New Challenges, New Processes, New Products
As you are all no doubt aware, there’s a global pandemic going on. Even with social distancing, we’re still (safely) making labels, though! Our management team responded rapidly to the news, notifying our IT department to begin working from home the first week of March.
Alanna (Helpdesk) started drawing up lists that day of what would be needed to send Sales, Customer Care, and other non-production (but still essential) staff home. We had most of those supplies available to us, and the first Sales staff went home on March 5th.
Others followed, especially after schools closed on March 13. When our state’s governor, Jay Inslee, announced the “stay at home” order on March 23, only a team of about 7 people remained in our building. Most of these are Production staff, required to run the printers, plotters, and cutters – and ship the finished products.
We are a manufacturing firm and considered an essential service in the state of Washington. Other manufacturing firms have swung into increased activity, producing more equipment, products, and materials to fight the pandemic or to keep people healthy and fed. Many of the new supplies and equipment require proper labeling. We’re so pleased to be able to provide that as part of our essential service.
We’ve quickly added a few new lines of product labels for the times, too. These include large, non-slip social distancing decals for floors, as well as quick, custom hand sanitizer labels. (Check out the cute stickers reminding people to wash their hands there as well!)
We use lots of these floor decals in our office, to remind staff to be careful near doorways and shared spaces.
We are also seeing what we might be able to do to help produce needed medical equipment, although that may require more retooling of our production line and die-cutting machines than we can do at this time.
Safety (and Donuts) First
With so many staff working from home, there’s plenty of room now for everyone to safely maintain distance. We were able to get supplies for several sanitation stations at doorways and other key locations in the building.
We were able to set these up so quickly thanks, in part, to one of the companies for which we did a rush job of labels! (Shout out to Momar – thanks for helping us keep our staff healthy, happy, and gainfully employed!)
We’ve set up a protected outdoor location for deliveries, including a new doorbell. UPS and FedEx drivers have been happy to not have to enter our building to drop off, although they still have to come in to pick up.
Janet (IT) has offered a number of face masks to our staff, including a colorful shipment this week to Production. In addition to helping her with sewing the masks, her daughter has also endeared herself to Production staff by baking cookies. (A second batch has been requested, I hear.)
We “talk” internally with a chat service, and some of the photos I’ve seen shared there make it clear that the people in the office are kept well-supplied with treats. Donuts, pizza, cookies, breakfast treats, you name it!
Of course, as with any process change, there have been a few bumps along the way. Our customers have been very understanding, though, and we have a pretty smooth operation now. At this time, our “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order may expire in late May, but no matter what, we stand ready to help with your label needs!