test Radon levels to determine if Radon is entering through other means.
Then, only if necessary, a Radon mitigation contractor can install an active system that pumps air from under the slab to the outside.
The market is small, but sales have allowed us to invest in molds for injection molding. In spite of the hype about fast protyping and laser imaging, toolmaking is still expensive.
Manufacturers of the off-the-shelf U Bend component in our J Series sell in truckloads. They only reluctantly sell in quantities that are reasonable for us.
A part-time assembler checks finished goods quantities on hand and makes up product on her schedule, working to minimize backorders.
Another part-timer monitors our email for orders and early Friday morning, ships that week’s orders.
Harold and Allan, also part-time, tweak product design and assembly processes. They control parts inventory, control costs, pay the bills and deal with the issues that come up in a small business.
It is not economical to field queries and orders from consumers. We sell to our dealers in case lots.
Dranjer enjoys the long term support of several loyal dealers and we devote our resources to providing them with excellent customer service.
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