LancasterThrivingFallWinter2017 - 15

They had a new panel
saw, edge bander and
dust collection system,
but they were not yet
set up.
"There was fear of what
was going to happen,"
Broadbent admits, "how
quickly we could get
back online, how quickly
we could get equipment
back in place."
The one saving grace:
Just a year earlier, the
company implemented
an ERP software system
and their network was
up in the cloud, so most
of its intellectual property-thousands of hours of designs for
their recurring business-was safe.
So the entire team agreed to meet at 10 o'clock the next
morning at the new facility, divide and conquer. One group
headed to Staples to get flip charts; another group headed
to Eagle Rental for some tables.
It was a month before Bench Dogs was running at 5 percent
of capacity. It was not fully operational until February.
And yet.
All employees held onto their jobs, even though
their manufacturer was not making much, says VP
Shertzer, proudly.
"We basically lost one order of somewhere in the
neighborhood of $20,000-and we increased sales by over
$2 million," he adds. "It was remarkable."
So how did a company, admittedly small in a large industry,
survive the second devastating blow in less than 10 years?
Todd Shertzer believes it comes down to trust.
"Transparency, being upfront with your clients," he says. "We
have solid communication with everybody internally. When
things are good, why are they good; when things are bad,
why are they bad, and what do we need to work on. And we
do the same thing with our clients."
Some clients showed understanding. Some even sent
gift baskets. Shertzer also credits municipalities with
streamlining permitting to accelerate their move to the new
facility ahead of schedule.

year before and add a
significant amount of
new staff. At a company
meeting to mark the
anniversary of the fire,
the owners realized less
than half the room was
with the company a
year ago.
"We're so busy, there
just wasn't the time to be
doing the onboarding
and the training, so it
was a lot of on-the-fly
stuff," Broadbent says.
"It creates cultural
challenges that we're
still working to address."
But nothing that dims the leaders' outlook for the future.
They are expecting their new case goods work, which
occurs on a longer timeline, to smooth out some of the
spikes and dips of their marketing display business. They
believe they have experienced workers throughout the
company who know how to operate in a large organization.
And they're taking advantage of more of their facility space,
moving operations to a second building.
Indeed, their dual crises nourished the landscape for
their business.
"We're in a multi-billion marketplace," Broadbent says.
"We've got the infrastructure in place to be able to support
consistent growth and our goal is to continue to drive that."
Director of Marketing and Public Relations,
Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology
Contact Adam at:

The Path to Thriving column sheds light on the lessons
learned from failure and risk-taking through transparent
and candid conversations.
If you are interested in sharing how your company or
organization overcame failure or risk-taking, please
contact us at

Broadbent calls February 2016 "the month from Hell," as the
company did more business in those 28 days than it did in
the entire first year. But it served as a catalyst for a booming
2016, which saw the company grow by 60 percent from the


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