The past months have been a challenge, not talking business wise or even technically, but work environment. PlastiCert’s mission statement stresses we are a service provider, i.e. providing composite injection molding expertise with our customers. The technical comes easy. We have a number of examples where we have finished projects for customers where our suppliers said, “that’s the most complex part I’ve ever seen in that composite”, or “you shouldn’t have been able to overmold those two resins”. Remaining of service when the work environment gets attacked, threw everyone a curve.
Certainly, we are experiencing some business downturn with a few customers, our supply chain was not affected all that much.
COVID-19 really shook us from a work environment comfort standpoint. Inherently people do not like change (although those that know me know one of my mantras is “Change is Good). Yet, as a designated essential business, the coronavirus required us to immediately change how and when we worked. In the interest of reworking the work centers and decreasing common area density, we started by splitting our workforce into two groups. Each group worked 3 twelve-hour days, with Wednesday being the off day, (Wednesday was my day in the office, as I was relegated to working from home the rest of the week). We operated in that mode while we got a handle on and assess our situation. After a month, we went back to a 5-day 8-hour schedule, with vetted processes and procedures in place to maintain distancing.
Now Minnesota instituted a mandatory mask requirement within work environments. Despite having created a distanced environment, we started requiring masks on the production floor and common areas.
How did PlastiCert coworkers react to all these changes the last few months? They took the 3 twelve-hour shifts change with reactions from uncertainly to full embrace! They adapted well and some wanted to keep it going! They were accepting of the new distancing requirements for breaks and lunch (yes there were a few early reminders of distance required). They certainly were not warm to the idea of wearing masks on the production floor (no pun intended). Some of the engineered composites we shoot melt at 600 degrees. But there were no complaints.
Company leaders are very proud of PlastiCert’s ability to adapt and modify our work environment to keep us all safe and preserve our mission of providing service to our customers. We took our essential designation seriously and pledged to be there for our customers.
How is your injection molder responding?