Armoured One Year in Review with CEO Tom Czyz
What a year. A year none of us was expecting but every one of us was affected by. As a company, this year forced us to take a deep dive into our operations so that we could continue to move forward. We saw growth, changes, and numerous challenges. As dynamic as this year has been, it also brought us some amazing opportunities and new partnerships. While we are excited to wrap up another big year here at Armoured One, we are looking forward to seeing the team’s hard work come to fruition in 2021.
Shifting in Crisis
One of the biggest challenges our company faced this year was our work in schools. Schools closed, budgets were restructured and reallocated, and many opportunities were eliminated. But that didn’t stop us and even gave us a chance to make improvements in our processes and create efficiencies. To ensure safety, we were up against restrictions around how many people were allowed in a building at a time as well as limited timeframes to complete work. Our team stepped up to the plate to ensure that our product was installed and to the standard we expect from our own team as well as our certified installers.
In order to move the company forward with some of the unforeseen challenges, we pivoted part of our manufacturing operations to produce COVID-19 face shields to help with the personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages across the world. We were able to utilize space in our warehouse, product we had on hand coupled with new materials sourced from around the United States, and increased the size of our team by hiring manufacturing technicians. Not only were we able to meet the demands of multiple large contracts, we were able to donate a number of shields to schools and local organizations. In addition, we partnered with Wegmans to offer the first product in their history that was provided to employees and made available for sale. We are grateful for the opportunities to partner with and support the local community.
Closing Up a Great Year
One of the most exciting changes for us in 2020 was all of the great work our team did with our active shooter preparedness training. While always a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, we rebranded the training to ONE Training and it now exists as a standalone organization. The team has expanded services to not only include school districts but businesses and healthcare institutions as well. In addition, our training is now offered completely online so that we can better serve our existing customers and meet the needs of the many new groups we’ve connected with. Online training provides a greater reach at an affordable price for those groups that couldn’t afford training previously. We can’t wait to show you what we have in store for 2021.
Expanding our team was a great change for such a strange year. Our manufacturing operations allowed us to bring on a number of new full-time and part-time employees who are now part of the Armoured One family. In addition to face shield manufacturing operations, we added individuals to both our glass and film teams, our in-house facilities and construction team, as well as our administrative team. On top of that, we added a water jet machine to our operations which opened up new revenue streams and allowed us to bring on a full-time team member to run the ship. With the expansion of the team came challenges as we figured out how to keep everyone safe onsite during a pandemic.
With this wild year came a big move for our family as my wife Maria, our kids, and I made the move down south to South Carolina. While it was sad to leave the city we both called home – the headquarters that we called home – it was an exciting opportunity for our family and for the company. We now have our southern office operating out of the greater Myrtle Beach area which will allow us to better serve our southern customers, connect with new customers, and establish new political and business partnerships, all of which will help Armoured One grow.
New For 2021
This year also got the ball rolling for a number of exciting partnerships for Armoured One that will come to fruition in 2021. First and foremost, after years of testing and planning with our partners at Masonite Architectural, we will be doing a full-force rollout of our Attack Resistant Door Opening Solution. This comprehensive solution will add valuable time for occupants to react to an attack and for police to respond by delaying the attacker from entering a room. This door solution is designed to be affordable, allowing for specification and installment in more openings—because every school deserves a higher level of protection.
We are working on some big projects in partnership with EFCO Corporation for full-tested window and door units. EFCO Corporation is a leading manufacturer of architectural aluminum window, curtain wall, storefront and entrance systems for commercial architectural applications. This exciting partnership will open a host of opportunities for customers throughout the country as new applications become available for spec and purchase.
Another big partnership that we’ve fostered throughout 2020 and will see come to light in 2021 is that with Cooper-Ephesus Lighting. With our new water jet machine, we’ve been able to work with Ephesus to develop a bullet-resistant lighting system lens to help protect lighting units around the world.
These are just a few of the incredible partnerships we’ve worked hard to establish and build over the past year. We are looking forward to working with each of our partners in 2021 to create better products and positively impact more people.
Thank you for being a part of the Armoured One family. We are incredibly grateful for the support we’ve received from friends, family, colleagues, and partners throughout the years. We value every one of you and cannot wait for the exciting things ahead.