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Author: Derek Kern, Kern Lasers
The COVID-19 crisis has placed intense pressure on companies as we strive to maintain (and potentially future-proof) bottom-line revenue amidst possible shutdowns, corporate mandates, and operational changes. As the pandemic is teaching us, unique challenges require unique solutions as well as pivoting where required. At Kern Lasers, we’re always impressed with the work our customers do and appreciate where our efforts help them achieve theirs. Now, more than ever, we’re in awe and proud of the work our customers are conducting to combat the effects of COVID-19 and its far-reaching implications within industries and the economy alike.
Here are some of those stories of impact and versatility.
Ben VandenWymelenberg is the founder and CEO of WOODCHUCK USA, a Minneapolis, MN-based custom wood production company specializing in truly unique gifts. As Minnesota entered the shelter in place mandate from Governor Walz’s Stay Home order, Ben entered his company into a new production territory.
Originally, WOODCHUCK USA shifted half of its production to face shields for medical staff members and personnel, developing a prototype within 24 hours of the decision. As word spread and obvious need grew, Ben and team shifted 100 percent of its production to that of face shields, cranking out 45,000 a day at first, and ramping up to 105,000 units per day now. Ben said their team recognized the “extra, extra high demand” for PPE across the U.S. and made the unanimous choice to support the cause. He explained that the face shields are compliant with N95 masks and are produced at John Hopkins’ standards. The face shields essentially elongate the lifespan of N95 masks worn by medical professionals on the frontlines of this crisis.