Pivoting to Manufacture Emergency Supplies: Q&A with Andy Dauterman of Daniels Wood Land
Daniels Wood Land (DWL), a California-based theming company, recently closed all manufacturing operations temporarily as a result of a stay-in-place order for all non-essential businesses in the state. This hiatus isn’t stopping them from making meaningful products of another kind: non-sterilized protective gowns for emergency responders.
Andy Dauterman, EVP of business development for DWL, shares his insights into one way manufacturers can make a difference.
How has COVID-19 impacted your operations?
This will have a ripple-effect impact on our contracts, but we are working with our incredible clients to lessen the impact on these completion dates. Many of our clients are in a similar position and have also closed or greatly minimized their operations.
What inspired your team to pivot to manufacturing non-sterilized protective gowns for emergency responders?
As soon as the “stay-at-home” order was issued our management team began strategizing on how we could help our communities and get our employees safely back to work. We met with our local health officials and inquired as to what PPE was in demand that we could help produce. These non-sterilized protective gowns were an item that did not require a significant retooling investment or extreme duration of time to set up and produce.
How did you adapt your existing facility and supplies to create the gowns?
We have a brand-new manufacturing facility (occupied just a month ago), so it was easy for us to clear areas for production. We’ve fabricated production stations and are using readily available materials to produce these gowns. We will work with our local officials to ensure the safety of those employees returning to work and utilize now common practices (social distancing, hand washing, disinfecting).
Did you have to follow any industry or government guidelines to create them?
We were provided with a gown by our local officials and used our ingenuity to recreate the gowns. We had prototypes ready for review within 24 hours and our officials were impressed with the reproductions.
How do first responders use these gowns?
The intended use of these gowns are for first responders (firefighters, police, EMS) who need that extra layer of protection when encountering someone who may be infected with COVID-19. These gowns are meant to be disposable and replaced after each use.
What is your team planning to develop next?
We are now working on a face shield prototype, again, to provide that extra layer of protection for our brave first responders.
How are you handling distribution?
Sales orders are taken via an order sheet. Orders are then sent to the production stations where they are filled. Cases (containing 100 gowns) are then packaged and shipped from our new facility via commercial delivery systems.
What advice do you have for other manufacturers in our industry looking to make similar contributions to the effort of stopping the spread of coronavirus?
Speak with your local health officials to determine the needed items and what your facility is able to produce. We are all in this together.
To order non-sterilized protective gowns from DWL, download and submit the order form.