Flanders Precisionaire, a maker of air filtration products, moved quickly to recover following a fire this summer that destroyed a facility in Bartow, Fla.
All efforts were made to salvage
the building, said company officials, but it was a total loss. Plans were
immediately put in place to locate another facility in which to continue
operations. Internet searches were begun immediately following the July 10 fire
and on-site tours of available facilities were undertaken.
A recovery management team from
Flanders Precisionaire met with such agencies as the city of Bartow, Polk
Works, and the Economic Development Council of Central Florida, all of whom
provided information and assistance to the company.
Meetings were also held with the
Polk County Unemployment Agency and Children and Family Services to arrange
resources for employees. A call number was established for employees to update
them on the situation.
One day after the fire, Flanders
transitioned all of the open orders that were assigned to the Florida facility
into their other nine locations for continued service.
By adding an additional
manufacturing shift at all three of its North Carolina locations, Flanders was
able to continue to service the Southeast.
“We were able to react quickly and
transition orders for immediate manufacturing due to our other strategically
located manufacturing locations,” said Patti Ellingson, director of wholesale
and national accounts. “We are doing everything in our power to fill orders as
quickly as possible.
“We have added equipment and
employees to our North Carolina facilities and have a strategic plan of action
to get our Florida manufacturing facility up and running within the next few
“We are on a fast track to rebuild
the Florida facility, which in turn will reduce the demand at our other
locations allowing for better service levels.”
The company is also utilizing
temporary facilities. A 130,000-square-foot building in Lake Wales, Fla., 20
minutes east of the Bartow site, has been configured to manufacture commercial
and industrial products. It is equipped with three high-speed lines for panel
filters, twelve towers for pleated products, supporting equipment, a custom
department, and pads and rolls.
A 36,000-square-foot facility,
located across the street from the Bartow site, had been utilized as a finished
goods annex and now is manufacturing retail pleated products.
As a long-term goal, Flanders
Precisionaire is planning to either rebuild on the Bartow site, or on another
site within the surrounding area, officials said.