Behind the cable news images of wildfires, floods, storms, and other disasters are the stories that don’t make the newscasts. In addition to the many homes lost there are also businesses that find themselves suddenly unable to meet a production or delivery schedule, keeping employees away from their workplace. Some of these companies are sign fabricators whose shops have been overwhelmed by fire or water, leaving the owners wondering how they can recover. Other times a disaster might be visited upon the manufacturer of the very materials a sign fabricator needs to get an urgent job out the door on time. How do you even begin to cope with such circumstances?
“You have to prepare for the worst,” says Dave Burkholder, Manufacturing Supervisor at Nova Polymers. “It may not be practical or even possible to prepare for every eventuality, but every sign fabricator needs to be ready to handle situations that are beyond their control. Part of our job is to help them.”
Nova Polymers recognizes that even the best made plans can dissolve in the face of natural and man-made disasters and that helping ensuring business continuity is their responsibility as the leading provider of sign fabrication materials.
“We’re not just here to sell you materials and equipment and make a profit. We are here to grow your business and help ensure that we do everything we can to help keep your business moving forward,” says Mr. Burkholder. “We’ve got your back.”
This requires attention to detail that is based on long-term relationships with every customer and has led to a business continuity plan based on understanding individual customer businesses. This enables Nova to be proactive in helping customers even when the odds seem stacked against them. “For instance, we know how much of our materials each customer uses so we can anticipate their needs, whether a customer is suddenly faced with a flood or fire or if we have a supply chain challenge due to a disaster at one of our suppliers,” explains Mr. Burkholder.
For example, hurricanes Katrina, Harvey and Michael brought massive flooding and wind damage to wide areas, leaving millions of people in the dark and shuttering thousands of businesses. Thanks to the relationships it had fostered over the years, Nova Polymers was able to coordinate with other customers and help ensure the troubled businesses stayed productive. Nova orchestrated material deliveries to other fabricators who pitched in to make sure jobs got out the door. But hurricanes are only one threat. In California, the challenges come in the form of earthquakes or wildfires. Nova has anticipated the difficulties these present and works with customers to ensure that even when things seem darkest, business can continue.
“Bad stuff happens, so we plan for what can go wrong,” says Mr. Burkholder, “Storms are the visible threat that makes the news, but what if a supplier is hit with a power grid failure that puts them a couple weeks behind in production? Our customer doesn’t care what the problem is, they just need a truckload of material by Wednesday. So we keep as much as six-month supply of high-demand materials—spread across multiple warehouses—so we can make sure our customers have the materials they need.”
It is probably impossible to have a ready response for every dark scenario and there are always many things beyond anyone’s control. But Nova believes it can protect customers by being prepared. “We want to go forward, to be in front of the curves,” affirms Mr. Burkholder. “Part of fostering business growth and not getting stale is listening to customers, thinking about others and not just ourselves. That’s how businesses grow.”
Being prepared is essential. To begin buliding your strategies for darker days, call Nova Polymers at 888-484 6682 or send us a message.