Viracon Business Update 5/15/2020
Dear Valued Client,
We hope this update finds you, your family, and your teams in good health during these challenging times. We are writing to let you know that in recent weeks there has been an increase in positive COVID-19 cases in the communities surrounding our Viracon factory in Owatonna and in our workforce. We have contact-traced all employees with symptoms and based on employee interviews, we do not believe the virus is being transmitted at Viracon. The safety precautions we have implemented include health interviews, temperature screening, increased workplace disinfecting, and mandatory quarantines for anyone who has come in close contact with infected individuals. Our Owatonna facility is very large, approximately 2 million square feet, and employees are naturally spread out, which facilitates effective social distancing while at work.
Unfortunately, these actions and events have resulted in a slower production pace and a slight but meaningful operational disruption. As this pandemic continues, we’re anticipating glass lead-times to increase to 10-12 weeks for the next few months. We are actively communicating this with a request to encourage project teams to plan accordingly.
As always, we will proactively communicate and strive to set realistic expectations as we move forward. Any project specific delays will be communicated directly to our customers. We appreciate your patience and ask for your support and understanding as we strive to keep our workforce as safe as possible during these times. Please do not hesitate to contact me or your Viracon sales representative with questions or concerns.
Viracon Business Update 3/27/2020
To Our Valued Business Partners and Friends,
We hope this letter finds you and your family in good personal health during this challenging time. We are writing to let you know that Viracon is operating as normal in all locations and that glass supply, production orders, and finished unit deliveries have not been disrupted.
You may have heard that a two week “Stay-At-Home” Executive Order was issued for Minnesota effective at midnight on March 27, 2020 that covers our largest production facility in Owatonna, Minnesota. However, like most other states and localities, an exemption was made for “Critical Infrastructure” and Viracon will continue its operations to keep architectural glass shipping to hospitals, medical office buildings, government buildings and all our other projects. Locations outside Minnesota are similarly unaffected by COVID-19 orders. We are thankful to be able to continue to serve you and the communities in which your projects are being constructed.
We have taken many proactive measures to promote the health and safety of our employees and the continuity of our operations. Almost all office personnel are working from home including estimating and project management. You should see no disruption in the service levels you expect from Viracon despite this substantial relocation of nearly 200 employees. In our factories, we have implemented significant new social distancing protocols (including staggered shift changes, staggered breaks, and new time clock practices), strengthened personal protective equipment, and implemented high frequency sanitation of all work and common areas. We have restricted visitors to allow only vendors needed to keep our operation running and implemented strict new controls on their activity. Finally, we are providing additional paid time off for COVID-19 to eliminate the financial incentive to work while feeling sick. We are fortunate to have the Mayo Clinic Health System close by offering quick response COVID-19 testing should we begin to see impact from the virus on our employees.
We thank you for your continued trust in Viracon’s ability to serve you and to help make your projects successful. We are dedicated to both protecting our employees and serving you during this unprecedented time. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your sales or customer service contact with questions as it is our desire to keep you informed.
Viracon Business Update 3/16/2020
Dear Valued Customer/Client,
The spread of COVID-19 and Centers for Disease Control guidelines have resulted in the need to implement a social distancing plan for our office employees. The following measures will be in effect through April 3rd, 2020 and subject to extension as the situation evolves.
Viracon Social Distancing Plan:
• Internal Viracon employees with roles and responsibilities that are more conducive to working remotely will begin working from home no later than Friday, March 20th.
• Internal Viracon employees with roles requiring them to be in the office will continue working in the office while utilizing the additional space provided by those required to work from home.
• We have asked our Viracon outside sales team members to communicate via phone, email and text messaging instead of client office visits. We have eliminated non-essential travel for 60 days.
Our service levels remain imperative and we’ll strive to make these adjustments as invisible as possible to our customers and clients. To assist, please consider the following:
• Rely on email communication as phone coverage will be more challenging.
• Plan proactively. We anticipate response rates being slightly longer than normal.
• Please add a “Reply Date” in the subject line of the email. This will help with prioritization.
• If you have an URGENT issue – please email ViraconUrgent@Viracon.com which is being monitored by the sales leadership team.
At this time, we are not accepting visitors on our campuses. If you believe there is a special circumstance that requires a facility or office visit please contact us to discuss.
Viracon Supply Chain:
At this time, we are not experiencing or expecting supply chain challenges. We source our base materials domestically and have redundancy plans where necessary. We will communicate any changes as the situation evolves.