In most cases, inspirational leaders are driven by the need to make a difference without any thought of being rewarded for what gets accomplished. Whenever they are asked to respond to a request for guidance as to how to overcome a major challenge, they willingly share details of the journey and what it took to be successful.
However, when presented with the opportunity for personal recognition, a stone cold “no thank you” is offered in return. What was a major achievement is now rendered to be “no big deal”.
One of these companies and its talented employees is The E F Precision Group in Willow Grove, PA. The EFPG story revolves around production of disinfection fogging units and the skyrocketing demand for them as result of the COVID-19 crisis. While many companies are performing miracles with products outside of their traditional zone, this is a story of taking a critical need product, which has been manufactured at EFPG for more than 9 years, a nice piece of the business, and moving it to an aggressive, critical, life-sustaining piece of business. It illustrates the role leadership plays in revamping the entire product process from supplier to customer.
The story unfolds when a customer asked EFPG to ramp up production 10x from what they were manufacturing on a monthly basis. After the initial shock wore off, a quick review of the entire process exposed the need for a dynamic change in their manufacturing process. The supply chain for this product was immediately challenged, especially from a statewide business shutdown and employees who were facing quarantine issues at home and in their communities.
Any success of EFPG belongs to the efforts of its employees. With that in mind, the leadership’s initial action step was an honest and open discussion with those employees. While the critical need for the product was obvious, the methods required to keep the workforce safe and productive were not.
Social distancing is a logistical nightmare in many production facilities. Every change requires creativity, awareness, and responsibility to do things correctly every time. The employees charged with building this product spent hours on the floor, walking the talk and encouraging feedback with every change that was made. In addition, the materials staff spent hours on the phone reinventing and inspiring the supply chain, negotiating external support requirements, and managing customer expectations led to the organization’s ability to meet the new exponentially higher threshold in a compressed time, less than 6 weeks. As the relentless pace of the virus has accelerated, so has the demand for more units.
It is not for the leadership to acknowledge our roles; it is the organization’s successful response to the COVID-19 crisis. The entire workforce at EFPG has, is, and will continue to perform extraordinarily well and they are all extremely proud of what’s being accomplished. It is up to us to offer a sincere thank you and our heartfelt gratitude.