Through a series of Member Spotlights, the Michigan Chamber is showcasing some extraordinary members who were forced to retool, reimagine and reevaluate how they operated during unprecedented times. Here is an example of how one member stepped up to help their customers and employees.
Manufacturing came to a halt.
When the pandemic hit, companies had to quickly evaluate the impact on operations. For DeWys Manufacturing, multiple issues arose – customers put orders on hold, while industries like the medical field generated new levels of production.
After fostering a culture of teamwork for 45 years, the workers at DeWys Manufacturing temporarily dropped their job titles; instead, they became big-picture thinkers.
A Tested Culture
“Our culture strengthened us, allowed us to be more strategic, to pull together as a team,” said Jon DeWys, CEO. For DeWys, “culture” is a series of exercises that helps the success of a company.
“It’s a feel, a vibe, something that at the end of the day you know you are doing the right thing,” added Jon. “Profit is great and that is why we are in business, but we are also in business to take care of each other – our team, customers, suppliers and the community.”
The New Normal
From the start, DeWys knew they had to pivot their work environment; they needed to become a flexible workforce. Some employees left, due to concerns with COVID; others raised concerns surrounding the safety of the plant and daycare.
“We took the time to listen, to understand their concerns and address them in a collaborative way: making everyone part of the solution. As a result, we created a stronger bond with our team,” added Jon
A Key Partner
What quickly became evident for DeWys was the need for a safe work environment, new restrictions and investigating other business’ protocols, to stay open. This is when the manufacturing company turned to the Michigan Chamber.
The Value of the Michigan Chamber
As a chamber member, DeWys had access to five full-time lobbyists, hundreds of webinars and training, and a diverse business network dedicated to keeping employees safe, understanding executive orders and personal protection equipment.
“COVID provided many obstacles that didn’t allow us to get together in a room and discuss solutions to this unprecedented situation. So, as communications was altered, we relied on the phone calls, email blasts and website toolkits the Chamber made available,” explained Jon.
The Chamber was that vital and strategic partner DeWys needed for success. When we work together, we protect our employees, suppliers and our community.
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