It's been one year to the day that the way we lived, worked, and communicated changed with the onset of COVID-19 in the United States. Our executive team met for the last in person meeting on March 13, 2020. At this time, we had no idea what the future would bring, and we shared with the world a feeling of venturing into the unknown. This feeling could have paralyzed us; however, we chose to persevere with our values of quality, service, and safety driving us.
Working with the International Door Association and our legal advisors, we were able to establish our industry and subsequently our company and employees as essential workers. To keep safety as our priority, we relied on our agility to transition all possible employees to a remote working situation and kept only those essential employees in our buildings. With stringent adherence to the CDC and state guidelines, we worked tirelessly and safely to keep pace with our demand while protecting each individual - from our employees, to our vendors, to our dealers.
It was challenging to manage the company across facilities in two states as well as our delivery trucks traveling from Virginia to Maine. Our success in this effort springs from many aspects that allowed us to remain operational and healthy.
- We were agile and responsive. We quickly shifted our operations, marketing, sales tactics, and any aspect we could to provide the best service while ensuring safety.
- We were creative. We utilized skills and resources to best meet the changing demands of our customers, partners, and team members with new eyes and curiosity.
- We were human. We know how intense this time was for the wonderful people we work with, and we allowed our decisions to support the needs of our team, their families, and our company at large.
Though we went to sleep each night wondering how we would know if we were doing the right thing while we challenged ourselves regularly to determine if our efforts were enough, we are incredibly proud of the dedication and commitment our team members showed. In a letter to our employees, Erin Fimbel, President of Fimbel ADS stated:
"Fantastic job team!! Despite the obstacles we experienced in 2020 and into 2021, as a team we remained focused on quality, and we are seeing the results of that effort and commitment. When put under pressure, many companies lose focus on priorities such as safety, quality, and service. We on the other hand, continue to improve. That is a huge accomplishment and differentiates us from others in our industry. Thank you and keep it up!"
These sentiments demonstrate the family values that have tied our company and family together for almost 100 years. Dedication, teamwork, and focus allowed us to keep our team gainfully employed, focused on the care of their families, and overall incredibly healthy.
We may never know the answer to the question of 'did we do enough', but we know that we gave every effort to navigate this incredible obstacle while making our dedication to quality, service, and safety paramount in the way we operate. We may have seen an ample amount of fear, loss, and isolation, but we also saw a tremendous amount of strength, collaboration, and growth.
As we move past this anniversary, we look forward with hope to what tomorrow will bring us all. May we learn from the experience and use this opportunity to continuously improve for ourselves, our partners, and our world.