Connections that Count
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Manufacturing companies around the globe have been forced to evaluate their products and how the coronavirus would impact future demand to determine how they would respond to the pandemic. Thomas Smith, Director of Global Sales & Marketing for J&S Chemical was faced with this challenge. He determined that based on their declining demand for their primary line of products used in automotive manufacturing, re-tooling to use their skills and equipment to produce hand sanitizer would be a great option for J&S. The demand for hand sanitizer has been significant and they could easily re-tool to manufacture this product, but needed packaging and distribution since they traditionally provided their products in bulk. Although J&S was not a member of the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance (GMA), Thomas was encouraged by one of his contacts at the Georgia Department of Economic Development to connect with the GMA to assist in finding a solution.
The Bobby Dodd Institute (BDI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to empower people with disabilities and disadvantages to maximize their potential by securing economic self-sufficiency, independence, and integration into society. BDI provides a wide range of services, including job placement. They also provide contract services to the business community ranging from janitorial services, fulfillment, packaging, and they also have a full-service call center. Joe Paolini, Director of Business Engagement at BDI, recently reached out to Jason Moss, CEO of the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance (GMA) to find additional opportunities for work for the adults with disabilities he serves. He specifically identified their capabilities to provide bottling and labeling of products.
Georgia Manufacturing Alliance (GMA) has been on a mission to help support and grow Georgia's Manufacturing Community since 2008. GMA is best known for providing manufacturing professionals the opportunity to tour factories all across the state allowing them to grow their peer group and see world-class manufacturing best practices in action. They also host networking events and educational sessions where 3500+ attendees participated in more than 120 live events in the 12 months leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic. With live events and plant tours canceled, GMA began providing daily conference calls to keep the lines of communication open for everyone in the manufacturing community. These calls provided critical information including: contingency plans, safety protocol, human resources, supply chain, re-tooling, legal, finance, and an assortment of topics requested by the attendees.
Jason Moss, CEO of GMA received the call from Thomas Smith during his search for bottling and distribution providers. The next day Moss made the introduction through one of the industry task force calls. Smith and Paolini immediately connected and J&S began producing hand sanitizer and BDI provided the bottling and distribution. A solid business partnership has been formed to help combat COVID-19 to supply front line workers with critical hand sanitizer while keeping a chemical manufacturer's workers producing and adults with disabilities engaged by bottling and distributing these products.
The unexpected benefit from these introductions was that BDI identified a wide range of chemicals they needed for their janitorial services that J&S could provide. Now J&S is developing a full line of cleaning products that they plan to offer which will help with their product diversification. BDI is increasing its bottling capabilities to better serve J&S and they are looking for more customers to serve while supporting adults with disabilities.
It is difficult to be optimistic about the future with all of the doom and gloom bombarding us from every direction about health fears surrounding the Corona pandemic, economic hard times, business failures, and nation-wide riots. But when good people keep their eyes open for opportunities and are willing to work, miracles can happen...