Headquartered in Cambridge, with offices in Maryland, Florida and Utah, Safe Chain Solutions is a national Wholesale Pharmaceutical Distributor providing pharmaceuticals and health care products to a network of healthcare facilities nationwide.
Planning to Pivot in a Pandemic
When Safe Chain Solutions CEO Charlie Boyd began hearing that their hospital customers needed supply chain help, he realized that the coronavirus was going to be a very serious situation. With essential PPE (personal protective equipment) shortages looming, he had to rapidly develop and operationalize a plan.
“Like most everyone, our first priority is protecting our employees,” Boyd said. “We developed a work from home and on-site operations plan in less than three days.”
As their team quickly adjusted to the new environment, Safe Chain maintained continuity of service while meeting increased customer demands. A wholesale distributor of health and pharmaceutical supplies to hospitals, surgery centers physicians and pharmacies across the U.S., the company moved its headquarters to Cambridge in 2011.
“Operationally, we have been extremely busy with all of the increased demand in our industry,” he noted.
Most employees continue to conduct business from home while the balance (about 25%) are essential to site operations and work from their Chesapeake Drive headquarters. Charlie explained their re-entry plan.
“We’re planning on slowly bringing people back on a voluntary basis around June 15. I’m extremely proud of how everyone has responded to this. It’s a testament to the true grit we have as an organization.”
To meet the rapid business challenges the pandemic posed, Safe Chain also increased their product offerings. For example, customers who once only ordered pharmaceuticals from the company started requesting PPE items.
“We always distributed medical supplies but on a limited scale. We’ve now opened up direct manufacturing accounts to help supply the critical PPE items our customers on the front lines.”
Linking Core Values with Operations & Community
Safe Chain’s core values guide the company’s social responsibility practices. Boyd points to numerous ways they have supported the community during the pandemic. From large donations of PPE items for Eastern Shore EMS units and providing free masks for employees’ families, to creating a flexible work from home policy, the company’s commitment to community has been front and center.
The company distributed care packages with Highlands Creamery ice cream and Rise Up coffee to the COVID units at the Dorchester and Easton hospitals. They also delivered ice cream to employees working from home across the country and supported local restaurants by providing lunch for all on-site employees every Friday.
For this long-time business executive, Covid-19’s impact underscores the need for empathy, community and flexibility.
“The most important thing we have learned is to over communicate and be flexible with employees. Now more than ever we all need to be there for each other so it’s important as an employer to show employees we are.”
Boyd believes that Maryland has done a good job keeping the state up to date on local coronavirus statistics and affected areas. He hopes the state continues to communicate those analytics.
Charlie recognizes that Dorchester’s rural location and low population density has been a business advantage as the community had less exposed to the novel virus.
“Being in Dorchester makes everyone feel a little safer, especially when compared to other parts of the state that have been dramatically impacted.”
To learn more about Safe Chain Solutions and employment opportunities, visit: https://www.safechain.com