Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 34

LOWY ENTERPRISES INC.
Our best decisions
were not panicking,
trusting our staff
and helping to keep
everyone as healthy
as possible. "
Aaron Krouse,
Lowy Enterprises Inc.
All hands on deck
When the closures struck in March
2020, Aaron Krouse, general manager,
chief operating officer of Lowy
Enterprises Inc., says staff assembled
in the office the following morning,
anticipating the doors would shut
for an unknown period of time. But
that didn't happen. Instead, they were
" inundated " by customers insisting
Lowy was an essential business
that couldn't close. In fact, many
customers sent emails and letters to
this effect in case proof was needed.
Consequently, the company stayed
open from the start.
Located in Rancho Dominguez,
Calif., the company is a wholesale
distributor of webbing, fasteners,
soft goods and hot cutting tools
for multiple sewn soft-goods
industries, supplying products to law
enforcement, the military, medical and
other related markets.
Making things easier was Lowy's
TOP: A vast array of fasteners is on
display in Lowy Enterprises' showroom.
The company stayed open during COVID
as an essential business, sourcing
components for masks and related
medical items and supporting many
ancillary areas at that time as well.
BOTTOM: Lowy Enterprises supplies a
variety of fasteners, webbings, soft goods
and hot-cutting tools to law enforcement,
the military, medical and other industries.
Shown here is an assortment of these
products ready for picking in the company's
warehouse. Photos: Lowy Enterprises Inc.
34 SPECIALTY FABRICS REVIEW / June 2022
stable workforce. During that time,
only one employee left for nonpandemic
reasons, and was soon
replaced. But there were other
challenges. Getting up to speed on
COVID safety protocols and workplace
best practices was an " ongoing learning
process, " and critical, since one
infection would have halted operations.
Also, sales to certain markets ceased
almost overnight as those industries
shut down. In response, Krouse says
his staff turned their attention to
companies in the medical and safety
arenas that needed immediate support,
securing components for masks and
related items in record time.
" Luckily, we were able to quickly
source items we didn't have and were
quickly able to restock standard
items, " he recalls. " Every day in the
first few months it felt like all hands
on deck. Over time, as industries
came back, we were ready since
we kept our inventory up to prepandemic
levels as much as possible.
This was the most difficult challenge
as the supply chain issues grew larger
and larger. "
The forecast is partly sunny
As for now, the picture is mixed. Some
of Lowy's markets have come back, but
not totally. Some may never return to
pre-pandemic levels, he says, and some
that have returned have changed in
certain aspects. For example, people
no longer seem comfortable with
just-in-time inventory and are instead
stocking up, not wanting to be caught
short. And shipping continues to vex.
" Issues with regular ground
shippers have never been so bad. And
port and less than truckload [LTL]
freight problems persist. But we've
met these challenges head-on, " says
Krouse, adding that supply shortages
vary across product lines, affecting
some areas but not others, a situation
he sees persisting through this year,
particularly given recent world events.
Finding employees is also
frustrating, so much so that at one
point, Krouse says he simply gave
up. An online job posting looked
promising, generating 400 hits,
resulting in 30 confirmed in-person
interviews. However, only two people,
both under-qualified, showed up. Still,
he remains optimistic.
" We've seen a lot over 50 years
of business, " Krouse says. " I'm very
comfortable in saying that we'll survive
and continue to prosper. Our best
decisions were not panicking, trusting
our staff and helping to keep everyone
as healthy as possible. The old adage
is true: you can only control what you
can control. "

Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022

Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - Cover1
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 1
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 2
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 3
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 4
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 5
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 6
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 7
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 8
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 9
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 10
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 11
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 12
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 13
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 14
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 15
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 16
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 17
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 18
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 19
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 20
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 21
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 22
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Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 24
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 25
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 26
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 27
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 28
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 29
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 30
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 31
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Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 33
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 34
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 35
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 36
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 37
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Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 40
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Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - Cover3
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - Cover4
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - Expo Brochure 1
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