BrightIdeasThere’s no avoiding the fact that these are challenging times for business owners. The Great Recession has taken a toll on nearly every type of business.

With these challenges in mind, Barrier has taken a good, hard look at how it could better do business in the downturn, and how it could pass along the benefits to clients.

“We came up with many adjustments to our business model, all designed to discover methods to help current and potential clients save money, both on the cost of their projects and in creating an ongoing energy-efficient operation,” said Barrier CEO Blair Cunnings.

“We’re conscious of what’s going on and we’ve taken a look in the mirror to see not only how we could streamline our operations, but what we can do to pass savings along to our customers,” Cunnings added.

It turns out, Barrier found dozens of ways to “buckle down,” as Cunnings put it. “We’ve added electronic inventory control systems to save staff time, we’ve tapped into ways to improve our purchasing power by joining buying groups, we’ve restructured our staffing and retrained employees to keep workers’ compensation claims down,” Cunnings described.

Barrier also took advantage of the slow business climate to offer employees additional professional development and to search out the leading green technologies and energy solutions so that any newfound cost- and energy-saving solutions could be passed along to clients.

One of the key finds in this area is combining the installation of energy-efficient roof systems while simultaneously offering clients solar energy systems, both money saving and earth friendly solutions on a day-to-day basis, Cunnings noted. And, by pairing roof upgrades with solar energy, Barrier clients are also eligible for the generous 30 percent federal rebate on both products.

“We’ve taken a strong position on the solar side and on a range of energy-efficient roof and insulation products,” Cunnings said. “Two more ways we can help save money on their operations, reduce their environmental impact and qualify for the unique rebates that are currently available. It’s better than a win-win situation. It’s a win, win, win.”