CEO Gabriel Glynn and Mike Colwell of DSM Partnership discuss COVID-19

May 11, 2020

Gabe Glynn, CEO of MakuSafe™, sits down with the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Startup Stories host, Mike Colwell, to discuss the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

Adapting to a New Normal

Gabe says that a big part of the early weeks was spent reaching out to employees, checking in and seeing how they were doing as a person and making sure they had the tools to be successful. Gabe says that of all the stressors and uncertainty happening for his employees at the beginning of the COVID-19 situation, he didn’t want MakuSafe™ to be one of them.

Learning to Work Remotely

Within MakuSafe™ there is a lot of traveling for shows. Thirty-six flights were canceled because of the pandemic. Gabe speaks about how when conferences and in-person meetings are shut down, you learn how much can be done via video conferencing. He anticipates that many large conferences will continue to utilize Zoom and other video meeting applications long after the pandemic; however, says that nothing will ever replace face-to-face meetings completely.

While some employees were used to working from home, others — such as those within customer service and marketing — had to learn how to communicate in new ways. Even certain customers have come around to meeting virtually as the pandemic has delayed in-person meetings for the time being.

Localizing Manufacturing

Mike and Gabe discuss whether or not the COVID-19 pandemic will lead businesses to localize their manufacturing. Mike says that he sees businesses beginning to think about more about cost-balance. For example, “What’s the best cost we can get while considering risk?” Mike says that companies like MakuSafe™ will begin to look for and favor vendors who will multi-locate.

Customer Reaction to COVID-19

Gabe discusses how after finally being ready to deploy product after working diligently on it for four years, the pandemic threw a wrench in their plans. The first thing they did was communicate to their customers that the company was ready to take care of workers once they are ready. As customers took time to deal with the beginning stages of the pandemic, MakuSafe™ began to look through data and found two things hiding in their data that are game changers for getting people up and running. All they had to do was write some new code to get the info out. Now, companies have said they are looking at things that MakuSafe™ is currently working on that they want to implement long-term. The delay in the deployment of their product allowed for even more innovation and customer satisfaction.

Listen to the entire podcast: Small Business and Startup Stories — Gabe Glynn

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