Vienna, OH – While 2020 was not an easy year for anyone, Millwood, Inc. was able to grow in several areas of the business, adding new team members in several departments and developing new processes and procedures to adapt to COVID-19 protocols.
Like many other businesses around the Mahoning Valley, Millwood team members had to adjust and adapt both at the plant and office levels. Each of Millwood’s 28 pallet manufacturing/repair facilities across the country worked with our safety and human resources teams to ensure they were able to operate in a safe capacity as manufacturing and packaging employees are essential to the country’s supply chain.
Safety Manager Mondell Elliott and his team worked to learn different state and local guidelines and protocols for all Millwood team members.
“The COVID pandemic forced all of us to adapt, on the fly, to ensure the safety and well-being of our team members,” Elliott said. “Comparatively, we have not had many positive COVID cases. This, in itself, demonstrates the type of company Millwood is. We grow in times of adversity and learn from events that take place in our lives.”
Thanks to the help from our IT department, even our largest departments (sales and accounting) were equipped to work fully remote with zero downtime.
“I’m grateful for the hard work of our team to ensure a smooth transition from working in the office to remotely,” Tim Light, director of IT, said. “To be able to come together to make sure business ran as usual was key and accomplishing this without many blemishes says a lot about the people working for Millwood.”
The sales team also hired seven new team members to manage sales territories across the country.
Several members of that sales team were a part of the Millwood staff who traveled to the Georgia World Congress Center in early March 2020 when much of what we know today about the coronavirus was unknown. Millwood was one of the 950 exhibitors who decided to move forward with their travels to Atlanta for the trade show. As the show neared its end, more news of the pandemic broke and many states began executing travel bans leaving some of the team there unsure if they would make it home.
“There were a few of us who were making contingency plans to rent cars outside of town. We assumed that if everything was shutting down, we would have better luck at the rural car rental places of finding a car, so we wouldn’t be stuck in Atlanta,” Kyle Countryman, assistant director – eastern states, said. “It was quite an interesting time, but we did finally get home late on the night on March 12.”
The morale team, formed in 2017, consists of team members from various departments to create fun and unique internal programs to boost overall team morale. These team members made it a point to meet virtually to gather ideas for ways to keep team members engaged in 2020.
Virtual events hosted by Millwood’s morale team included:
Dog Day - Our annual Millwood Dog Day celebration was held via Zoom, rather than bringing our furry friends into the office.
Thankfulness Project – Team members wrote anonymous notes of support and appreciation to each other. Rather than the physical mailboxes from years past, the notes were collected via an online survey and distributed over email.
Holiday programs, including Jingle Ring, adapted to share via Millwood’s intranet site
Each year, Millwood also works to give back to the communities it serves. In 2020, rather than sending Millwood’s kids to summer camps across the country, a virtual program that included an assortment of earned badges was created to keep team members’ children from across the country engaged. As children completed different activities, they earned a badge.
Millwood team members also purchased Christmas gifts for several local organizations who work with Mahoning Valley families in need. The teams at our operations across the country also hosted events throughout the year to raise money for different organizations.
The year 2020 is one nobody will forget. While it was a year full of heartache and mental and financial strain for many, there was a lot to learn and grow from, which created just some of the positives that came from it.
About Millwood, Inc.
Millwood, Inc. is a worldwide industry leader and innovator of unit load and packaging systems, materials and services as well as a leading supplier of new, used and reconditioned pallets. Both small-to-midsize businesses and Fortune 500 companies have relied on
Millwood’s pallet management expertise, material handling solutions, logistics services and sustainability programs to provide strategic sourcing initiatives. For more information, visit www.millwoodinc.com
Marketing Project Specialist