Shout Out 2.0 Goes to Web Industries
- On July 13, 2020
MassMEP’s Lisa Oden speaks with Kevin Young, Vice President of Corporate Development at Web Industries.
Thumbs-up go to Web Industries, a 100% employee-owned company headquartered in Marlborough, MA. Web Industries is a precision converting and outsource manufacturing company that serves aerospace, medical, personal & home care, and industrial markets in MA, across the US and globally. From project inception through commercialization, Web offers creative problem-solving backed by deep technical and operational expertise.
Web Industries’ Lateral Flow Diagnostics Center of Excellence manufacturing business is expanding in response to the growing needs for COVID-19 test devices. The federal government estimates needs for about 1 million tests per day and Web Industries is stepping up to help meet that demand. As a result of this new initiative, Web Industries Inc. plans to hire approximately 125 skilled equipment operators, engineering personnel, bioscientists, quality assurance, purchasing, and inventory specialists. The company has also made a multi-million dollar investment in lateral flow immunoassay (LFI) product development and production equipment in order to move this initiative forward.
Kevin Young, Vice President of Corporate Development and Medical, shares some insight into what it’s been like at Web Industries during these COVID-19 days. “Keeping 9 factories world-wide and 800 employees working during these times has been no small feat. We want to credit the government’s PPP program that gave us the basis of funds so we could develop our strategy for addressing COVID-19. One challenge has been in hiring 125 new employees for the LFI division in Holliston. We’ve all been learning new tools like Indeed. Imagine setting up a series of virtual interview rooms where you have 4 people in 4 different rooms doing interviews every half hour from 8 in the morning to 5 at night. There was a big learning for all of us as we that set up.”
Kevin continues, “It’s all about rolling with the punches. There is no roadmap for this pandemic. We learned that being agile was very important. More than 50% of our business is typically from the aerospace sector, with our largest customers being Airbus and Boeing. When we saw the impact COVID-19 was having on their business, we knew we would be impacted as well, and we have been able to pivot. We have made significant investments in the Holliston facility over the last 6 years in developing a core competency in lateral flow immunology. When the largest med device company in the world came to us to produce COVID-19 tests, we were prepared and ready.”
“The resiliency to switch quickly was a companywide effort. Being employee-owners of the company, there is pride in what we do. The other day an employee reflected to me, “Its not just about having good jobs and so we can support our family. We feel proud that we are making COVID-19 tests that are going to save lives and open up the economy.’”
Regarding test development and production, Kevin states, “The government is going to need hundreds of millions of tests per month. The supply chain is not ready for that. So much of that had moved to the Far East, so we are now helping companies to onshore their medical device production. The government would like to see us get control of the supply chain so wear actively working with companies to help them do that.
When asked about regulation/legislation that could help, Kevin indicated that it would be helpful to have federal standards around combatting something like COVID-19. With facilities in 6 states, Web Industries had to adapt to rules and regulations put out by 6 governors. Web took early steps to take a look at best practices to ensure the safety of their employees, and to that end developed policies that went beyond the governments’ recommendations.
Kevin closes with an observation, “Looking ahead, in the next 3 months, well we’ve all read the papers. The trends aren’t going in the right direction. At Web we are continuing our crisis management team meeting daily. Things are going to be different – its summer, people want to be out doing things. We are asking our employees to do the right thing and be responsible – to protect themselves, their families, friends, and work colleagues.”
“Next year the supply chain for developing a vaccine needs to be put in place. What will it take to produce 4 billion vaccines? That supply chain is just starting to ramp up. It’s the same with tests so that we can open up our economy and that’s where we hope Web can have an impact, and it’s all starting here in MA.”
At Web Industries Nantes, France location, (Omega Systemes), part of its aerospace operation has pivoted to making personal facemasks approved by the French General Directorate of Armament to the Ministère des Armées for distribution to food manufacturers, supermarkets and nursing homes conducting business in France. With plans to produce more than 4 million masks per month, Omega is running around the clock. Additionally, Omega has been producing and delivering 60,000 single-use, disposable aprons per day to local hospitals.
To learn more about Web Industries, visit www.webindustries.com.
Thank you and merci to Web Industries for taking on the COVID-19 challenge in MA and around the world.