Adapting and Innovating Through Challenging Times

by Ken Forziati , Director of Business Development & Product Management

June 18, 2020

Just a few short months ago, the world was hit with a microscopic virus that infected millions and affected the global population. To think something so small could change our daily lives so dramatically in just the blink of an eye. Yet, the Covid-19 virus did just that. Sweeping around the globe at an alarming pace, causing cities, states, and countries to shut down. Limiting and, in many cases, utterly ceasing travel. Requiring people to stay home to limit the spread and coining the phrase social distancing. Most nonessential businesses have temporarily closed their doors and only recently started the reopening process. For those companies deemed necessary, along with those like Parkinson Technologies who support those vital businesses, we were lucky to continue operations. But it still has been a challenging experience.

It was unnerving when the state of Rhode Island required companies to close their doors and enacted strict guidelines for essential and supporting role companies. For Parkinson Technologies, we weren't allowing visits from individuals outside of our company. That meant no customers could be present for lab trials, where we've always had a consistently full schedule. Our customers couldn't be present for factory acceptance or material tests. Vendors weren't allowed in to discuss applications, and our sales and service departments could not travel. Like many other businesses, we were feeling the strain of these restrictions.

However, we discovered ways to adapt and serve our customers, many of whom are essential in manufacturing the supplies needed during these difficult times. Lab trials were conducted remotely via video conference and webcams. We did video factory acceptance tests (FAT), helping us to stay on schedule with machinery builds. We participated in technical conferences virtually.  We utilized improved unified communication and collaboration platforms, along with remote access systems. So, administration and engineering departments could work from home while remaining connected to colleagues and customers. New remote access systems that were recently incorporated into our machinery allowed for remote diagnostics. We even found ways to continue our ParkTechTalk series of informational videos.

The saying “necessity is the mother of invention” is rooted in our collective experiences.  As Parkinson Technologies approaches its 150 year anniversary, we take pride in our history and often point to our longevity as proof of our ability to innovate and adapt.  The pandemic may have provided motivation to make the leap into technologies and work practices that we may not have otherwise rushed into, but it also provided an opportunity to demonstrate our agility and strengthened our confidence along the way.

The severity of the situation is clearly understood, and the importance of flattening the curve on the coronavirus outbreak and keeping people safe has always been the number one priority. Luckily, we live in an era of technology which allowed us to continue a level of functionality during these times. This technology allows us to continue to serve our customers and maintain a healthy level of normalcy.

As of right now, local governments are beginning to roll out a series of phases that will loosen up travel restrictions and reopen local businesses. We're hopeful that the worst is behind us and that the “new normal” will eventually lead us beyond simply getting back to “business as usual,” to a new and improved way of doing business that combines the best of both pre-COVID and post-COVID practices.

However, we're certainly not out of the woods yet. There is still risk of prolonged global economic impacts due to the pandemic, but we stand with the industries we serve to keep moving forward. Wherever the future takes us, we will persevere and are committed to helping our customers do the same.