Is Freeport Press operating during this pandemic?
Yes – we are open. Our primary concern is the health and safety of our associates and taking excellent care of our customers. Healthy people and healthy businesses are both needed to ensure the long-term viability of our business.
Since you can’t print from home, what the steps you are taking to social distance and ensure all are well at the workplace?
We have seen a glimmer of hope over the last week. Forecasting models now predict that the country may need fewer hospital beds, ventilators, and other equipment than previously projected and that some states may reach their peak of COVID-19 related deaths sooner than expected. While this is good news, we all need to be very aware that forecasting models are just that — models. They will continue to shift and change as data continues to flow into them.
For our part, we will continue to follow the recommendations of the CDC and the World Health Organization, along with our state and local authorities. We are working to ensure Freeport Press takes every necessary precaution to protect our associates and each other from the spread of this virus, and not contribute to a spike in COVID cases.
We are all working diligently to maintain a safe distance between each other at our manufacturing facilities. We’ve also implemented these precautionary measures to stay as safe as possible:
- Temperature checks for anyone entering the building at the beginning of each shift
- Single-use restrooms
- Reinforcing proper hygiene regarding hand washing
- Single seating in the cafeteria
- Modifying breaks so fewer people are in break rooms at any given time
- Thoroughly cleaning equipment and providing the necessary sanitizers
- Remote work assignments and teleconferencing whenever possible, especially for our non-production team members
- No customer or supplier visits to our offices or production facilities
We’ve been successful in keeping everyone healthy so far. And we know a continued focus on safety is vital, especially as people come out from the lockdown and get back out in public. We’ll continue to be vigilant to protect our team members and our customers.
What is the impact so far on the publishing frequency, printing, mailing, etc.? Any change on the print schedule from your clients? Skipping issues, reducing print run, etc.
Absolutely. We’ve had some projects reduced or canceled. Yet I don’t want that to sound worse than it is. Sportsbooks, event-related literature, city/regional magazines and similar publications are suffering the most, which would be expected during something like this.
However, we are also seeing many publishers getting creative. We’ve printed some special issues, with limited runs to make them more collectible. We’ve had regional publishers print features about their city stepping up to the pandemic – especially healthcare and frontline workers – and these are popular with their readership. We see a focus on restaurants to get the word out, with takeout menus to help their eateries survive. So many of our customers are adapting and finding incredibly creative ways to support their communities through this.
Are you seeing any shortage in paper, ink, workforce?
No. Paper and ink are still in ready supply. And our workforce is doing well; they are adapting like champs and doing their usual great work. Our primary focus is to keep them healthy and safe.
What message are you communicating with your employees and clients?
I’ve seen a lot of messaging around about print being an “essential business” and how printers are open and here to help businesses get through this. That’s absolutely true. More importantly, I believe, is direct communication with your employees and your clients. Everyone is worried about something, and probably needs more than just a general “we’re here for you” message. Strong leadership and communication are what makes a business truly “essential.” Make sure you are addressing the needs of each part of your business and the challenges that still exist – both internally and externally.
Any additional thoughts?
We are open and have high quality and efficient capacity. Producing direct mail, magazines and catalogs across the midwest. We have seen many new clients turn to us during this pandemic for assistance. We are there for them and our many loyal customers who are weathering this storm with all of us.