Everybody Matters, Especially In a Crisis

Because of the industries we serve, Barry-Wehmiller’s businesses have been declared “essential” in the U.S. and within other countries in which they are based during this time of the COVID-19 or Coronavirus pandemic.

This is because our businesses support many different industries that produce essential resources for the community-at-large – whether they be first responders or other essential workers on the frontlines, or those who are sheltering-in-place to stop the spread of the virus.

As I pointed out in a post last week, our companies build a diverse array of industrial equipment. Some manufacture machines that produce toilet tissue and wet wipes. Some build machines that package the household goods, pharmaceutical items, food and beverages that families need for day-to-day living. Another builds the machines that produce corrugated board that becomes boxes for online companies to ship packages to people ordering from home.

We will only get through this time together as one big family, caring for each other. Everyone is essential. Everybody matters. Click To TweetWhen you believe, as we do at Barry-Wehmiller, that everybody matters, that means we extend the same amount of care as we do to our extended family (our customers) as we do to our immediate family (our teammates).

We are dedicated to helping our friends during this time. Now, more than ever, they need our help. We have an opportunity to serve in extraordinary ways and we are proud of what our people are doing.

One of our companies, Accraply, makes machines that label a wide variety of products. Because of their long-standing relationships with some key global producers of hand-sanitizers, they are directly in the midst of the dramatic push to increase production in response to the coronavirus crisis.

“We’re supplying from stock where we can – because these companies are all looking for quick turn solutions – although we are also building custom solutions because hand sanitizer is FDA-regulated as an OTC drug – and so there are stringent regulations and compliance protocols that equipment must adhere to,” said  Accraply’s President, Seamus Lafferty.

Accraply has received a number of orders from well-known global hand sanitizer brands, anticipating more within the next week.

“The unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic – and the opportunity it presents us to step up and deliver our unique labeling solutions for this FDA-regulated market – is providing our team members with a very real example of how we can ‘measure success by the way we touch people’s lives,’” Seamus said.  “Not only are we expediting deliveries, ensuring that we have field-service teams available in the field and remotely via our troubleshooting app, we are also taking special measures to protect team members in our production facilities.

“I am proud of our team,” Seamus continued. “As an ‘essential business’ we have a responsibility to deliver for our customers, and for society at large, and we are committed to doing all that we can in these unprecedented times.”

Here are a few other stories from within our organization showing how our people are rising to the challenge of this difficult time:

When Paper Converting Machine Company in Green Bay couldn’t reach a supplier to replace gears for a medical supply customer desperately trying to prevent a machine failure, PCMC’s own internal team manufactured the parts and got them to the customer the next day!

Heeding the call for surgical masks, the Pneumatic Scale Angelus team in Waterloo, Canada found an unopened box in their vending machine and sent it to a local hospital. Upon discovering a partial box in their safety cabinet, they sent it to a local veterinarian with surgeries to perform but no supply of masks.

This same team was also able to help a local brewery – who had begun producing hand sanitizer for local hospitals, first responders and the local food bank (among others in need) – adapt their equipment to double their output.

Our businesses are built around supporting our customers and communities in this manner. It’s what we do, and we’re committed to going above and beyond for them.

But to get through this exceptional time, we have to realize that we are all “essential.”

Whether working from home to help inhibit the spread of the COVID-19 virus to protect yourself, your family and your teammates, you are still “essential.” Your team depends on you, whatever your role. And the work you are doing now will help your organization come through this difficult time.

You are also essential to those businesses in your communities that are struggling. Over the last couple of weeks, it has been devastating to see the effect this crisis has had on many small businesses. They need your support, as best you can help within the confines of keeping yourself and others safe.

We will only get through this time together as one big family, caring for each other. Everyone is essential. Everybody matters.

Truly Human Leadership is found throughout Barry-Wehmiller Companies, where Bob Chapman is Chairman and CEO. A $3+ billion global capital equipment and engineering consulting firm, Barry-Wehmiller’s 12,000 team members are united around a common belief: we can use the power of business to build a better world. Chapman explores that idea in his Wall Street Journal best-selling book, Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring For Your People Like Family, available from Penguin Random House.

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