During the coronavirus pandemic, personal protective equipment for medical professionals on the front line remain in short supply. With companies across the country stepping up to make PPEs, some Hudson Valley businesses are joining the call to switch gears to fill the need.
Orange Packaging and the Melo Company have heard the pleas for more equipment and flipped the script on their business models.
“When this happened, we looked at ourselves and our main business,” said Michael Esposito, owner of Orange Packaging. “And we realized ‘how do we help, and also try to keep our business open at the same time?' ”
After seeing the need for PPEs, the two companies went to work on designing, manufacturing, and delivering face shields to St. Luke’s, Nyack Hospital, and other medical facilities.
“We did leverage the skills that we had in-house and production-wise once we got the production design. It was not problematic at all. It runs, it runs very smoothly now,” said James Melville, founder of Melo Company.
Combined, the companies are producing 40,000 to 60,000 face shields a week. Esposito said the demand for PPEs are so high that doctors and nurses were contacting them for supplies before they even completed the design process.
“They were coming in their scrubs from the hospital, saying ‘we hear you have these things. Can we have them because we can't get them at our own hospital?’' ” Esposito said.
Melville said businesses need to think outside the box to help keep their doors open and to help out during the COVID-19 crisis.
“If you're a sewing company like us, maybe you look at gowns or masks or the facial shields. If you're another kind of company, maybe there's another way that you can leverage your skills and temporarily convert your operation over to other kinds of production,” said Melville.
Both companies said that they plan on continuing to manufacture face shields, making it a new division within their company.