To say things are busy for workers at Oakland Park-based Point Blank Body Armor, Inc. is an understatement. Walk through the company’s new 104,000-square-foot production facility in Pompano Beach and it will become apparent why.
Parent company DHB Industries, based in Westbury N.Y., booked $230 million in sales last year, up from $130 million the year prior. The bulk of the sales came from its South Florida body armor division, which manufactures bulletproof vests. For the first quarter, DHB’s revenues stood at $74 million, compared to $46 million during the same period a year ago. Sandra Hatfield, Point Blank’s president, projects sales should reach $270 million by year-end.
“This is not a normal manufacturing facility–this is not just a cut and sew,” Hatfield says. “We are making lifesaving products here at a totally different level.”
No less than 450 employees crowd into the Pompano facility, each meticulously working on assignments from cutting patterns, to counting layers of bulletproof Kevlar, to stitching the materials up.
Exactly how many orders Point Blank is taking these days is a secret Hatfield closely guards. She estimates the company is fulfilling between 1,000 and 3,000 orders a day for products that include concealable and tactical (visible) armor as well as antiballistic blankets to protect military vehicles from explosives. Since the start of United States military action in Iraq, those items have been in high demand.
Opening the Pompano facility in April was essential, Hatfield says, for the company to fill its rising backlog of orders, which currently stands at $415 million. The facility nearly doubled the company’s manufacturing space, adding to Point Blank’s original facility in Oakland Park and another that opened in February in Deerfield Beach, which together have 118,000 square feet.
Orders flood in from correctional facilities and law enforcement agencies such as the Los Angeles Police Department, the US Treasury Department’s Secret Service and the US Drug Enforcement Agency. Local accounts such as the Broward Sheriff’s Office also contribute to Point Blank’s bottom line.
The company’s biggest customer, though, is the US military.
“If you took all the pieces of the pie and put them together,” Hatfield says, “they are still not as big as the military.”