As events are cancelled, restaurants limit operations, and schools switch to virtual curriculum, people all over the world are faced with how to adjust to COVID-19. Several suppliers have responded to the ongoing pandemic through email and social media outlets.
Whether it’s a simple message stating business is continuing as normal for now, or to clue in customers on any delays, overall, companies are ensuring the safety of employees and customers.
A&E will continue to provide updates on COVID-19 as we receive them. If you are a supplier or manufacturer in the industry and would like to submit or update a listing, fill out this form.
Apogee Commemoratives tells A&E that, although its facilties are closed, the customer service and creative team is working from home. “If you need help with an award project, we’re here to help,” states the company. “Recognition has always played a vital role for companies when they recover from a crisis.”
Axiom America is running with limited crews and accessibility.
BOFA International issued a press release that states it is maintaining production of its portable fume and dust extraction systems, filters, and spares so that businesses can continue to operate as efficiently as possible. The company states that it is managing to adhere to normal lead times for orders for key sectors.
“We need to help keep these vital supplies flowing,” said Tony Lockwood, managing director of BOFA. “We have introduced new working practices for our manufacturing teams in line with government and world health organization advice to ensure their safety while continuing to deliver vital products to key customers around the world. Most of our office and field-based staff are now working remotely, but we are committed to maintaining the production of core components to support those industries central to the global effort.”
CerMark Sales Inc. says it is still shipping from two locations with minimal onsite staff.
ColDesi’s president Scott Colman sends an email to customers with some words of encouragement and a link to free downloadable art created by the ColDesi team. The artwork aims to unite the industry at this time, and Colman encourages the industry to spread positivity. ColDesi is answering all support calls, continues to provide live online training, and release podcast episodes, and many team members are working remotely.
Colorado Heirloom announces that its lobby and office is closed to the public and its production crew is reduced to a smaller group, practicing all “social distancing” guidelines. Employees are furloughed and will return as able. The company says it is taking and filling orders as quickly as possible on an as-needed basis.
Condé Systems announces its headquarters in Alabama and distribution center in California are open for business and will remain to operate at normal business hours, as long as it is safe to do so, according to a company letter sent via email. The company suggests customers have orders delivered to their home or business, however, if immediate pick-up is required from one of the facilities, customers are asked to pay in advance with credit card or other non-cash method. For questions about product availability or order delivery, the company asks that customers contact their Condé account manager by email or call 800-826-6332.
Through the end of May, Corel is updating its CorelDRAW.app so that all CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2019 and CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2020 customers have access to the app’s new collaboration features at no extra cost. Additionally, license owners can now install their business license on a second at-home machine, and corporate licensing customers with CorelSure maintenance as well as academic institutions with CorelDRAW Graphics Suite licenses can provide employees and students with licenses to install on their personal systems. Find more details at www.coreldraw.com/covid-19-update.
Crystal D will have limited operations from Monday, March 30 until Friday, April 10, 2020. The company says it will have limited staff available to address all customer inquiries during normal 8 a.m to 5 p.m. CST. The Crystal D office staff will be working from home, so customers can contact the sales team for ideas, pricing, and virtual meetings. Because of this closing, Crystal D will be unable to ship orders until the week of April 13, unless an order is extended.The Crystal D team tells A&E that it is working hard to get as many orders in-house shipped out by end of day on Friday, March 27. Customers who have orders in-house that are due to ship during limited operations will be contacted by their order manager. For more information, the company asks that customers email firstname.lastname@example.org which will be monitored continuously during this time.
CrystalEdge issued an email to update customers on its Itasca, Illinois location, which is closed until further notice. The company says it's in the process of setting up customer service for key staff from home. Online orders will be processed as soon as possible. CrystalEdge phones lines, (773)-777-2444 and (800)-875-7808, are still open.
As a manufacturer in Connecticut, Direct Color Systems announces it can remain open for business. According to a post on the company's social media channels, Direct Color Systems will be closed on Fridays starting on April 3, until further notice.
Following a state-wide stay-at-home order in Colorado, Epilog Laser announced it will be closed. The company will be unable to provide technical support during this time, but plans to reopen on Monday, April 13th. Many of the staff are working from home and can still be reached via email. “We remain tremendously thankful that, at this time, none of our employees have been directly impacted by COVID-19,” Dean adds.
Gemini Sign Products informs A&E it is open for business. The company says it has implemented safety protocols to protect employees, in order to keep working on projects for shielding and wayfinding for new construction, government, healthcare, and other essential businesses.
