Doubling Down in a Pandemic
You might think that a global pandemic is a time to play it safe in business. You know, hold the line of spending. Don’t make any commitments. See what tomorrow brings. But that’s not the approach we are taking at Algood. Tony Robbins said, “If you are not growing, you are dying.” We think that’s true even in the middle of a worldwide crisis. And that’s why we are doubling down on key elements of our business, like engineering, capital and R&D.
Within a week of the lockdown measures being introduced in early March, we were in 24/7 manufacturing mode, building casters for hospital beds, IV carts and other essential healthcare applications. Our fully integrated manufacturing facility and our people were stretched to the max. For me, it may have been the most stressful eight weeks in over 30 years in this business. As vendors scrambled to get the components that would allow them to meet the demand for medical equipment, I was answering calls and emails at all hours every day. Even, in the midst of that insanity, we continued to think about how we should be growing our business.
Then, almost as if a tap had been shut off, business became eerily quiet. Almost nothing was happening. There were very few orders and even less calls or inquiries. It was certainly a time when many business owners would sit firmly on their hands, hold their breath and do nothing until sales picked up. But we forged ahead with our business development plans.
Now, as more businesses are coming on line and demand is beginning to grow, we are ready to meet the needs of our customers. Here’s how we have been investing in the future:
Engineering – We enhanced our technical capability by hiring an additional engineer and providing him with the necessary equipment. We recognize that our ability to design products that meet both customer requirements and exacting standards requires particular expertise.
Manufacturing Capital – The efficiency of our production and assembly processes will be dramatically improved through the recent acquisition of a robot and more to be added in the fall. Our ability to deliver high quality products in the timeframes needed by our customers is at the heart of our success.
Product R&D – We have at least ten new products or product enhancements at various stages of development. New caster and wheel announcements will begin in the late summer, and along with announcements of production enhancements, will continue into 2021. Great looking products built to last and that precisely meet customer specifications is the foundation of Algood’s reputation.
This isn’t our first rodeo when it comes to dealing with financial uncertainty. In response to the economic downturn of 2008, we re-examined our business model and took a path different than many of our competitors. We decided we need to make the investment that would allow us to become more efficient, more design-focused and better leverage the advantages of being a fully integrated manufacturer. We learned a lot from that experience and it has guided our approach to the current situation.
Now, as a result of being way more proactive than reactive, we are poised to be a leader in the caster industry as the economy reopens. By doubling down on our investment in the future, we are seeing well beyond the current challenging circumstances and laying the groundwork for our continued success.
We hope that all of you are staying healthy and safe – and that business is slowly getting back to normal. When you are ready to look at local source manufacturing and innovative new products, please be sure to contact us.