SIGN Turns Crisis Into An Opportunity

We’ve all had to learn to adapt during the global pandemic.; one company, located in the Tri-Cities Research District, has not only adapted, but embraced new ways of doing business. SIGN Fracture Care International recently purchased their 38,000-square-foot building on George Washington Way from the Port of Benton with plans to remodel the facility.  However, the company needed to rethink operations, due to the pandemic when all employees had to work from home.

Initially, SIGN CEO Jeanne Dillner found communication with remote workers difficult and uncomfortable. Overtime, she discovered that virtual meetings actually improved communications between employees and work groups and even had advantages such as greater collaboration and efficiency in meetings. In addition, SIGN is using technology to move to electronic signatures, for purchase requisitions, and other documents as well as design controls.

Conducting business virtually also extended to SIGN’s fundraising activities. Out of necessity, the company had to switch its annual charity event from live to online. Although there were some challenges, SIGN was able to raise just as much money as if it were a live event, but without the cost.

”It’s made our employees more effective and open-minded and we’ve become closer to each other as a company,” Dillner said.

In addition to changes in how SIGN conducts business, the organization is focused on re-purposing the space, especially to accommodate the required six-foot social distancing for employees when they return to work. The remodel of one section of the building is complete with the Engineering and R&D cells slated for completion by the end of July to allow SIGN’s engineers to metal fabricate  their ideas  quickly so  manufacturing won’t be disrupted.

SIGN also has plans to build a new Learning and Bio-Skills Laboratory, which should be completed by fourth-quarter 2020. Dillner believes this new space will be used by other medical facilities in the Tri-Cities in addition to SIGN’s overseas network of physicians.

About the Author

About the Author

C. Mark Smith is an active Tri-Citian, volunteering his time and services to several local community and economic development organizations. He lives with his wife Elsa, in Richland, Washington.