GSG president Mark Granberry tells Printwear business is doing good and “hasn’t dropped considerably and is up a little bit over last year.” However, he expects it will slow as companies react to the situation. “Currently, anyone who is able to work from home is working from home, with a few folks in the branches to handle walk-in traffic, etc.” GSG restricts almost all travel and vendor visits to its facilities, employs more rigorous cleaning, and is efficiently following CDC guidelines while making deliveries and service calls not resolvable by phone. He adds, “We will be evaluating daily the level of business activity and reacting accordingly.”
IKONICS Imaging is fully operational. IKONICS Corporation, parent company of IKONICS Imaging, says it has taken precautionary steps in accordance with recommendations from the CDC, the Minnesota Department of Health, and the World Health Organization in order to keep employees safe and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 within our community. “During this unstable time, we want you to know that we are here for you. All our films and equipment are made in the USA and we are continuing to ship product on our normal schedule,” states IKONICS Imaging marketing manager, Michael Sullivan. IKONICS Imaging will also post new weekly educational videos for customers to view on its site. “We are committed to our sandcarving community and want to reassure you that we are here if you need us,” Sullivan adds.
Insta Graphic Systems closes its Cerritos, California facilities, and suspends operations until April 6 due to the order in California that all non-essential businesses must close. Contact your sales associate if you have an order in progress.
JDS Industries announces all supply warehouses are open and able to ship nationwide, due to being classified as an essential business. Company headquarters in Sioux Falls, South Dakota is also open to assist customers. “We will continue to practice the safest measures possible to keep our employees working at our facilities, and you, safe, and we ask that customers avoid will-call at this time,” states the company. “We will strive to keep things running as normally as possible for as long as we can and will keep you updated via our website.”
Johnson Plastics Plus says that it understands many of its customers have cut production time or are short-staffed due to travel restrictions or “shelter-in-place” orders. “Since Johnson Plastics Plus has been deemed an ‘essential business’ due to supplying products to healthcare and military customers, we’ve been able to use our fabrication capabilities to create pre-made informational signs specifically for coronavirus/COVID-19,” the company explains. “These signs are available for our customers to purchase and then sell to their customers who may be in need of those types of signs.” The company’s fabrication services are available to help customers, which includes cut blanks to any size or shape, or finished signs for a customer’s design requirements. “We also waiving the shipping charge on fabrication orders under 70 pounds through the end of April,” the company adds.
Laser Bonding Technology says it is open for business with full access.
Marco Awards Group informs A&E that it is operating with limited crews. The company’s 17 branches remain open, with live customer service available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST. Marco's storefront portal remains available to place orders at any time.
Metomic Corporation tells A&E that it is taking extra precautions to make sure that the team works smart and safely to ensure their continued wellbeing. The company says it continues to manufacture product at its Chicago factory and “will do our best to continue to complete and ship your orders on a timely basis.”
Mutoh America issued an email alert explaining a plan, including a strategy to support customers, coordinate global and local communications, and a limit on all non-essential business travel. The company says it is focused on maintaining a safe work environment.
OmniPrint International ensures it’s taking the necessary precautions to maintain the safety and health of its employees, customers, and products. President and CEO Victor Peña says its American-based manufacturing facilities continue to operate, and its work from home policies have expanded. OmniPrint has six months’ worth of raw materials for the production of inks and consumables. Peña says, “We will have exciting, new web-based shows, entrepreneur sessions that bring a ton of value directly to you, so stay tuned.”
Osborne Coinage Co. announces that its main sites are closed, but the company is running with remote capabilities. The company says it is taking calls, providing information/pricing, and doing art layouts and that orders placed now will be at the front on the queue. It hopes to start production back up on Monday, April 6, based on the rules in place for the state of Ohio. Osborne Coinage's main number, (800) 488-2646, is available for customers to call Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.
Radian Laser released a statement announcing the cancellation of all company travel and holding off on having visitors into its office in Anaheim, California. “For the time being, we will be utilizing technology to stay face-to-face with our customers,” states Tom Tamburrini, president of Radian. New system training, tech support, meetings, etc. are being done via video chat, according to the company. Tamburrini continues, “It's great to still feel like we can be connected, even though we may be thousands of miles away from those we are speaking with.”
