Missouri company shifts to fill major need during COVID-19

A Kansas City business that specializes in making carts, shelving and other organizers has found a niche in the midst of the coronavirus. Susan Tripp, the founder of TrippNT, says one of her workers felt like the company had what it takes to make face shields that can be fully decontaminated. In little time, employees began cranking out the items in high demand.

“We had an email blast to all of our distributors and orders were pouring in,” she says. “And it took us about three weeks to really get geared up to make, I think we made 80,000 a day. And now it’s backed off quite a bit but we’re still in great shape. It’s very interesting to be able to turn on a dime like that.”

Tripp says the company, which has been around since 1993, has made more than one million face shields so far.

“They’re just moving heaven and earth to get caught up,” she says. “Obviously, some of our regular had to take a back seat while we were getting this done. But now that it’s pretty well under control, everything else is moving right along.”

It temporarily boosted its workforce by about 50 people to get the product out the door and into the hands of customers. It enlisted the help of a couple other nearby businesses to help cuts parts and build the shields.

“It allowed us to come up to speed a lot faster and fulfill the need when it needed to be. We were grateful they were quality people who could step up,” says Tripp. “It took a lot of people and a lot of really great minds and people who were committed, didn’t sleep, worked seven days a week, long hours, coming in early, staying late, investing in a lot of machinery.”

Tripp, who has a background as a chemist, says businesses should not sell themselves short.

“To be able to do something like this, requires a company who is not only nimble, but hungry, passionate, willing to tackle it, and have the mechanism in place. Just because you want to do it, doesn’t mean you can do it. It’s a big part of it though. We had a trifecta of perfection that allowed us to hit this hard and fast enough to fulfill a demand,” says Tripp. “It’s a little bit like putting in a special team in a football game. These people are trained to do something special. That’s sort of what we are able to do. A lot of people have it. A lot of businesses have it. They just don’t know that they have it. They need to be looking at themselves that way.”

TrippNT is one of about 60 Missouri companies in a directory listing personal protective items they sell to businesses and the general public.

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