Everyone's along for a ride

Local businesses experience success in tandem
Tuesday, March 1, 2005

EVANSVILLE, Ind. - As the saying goes, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. For Ohio Valley Communications, the same can be said about business opportunities. Ever since Toyota built a manufacturing plant nearby, the local economy has grown and so has the company’s workload.

In 1998, Ohio Valley secured a contract to outfit Toyota’s new manufacturing facility with fire and security systems. The 400-million-square-foot plant, where automobiles such as the Sienna and Sequoia are produced, features SimplexGrinnell fire alarms, in addition to security cameras, recorders and paging system.

“Our economy’s been good since Toyota came here. It brings other businesses with it,” said Vice President Steve Hammer. “That’s been the biggest boon for us.”

Indeed, the company’s yearly revenue has jumped from about $1.6 million pre-Toyota to approximately $2.4 million in 2004. In addition to the car manufacturer, Ohio Valley handles fire and alarm work for the nearby Bristol-Myers Squibb facility and St. Mary’s Medical Center.

Revenue from fire alarm installations equals between 20 percent to 25 percent of the company’s overall business, according to Hammer. “We could survive with just fire alarms,” he said.

Founded in 1936, the company is focused exclusively on commercial work. The company does not target private businesses solely, but public sector organizations as well.