As followers of IWCO Direct and this blog know, last week I joined IWCO Direct as CEO. When a company experiences a change in leadership, naturally employees, clients, and business partners are curious about what the change means and how it will impact them. And of course, competitors try to use the news to their advantage. I can say with certainty that our team is responding by focusing on our clients and the future.
Those who have worked with me in the past know that I ask a lot of questions of a lot of people. I do this to help establish priorities and then focus on the most critical. I have learned in the course of my career (and as the father of four children) that a multitude of priorities really means no priorities. It’s a fact of life that we can’t always control the outcome, but we can always control our effort.
I spent last week doing a whirlwind tour of the IWCO Direct facilities in Minnesota and Pennsylvania. I wish I could have spent a lot more time in each facility and met a lot more people. I’ve made a commitment to do that in the weeks and months to come. What I saw during my site visits was a dedicated and passionate workforce that never loses sight of client commitments, safety, and continuous improvement. The team maintains this focus in the midst of a significant leadership change and during a time of physical, emotional, and financial uncertainty due to COVID-19 that we’re all experiencing.
Responding to Change Due to the Pandemic
Despite the impact of COVID-19, all IWCO Direct facilities have remained open, mail production continues, and our marketing services team remains busy assisting clients with strategies for how to market during a pandemic. We are especially proud of our co-workers in our Mail-Gard® division who have stepped up to ensure that our clients’ critical communications continued uninterrupted even as their own facilities faced COVID-related disruptions.
As we have adapted to the impact of COVID-19, we have modified how we do business in order to ensure the safety of all of our associates. Employees whose duties allow them to work from home are doing so. Within our facilities, workflows and use of common spaces such as lunch and break rooms have been modified to accommodate social distancing, and the cleaning and sanitizing of all shared spaces has been increased significantly.
Remaining Focused on the Future
We are encouraged to see that the initial contraction in Marketing Mail volumes that was experienced across the industry appears to be easing slightly. We are already beginning to ramp up our staff to handle higher volume anticipated in June, July, and the balance of the year.
As I learned in conversations with members of our Sales and Marketing teams, IWCO Direct continues to be bullish about the omnichannel marketing industry and the role that direct mail will play in it as our nation recovers from the impact of this virus.
I am quickly learning that over the past 51 years, the IWCO Direct team has learned how to overcome challenges and look to the future. As I said earlier, I ask a lot of questions. I also try to answer every question that comes my way and to act with urgency. Despite the uncertainty, we will move forward with purpose and will not confuse activity with results.
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