As recovery efforts on the east coast enter their second week, members of the AV industry are checking in with the manufacturers, consultants, and integrators affected by Superstorm Sandy. Companies are working hard to maintain equilibrium in the wake of widespread devastation.
In Fairfield, New Jersey, an area largely spared by the storm, Middle Atlantic Products has been taking measures to not only maintain smooth business operations at its headquarters, but also to assist its team members and their families in recovery. Generator backup kept the company's network operational throughout power outages during the worst of Sandy's hit to the area, and with the exception of landline telephone service, manufacturing and business operations were back to normal by Wednesday.
For the brief period its New Jersey factory was down, Middle Atlantic was able to ship from two other fully stocked facilities in the U.S. Personnel worked remotely throughout the storm to assist customers with questions and placing orders, sending updates to customers on operating status and how they could best continue to do business with the manufacturer.
"We were shipping product as normal on Wednesday," noted Mark Tracy, Middle Atlantic director of product management and business development on Friday. Saluting company president Mike Baker for his leadership throughout the crisis, he added, "We're working on a case-by-case basis with individual customers, doing whatever it takes to help them get through this crisis."
"We are a family at Middle Atlantic, employees and customers alike, and we take care of each other," added Baker. "Most importantly right now, we're relieved to report that everyone who works from our NJ facility is safe and accounted for."
The two major issues faced by Middle Atlantic personnel at the close of last week were power outages in their homes and the dwindling availability of gas. "Our employees are going above and beyond to help each other out, offering shelter in their homes to each other and carpooling as much as possible," said Baker. "Many of our employees were relieved to get back to work, where we could more easily assist our customers, while escaping cabin fever at home without power and simultaneously charging our electronics, too."
Middle Atlantic found workarounds for logistical issues, purchasing mobile phones for temporary use to help field urgent customer questions that couldn't be resolved via email, for example. "We're working on temporary ways around our phone/fax outage, and can take some calls and faxes on our 800 numbers, but are still encouraging customers to contact us via email," Baker said. "We can place orders, verify shipments, and answer technical support questions."
Baker expressed gratitude on behalf of Middle Atlantic "to our customers for the patience and understanding they've shown us as we've been navigating our way back to business as usual. We've been witness to many acts of kindness and I'd encourage everyone who's received help to keep that good will going. We're also reminded what a wonderful industry this is, thanks to the many people who have reached out to wish us well. It's not an easy road ahead for any of us, but like the great state of New Jersey, Middle Atlantic is resilient and we will all proudly bounce back."