During times of great upheaval, many businesses will want to hunker down, lay off staff and preserve capital until the storm passes. Others, however, will dig deeper into their efforts to not only respond to change, but try to position themselves ahead of it in order to meet the urgent needs of their clients.
More than any other recent challenge to the industry, the current pandemic requires us to meet not just a single new circumstance, but waves of new situations, all without a clear game plan or end date. At Apex Filling Systems, we are finding that our core principles are giving us the foundation we need to meet the circumstances we—and all our customers—are facing with the care that has been our standard since the beginning.
We have always been honored to play a role in the success of our customers. Today, we also have the privilege of helping deliver solutions to this crisis. We are helping create the filling systems that meet the extremely urgent need for hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies and COVID-19 test kits, all while the manufacturing industry faces cash shortages and financial uncertainty.
It was not just luck that positioned us to be of service. Our hard work, values and ability to adapt are making this possible, and we want to share what we have learned here so they can be of use to everyone else.
Be ready to adapt
We sometimes had to find new suppliers. We had to find extra help (including members of our own families). Above all, we had to support our customers as they came up with new ways to meet the needs of their markets—needs that may not have even existed a month or two ago. All of this took a lot of effort and collaboration, but we were able to keep our operations running through it all.
Focus on your key priorities
Your priorities may involve staying close to your customers as their needs change under stay-at-home orders, or it may mean transitioning your production line to maintain strict medical standards as new treatments are being developed. For us, as you can read on our site, it is about delivering turnkey solutions through a relationship-based approach founded on our core values:
Create Raving Fans: Do the right thing • Be a team player • Do whatever it takes • Practice servant leadership • Be empathetic
Excellence in all you touch: Strive for mastery • Be growth-oriented • Practice extreme accountability • Be an innovative and resourceful problem solver • Find a better way
Attitude is Everything: Enthusiasm wins • Be a joy to be around • Quality of character matters • Share positivity, not negativity • Have fun
We carried these values into our crisis response through the following ways:
Listen. Just as your situation is changing, so are those of your customers. Stay in touch with them. Listen to what they are dealing with, and the understanding you gain will help you know how you can continue to be of value to them, now and in the future. As Korn Ferry CEO Gary Burnison wrote recently, “Personally, I’m making 50 calls a day to clients and colleagues at all levels—listening twice as much as speaking, not just to hear but to comprehend… Leaders are taking a total inventory across their organizations as they listen for what people are thinking, feeling, fearing, and experiencing. Only with a total picture, accurately perceiving today, can leaders accurately project tomorrow—what the world will look like in the next 12, 18, or 24 months.”
Keep your passion for quality and service. Our customers trust us because we have never wavered in our commitment to help ensure their goals become a reality. Our customers are not just clients to us. They are part of a close-knit family built on the premise of constant innovation and impeccable service. If your clients know you are invested in their well-being, they will stay with you.
Value your team. Take all the steps to keep them safe. Treat them well and give them the support they need to give their best to your clients. At our headquarters, we focus on positivity, quality of character and creating a space where people are happy to interact with each other. When staff need to work from home, the appreciation you show them is just as important, if not more so.
Have hope in the future. This crisis we are in won’t last forever. We don’t know exactly when this will be over, but we will reach the other side with lessons that we can carry into the future. We will get through this together.
Let Apex Help You
Apex offers all of our clients customized solutions to their filling needs. Call us at 219-575-7493 or visit our page here, and we will work to develop the best equipment choices for your business.