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We don’t need to tell you that the United States is currently in uncharted territory. Most of us are extremely anxious: We’re concerned about our loved ones, our communities, our jobs, and the businesses we rely on in order to keep doing what we do.
Owing to the critical health and safety role security systems play in many vital services Total Security Solutions remains open for business. We’re being as cautious as we can in our operations, in order to assure we can go on as long as we can. We’re headquartered in Michigan, which instituted a “stay-at-home” order one month ago, on March 24. The order has since been extended (and even expanded) several times. This effectively halted all “non-essential” in-person business, including most retail operations, business meetings, and manufacturing. Total Security Solutions is currently exempt from this order.
But, like all of you, we’re taking this situation day-by-day. We’re working overtime to stay in continuous communication with both our vendors and clients. We want to be aware of disruptions in materials and supplies as early as possible, so we can adjust accordingly. Meanwhile, we want our clients and customers to be as informed as possible about the status of their projects, and able to easily inform us about changes in their situations and communities that might impact their capacity to accept delivery of materials, open their facility to installers, and so on.
When everyone has as much information as possible, they can make the most accurate decisions possible. Fortunately, sharing information is something we can all do with next to zero risk to anyone’s health.
Business Continuity in the Face of Coronavirus
We activated our business continuity plans early on. In the interest of protecting everyone’s health and safety, we’ve been making changes throughout our organization for weeks. This began with having our administrative and sales teams work from home. Limiting office access prevents spreading the virus, and also allows those at our Fowlerville, MI facility to maintain greater social distance.
But not everyone can work remotely. We fabricate bullet-resistant system components for government, financial, and healthcare facilitates. These are “essential services,” and their security barriers are part of their critical infrastructure.
I want to take a moment to make sure no one “reads between the lines” here. No one is preparing for “mass civil unrest” due to coronavirus. All of these ballistic barriers have been on the books for months. But many clients are especially eager to install their barriers sooner. This is not because they expect a surge of armed attacks. Adding a layer of acrylic or polycarbonate between workers and visitors is an excellent additional measure to halt the spread of infectious disease. To meet this demand, we’ve developed new fixed and mobile non-ballistic solutions that shield workers from the threat of infection. We can customize and deliver these VirusGuard barriers quickly, so you’ll be prepared as your region re-opens regular business.
We’ve taken many measures to keep up with production while increasing worker safety:
We’ve closed common areas and compartmentalized our building, limiting contact among critical personnel. We’ve split our engineering and project management teams in half. By working alternate shifts, they can further limit contact and increase social distance. We’ve also intensified our cleaning regimen. We disinfect all common surfaces morning and afternoon, with an additional deep cleaning each night. Workers on the production floor wipe down their workstations throughout the day.
Think Strategically to Halt the Spread
Several weeks ago we quarantined several installers. They had worked in areas that turned out to be coronavirus hot spots. (Thankfully, neither of them ever showed symptoms, or are suspected to have been infected.) We’ve since instituted changes to minimize the risk of transmission. In general, risks to installers are somewhat lower than you might think: We typically work after hours, for the convenience of our customers. This has the added benefit of significantly limiting contact while servicing clients.
To the degree our clients can receive work, we’ve been finding ways to get it done and get it delivered. We also continue to offer remote support to your in-house facilities staff or favored local contractors. We’ve talked plenty of people through plenty of installations, and can continue doing so for the foreseeable future.
We continue to urge everyone—both at TSS, and in the world at large—to think strategically. This has been everyone’s biggest challenge, adjusting to everything we can no longer take for granted: Restaurants are shuttered. Schools are closed. Childcare is limited. Families are separated in order to protect the older, more vulnerable generations. Maintaining social contacts is challenging, and making direct contact risky. Supply chains—from structural steel to toilet paper and eggs—are disrupted.
Like every other business in America, we’re finding more ways to do more work virtually, and improving everyday. While this introduces new challenges—for example, having to pay much closer attention to cybersecurity—it also creates opportunities, and pushes us to grow and improve.
We’re confident that all of us—both at TSS, and across this country—are going to come out of this better and stronger.
Total Security Solutions