How the pandemic forced Banks Hardwoods to become more resilient
July 7, 2021 | 12:50 pm CDT
Operations at Banks Hardwoods

WHITE PIGEON, Mich. - The pandemic didn't just cause struggle. It forced some companies to get more resilient. 

Banks Hardwoods is one of those companies.

Banks is a Michigan-based hardwood lumber manufacturer and supplier that's been in business for 35 years. The company ships around 50 million board feet of hardwood lumber per year from its two sites. It employs around 150 workers.

"When the pandemic hit us we were celebrating 35 years in business," said the company's marketing committee. "This threw us through a total loop as it did the rest of the industry." We quickly switched gears to handle operations virtually, creating virtual educational tools to stay in communication with our customers."

Banks opted to suspend in-person sales calls and visits.

The company also completely digitized its export process. It automated processes to accommodate a labor shortage and it revamped its sales strategy to better cope with supply chain interruptions. It also forecast and reevaluated its inventory, removing odd lot items to boost efficiency. 

Banks, like many other companies, also revamped how their employees worked. It set staff up remotely. Most meetings were conducted virtually - even those with employees still on-site - to increase flexibility.

Employees have since returned, but still have the option to work from home. Banks took the opportunity to remodel the offices of its production managers, creating more space and an updated appearance.

All of these changes are still in place today. Banks says the adjustments helped make it more versatile and accommodating to work with.

Banks also took the time to professionally shoot an 8-minute video explaining and showing where hardwood lumber comes from. Check it out below.


                                                


 

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About the author
Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at robert.dalheim@woodworkingnetwork.com.