RhinoTech’s director of marketing Shelley Markus says the company is open while continuing to monitor information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO). RhinoTech is practicing various CDC recommendations, including handwashing with soap for 20 seconds, social distancing, sanitizing surfaces, staying home if ill, etc. Customers are encouraged to call 651-686-5027 or use the company’s online store for assistance.
Roland DGA has restricted employee access at its headquarters in Irvine, California, though it has employees working remotely as well. According to an email update, the company's offsite third-party distribution center is classified in the “essential services” category and therefore remains open, so Roland products and consumables continue to be shipped out. The Roland DGA online store is also open, so end users can order any needed accessories and supplies there.
Rowmark shares that since its materials are used in a variety of military and health care settings, the state of Ohio has deemed it to be an “essential business” for manufacturing. “We recognized the need for a lower cost, clear, thin-gauge material, and have converted one of our production lines to creating such a product,” the company states. Those products will be available through authorized Rowmark distributors nationwide in the next week.
Sawgrass sent an email bulletin explaining its steps to minimize risk, such as restricting travel to industry shows. “Our teams are working tirelessly around the world to ensure that when you are ready, Sawgrass is here for you,” says Darcy Mauro, president of Sawgrass. “We will continue to provide reliable access to products in a responsive and equitable manner.
All Stahls’ locations, except Stahls’ Hotronix and Stahls’ DFC in Pennsylvania, continue to remain open. Stahls’ and Transfer Express both have reduced customer service business hours (8 a.m. – 7 p.m. EST), as well as help available online 24/7. Hotronix support is only available via email (email@example.com). Additionally, Stahls’ suspends all customer pickup locations until April 6 or further notice. As long as shipping companies remain operational, Stahls’ will ship orders.
Sterling Cut Glass Co. is running with limited crews and accessibility.
Stouse LLC remains open to support a number of industries providing essential products and services. The company says it is following CDC guidelines and taking additional measures to ensure the health and safety of employees (social distancing, enhanced cleaning, and additional hand sanitizing stations). “We have provided our associates with choices regarding staying at home,” the company adds. “There are currently no direct virus-related impacts or delays in our facility.” The company can be contacted at (877) 764-5757 and through firstname.lastname@example.org. Live chat is availabe on the site Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CST.
Sublimation101 announces it will host free and live videos directly from its corporate headquarters in Branchburg, New Jersey. During the live videos, Michael Kaminsky, CFO of Sublimation101, encourages customers to message them directly as they are sending care packages to clients that can't get out or have underlying conditions. Items include wipes, toilet paper, etc.
Topmost PRISM Crystal tells A&E that its still operating under normal business hours with limitations on 10 people in the building at a time. The company is following all government instructions.
Trotec Laser sent a notice via email stating what it’s doing to support its customers and community. The company has set policies and procedures in place related to COVID-19, including its enterprise-wide response plan, eliminating non-essential company travel for the time-being, as well as following and enforcing authority guidelines and recommendations. Additionally, the company has cancelled onsite social interactions and upcoming events. “At Trotec, we are committed to supporting our customers and community, and one of the most basic ways we can do this is by taking precautions to help everyone stay healthy,” said Warren Knipple, president at Trotec Laser. “We are also committed to providing you with the service and support you depend on, so we have established a business continuity plan to address various threats and vulnerabilities, including a response to the pandemic and high absenteeism.”
Universal Woods, parent company of ChromaLuxe and Unisub, took the opportunity to assure customers that its manufacturing facility in Louisville, Kentucky continues to run daily production and is currently executing uninterrupted shipping and receiving. CEO of Universal Woods Paul Neumann wrote in a letter to customers that the company is practicing social distancing and has developed additional guidelines to continue a healthy work environment.
Victory Awards tells A&E that it is temporarily closed, adhering to the shelter-in-place order in Illinois. Eric Priceman, president of Victory, says they are still answering the phones and have limited staff on site. “We look forward to reopening and serving you in the hopefully near future, but for the moment our interest is in keeping our loyal employees safe and healthy,” he states. “We wish all of you the same.” Priceman adds that he is available by email at email@example.com or by phone at (773) 237-1884.
In response to COVID-19, VISION Engraving & Routing Systems now offers free online machine demonstrations. The company states that customers can watch the live video feed with a live person, ask questions, and immediately get answers.
Alexandria Bruce and Tony Kindelspire contributed to this report. For information on how the apparel decorating industry is operating, check out Printwear’s coverage on the topic here. For the latest in the sign industry, check out Sign & Digital Graphics’ coverage here.