2020 has been wild.
It started off pretty normal. And we knew something was on the horizon.
Things started to get a little bit crazy. You never thought that you have a shortage of toilet paper. But we did. And that was 2020.
2020 was the year that nobody saw it coming.
In 2020 the things we have faced as a company—you absolutely can't make this stuff up.
2019 was a record year for A-dec. Record top-line revenue we were at the height of the number of people on our team. And there was a lot of enthusiasm and energy about the direction of the company, because the company was headed in a great direction. That enthusiasm really continued on into the first part of the year. Right before we learned about the global pandemic.
When we started reading in the news about the virus spreading from China across Asia. And then to Europe and North America. We realized just how serious this was.
If we go back to March and April, dental offices were being closed here in the U.S. Entire countries were shutting down. The initial response to that was a little bit concerning. Right, how are we going to do this?
Many of us had never worked from home for a single day. And we weren't the only people. All across the country, it was crazy.
Here at A-dec, we had some really big challenges to overcome.
As a company of over a thousand families, first and foremost, how are we going to protect them and keep them safe?
The dental industry is like one big family. So, the question was: how are we going to keep that commitment to each and every one of them?
True to the A-dec way, we saw the need, and we got to work.
We wanted these challenges to be seamless to our customer. I think that in a very A-dec way, we all just kind of got together and made it happen—and the different things that we've made happen. Right, so, from product development putting out a product in record time, to us being able to fulfill all of our customer service duties remotely.
Necessity is the mother of invention, so, we invented new ways to do things. We've had to adapt and be creative and innovate our process.
For those of us in the factory, we've had to change everything.
You're really problem-solving on how to keep the flow of materials coming into the plant.
At A-dec, we're calling all of our suppliers, and finding out how are we going to get things on a daily basis—in a different way than we've ever done it before.
The “United We Thrive” campaign has really been a rallying cry for our company, and it came about through a promotion that we decided to do. That then we decided to take and use throughout our entire company, as a rallying cry. With everybody focused on being united, and the fact that we're going to thrive not only in the pandemic, but post-pandemic.
How do we help people through this challenge? How does A-dec be the leader in this industry? And how do we support the clinicians that rely on us so much?
The spirit of United We Thrive, is what's inside each and every one of our team members. It helped carry us through these challenging months.
Our engineers immediately went into problem solving mode by creating a face shield, to help those in the medical community fighting and working to help contain Covid.
When we were presented with the opportunity of building face shields for hospitals, the local community, the front-line workers dealing with covid. Everybody was really excited. And so, the Matilda project was a fantastic way for us just to say “thanks” back to those frontline workers within the local community.
And that was, you know, a pivot of what do we do right now? What decisions can we make today that are going to make tomorrow successful? You fast forward eight weeks and it was one of the busiest times in the history of the company.
We went from very low activity in our factory, to a very strong rebound in the demand for our products, and it happened overnight.
We went from completely shut down, to having to ramp up overnight.
Going from such a low quantity of orders, to this massive order surge, the team was actually in shock. When the numbers came in, and they learned how many they had to do, I think they just sat there, and they were excited. And at the same time, you could hear the whispers “how are going to do that? How's that going to happen? What can we do?” And you started seeing the same thing as when Covid started, the resourcefulness came out. Okay, how can we cross-train? How can we be more agile, to adapt to this? And the interesting thing was, because of that drive of thinking about that customer, and not wanting to fall behind—even through a crisis— we actually had many, many processes improved.
As our business started to recover, we started to get some real momentum. And then the wildfires hit. The wildfire is unlike anything we've ever seen before, and I remember the day, looking out the window seeing the red sky. And just another event that created a lot of uncertainty and anxiety for people. We brought in special air filtering for a manufacturing environment so our team that was working hard every day here on our campus was safe.
It was kind of scary—seeing all the fire going on around us, so close—and just having in the back of your mind the possibility that it might take your home away from you.
It definitely is just another thing in 2020 that we've met. Made it past. And are moving forward again.
Through all the challenges that we've faced, we're very thankful. Very thankful for the people we have here at A-dec, our loyal customers and suppliers. And we've learned a lot through this, that I think is really going to help propel us into the future. And now it's all hands-on deck.
Company-wide, everyone is doing their part to take care of our customers. You can throw anything at us, we will still show up to work and get it done.
The silver lining in 2020 was that we learned so much. And now we're going to take what we have learned, what we've gained, and just improve on it. It's the A-dec way.
We've united with our team members, our suppliers, our community, and most of all, our customers. We've supported each other every step of the way.
Despite all the challenges and uncertainty and chaos in 2020, there is still so much to be thankful for.
Family. You know, my wife. A-dec for doing so much for keeping the company open.
I am thankful for our customers and their trust in us, and their loyalty. I think we couldn't have gone through this year without that. I'm thankful for their patience and understanding that we're going through challenges as well. And I'm thankful for having this amazing base of customers that supports our business.
We've never been in a better position as a company to help solve the problems our customers are facing now and going into the future.
United. United. United. We thrive. We thrive. United We Thrive. United We Thrive. United We Thrive.