The global coronavirus pandemic has affected virtually every person, business, and organization across the world, and we at Valley Forge & Bolt are no different. [To read our official statement on our COVID-19 response, visit https://www.vfbolts.com/coronavirus-covid-19-response/.]
Arizona, the state in which we are headquartered, is one of many under a “shelter in place” order, meaning residents have been ordered to remain in their homes for the duration of the outbreak. However, exceptions are made for employees of businesses deemed essential—and Valley Forge & Bolt has been designated as such a business.
Inside sales manager Jim Dorsch says it has to do with the many critical industries we serve. “You find our products in virtually every industry, and at this time the energy sector, construction, and defense are of particular importance,” said Jim. “Even mining. At any given time, there’s only an approximately two-week supply of copper available in the world, so it’s vital that mining operations for this and other precious metals—often used in the manufacture of everything from electronics to medical equipment — continue so the supply chain is maintained for critical industries that rely on these materials.”
Because all of these industries use equipment that need our fasteners, Valley Forge remains open for business despite the coronavirus crisis. But we’re taking additional precautions, just like anyone else would.
Luckily, our production floor is already spread out, so work can continue as normal with employees remaining well beyond six feet away from one another. Nevertheless, all employees take their temperature before entering and are required to wear personal protective clothing and equipment. The same steps must be adhered to by any outside vendors required to perform essential business support at our location at this time. We’ve also created multiple sanitizing stations throughout the workspace.
In our offices, many staff are telecommuting. Those who must travel to the office are required to wear personal protective clothing and equipment when in common areas, and lunches are staggered to avoid interpersonal contact in the breakroom, which is sanitized after each period. Sanitizing stations are set up in the office as well. We’ve also switched to a “four 10s” workweek to eliminate a day of potential exposure.
When it comes to safe shipping practices, it has always been our protocol that packing employees wear gloves. It’s also standard procedure for our parts to receive an anti-rust coating prior to shipping, which acts as another barrier. In response to the outbreak, we now contact customers prior to shipping to make sure they are open and receiving packages. This avoids additional shipping charges for undeliverable product.
Even in the midst of so much upheaval, our employees are still finding ways to give back to the community. They were determined not to miss their annual blood drive and it went forward as scheduled in June. We’re proud of their dedication to contribute in the face of current obstacles. We even had a first-time donor come forward to give blood!
So, while many things have changed, we have largely remained business as usual. “We’ve always prided ourselves on getting it done—whatever it might be—for our customers,” said Dorsch. “In this time of global crisis, we’re pleased to still be open, serving customers at a time when many of them need us the most.”
This can-do attitude is what propels us, with the steady hand of the whole Valley Forge family guiding us. To the Valley Forge employees, CEO Michele Clarke said:
“Our employees have been and continue to be the best in the fastener industry, which is why we have been a leader for over a generation. Nothing matters more to me than the safety and well-being of all our employees. We know these are difficult times for everyone as we adjust to the ever-changing guidelines by federal, state, and local leaders, health officials, and government organizations. We will get through this together. We will continue to make adjustments based upon new information and/or guidance being provided by officials. Till then, we send our prayers and support to you and your families that you are safe and well and for continued wellness in the
If any customer has questions pertaining to business in the time of coronavirus, Dorsch suggests emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Rotating staff take turns monitoring the account and take great pride in being responsive.