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ADC Recognized for Efforts During COVID Pandemic

Written By: 
Marc Blitstein and Neal Weingart

The COVID pandemic has made 2020 one of the most difficult periods in ADC’s 36-year history. But unlike so many companies that faced forced closures, we experienced an unprecedented surge in demand for a large swath of our 3400+ product portfolio.

Having facilities in China, we were better prepared than most for what was to come but still mostly unprepared for the enormity of the challenge.  Early on, we convened a COVID task force to discuss best practices. We quickly pivoted to a work-from-home model for 90% of our office. The factory, though, had to keep running. As an essential company, we had to find a balance between serving our healthcare consumers, the resellers that deliver their products, our vendor partners, and most important, the health and safety of our staff. 

We asked the most vulnerable of our plant workers – nearly 30 in all – to take fully paid leave during the worst months of the crisis. That included seniors, our developmentally disabled employees, and those with underlying health conditions. We provided and mandated the wearing of masks, and provided gloves, face shields, personal bottles of hand sanitizer and disinfectant, and even a personal thermometer (after all we’re one of the USA’s largest manufacturers of thermometry products).  We disinfected high-risk areas (bathrooms, and lunch facilities) nightly, and offices and the general plant on a bi-weekly schedule. From March until June we bought lunch every Friday for our staff.  For those working in the facility, we awarded hazard pay along with bonus personal time off to be taken at a later date.

In the first two months of COVID, seven staff experienced infections, forcing the closure of whole departments and self quarantining of employees until they could get tested. Thankfully none needed hospitalization and all have since recovered and returned to work.

We struggled mightily with supply and demand. Not only did the virus first hit China, but that timing coincided with Asia’s annual closures for the Lunar New Year celebration, completely shutting down the supply chain just as demand surged 10X over pre-COVID levels. Our supply bottomed out between April and June, and we spent nearly $1 million in emergency airfreight and “COVID premiums” to get components into our facility and finished product into our customers’ hands as quickly as possible.   Although we’ve since beefed up stock levels significantly, we continue to struggle with spot demand that could wipe out an item overnight. 

ADC’s employees have been remarkable through all of this, working harder than ever to get the job done despite fear and risk to their own health and safety.

And now we’ve been recognized for these almost superhuman efforts. I am so proud to announce that ADC is the recipient of the 2020 HIA-LI Large Business Achievement Award. HIA-LI is the trade group that represents the Hauppauge Industrial Park – where ADC’s main facility has been located since 1997.  With 1,300 firms employing over 55,000, the Hauppauge park is billed as the second largest in the nation behind only Silicon Valley. 

The annual award is bestowed in recognition of industry leadership, creativity, successful business operations, corporate vision, and other characteristics vital to developing and growing a winning organization. Other award criteria include positive employer/employee relations, three-year revenue and profitability trends, and recent outstanding accomplishments including overcoming the unique challenges of the COVID-19 crisis.

A heartfelt thank you to everyone at ADC who made this possible, including the 120 U.S. and nearly 200 employees worldwide.

Watch Now: ADC Wins HIA-LI’s Large Business Achievement Award