Among the factors driving the Indiana market is a requirement of raised markers on newly resurfaced roads. In addition blue raised markers to indicate the location of fire hydrants are required in some new subdivisions and on state roads and highways bordered by soundproof barrier walls. "These walls have doors in them to provide access to fire hydrants but it can be difficult to find the door," Johnson says. "So blue markers indicate where the hydrants are."
But an improved market doesn't necessarily mean an improved bottom line.
"We were installing markers in 2007 and in 2008 cheaper than we've ever done in our life," she says. Most of the blame she attributes to a new competitor who entered the industry in 2006-2007 and cut the price just to obtain market share. "He just came in and damaged the market."
She says that as a result margins the last two years are way down.
"But we've picked up more in volume, and we're still doing okay," she says. M.A.S. installs roughly 85,000 raised pavement markers a year and replaces between 180,000 and 250,000 reflectors a year on an average.
Read "Traffic Control Tips from M.A.S. Markers" to learn more tips from and information about the company.