Source: Eric Moe, April 23, 2020
CleanTech Alliance members are fighting COVID-19 and coming up with unique ways to adapt and overcome its challenges.
As the COVID-19 health crisis continues to impact us all, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone in these trying times.
We hope that these member profiles can help to connect other members who are going through similar challenges and inspire others to persevere as we navigate this new reality.
Our first member profile is of Eric Moe from UMC. UMC is a building technology and design company that helps clients and partners plan, build, and manage their buildings, facilities and construction projects. Eric is UMC’s Senior Developer-District Energy and he’s on the CleanTech Alliance’s Board of Directors and chairs the Events Committee.
Q: What federal and/or state financial relief programs have you applied for, if any?
A: With the closures of most of our construction projects negatively affecting our cashflow for employee salaries, financial obligations, and day-to-day business operations, UMC has applied for the CARES Act PPP loan through the SBA.
Q: How have operations changed at your work? What does your new work day look like?
A: Our operations have changed substantially since the COVID-19 crisis began. At the beginning of 2020, our centennial year, with momentum towards a near-record revenue year, one of our biggest challenges was finding people to fill our numerous job openings. Today, with a drastically reduced workload and revenue stream, most of our office folks are working from home and are on reduced hours or standby. Most of our field staff is on standby status. All our meetings are done virtually. Our office doors are locked with only a handful of people coming in to maintain essential systems for our at-home workers.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge for you or your business due to COVID-19?
A: The COVID-19 crisis caused a significant and instant reduction in our revenue. Our leaders formed a Coronavirus Team at the onset of the crisis to continually monitor the ever-changing guidelines, mandates, construction jobsite statuses, employee needs and benefits, and communicate regularly to the company. Keeping our employees engaged, even those on standby, and keeping the company viable is a huge challenge that we are working daily to overcome.
Q: Do you have any success stories or lessons learned from the health crisis?
A: UMC developed a CDC-compliant portable handwashing/hygiene station that can be deployed at construction sites, homeless shelters, mobile hospital sites, and more. Our manufacturing group pivoted on a dime to run with the idea, design, order materials, and begin building the units. Our sales and marketing groups worked on promotion and sales strategies. In less than a week, the sinks went from an idea to several orders in hand and numerous ready to lose. A few standby workers were called back to help build the units in a reconfigured shop that is rigorously maintaining all social distancing and hygiene guidelines. KIRO7 TV News interviewed us and ran a local news spot on the sinks. These new sinks are getting national attention with calls from as far as Connecticut and Florida. UMC is proud to offer a local solution to a world-crisis.
Are you a CleanTech Alliance member and want to be featured on our website? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to share how your business is dealing with the health crisis.