Updates from our CEO Paul Darley regarding Coronavirus

Fire Pumps, Fire Apparatus, Fire and Defense Equipment

Inside Darley August 2020

Hi, I am Paul Darley, thanks for tuning into our August issue of Inside Darley. Hopefully, this video finds you and your family in good health and good spirits; we certainly are here at Darley. We are continuing to work at about 100% of capacity to help fill your needs. Thank you for sticking with us, and thank you for the opportunity to serve you.

As we look at this pandemic, we as a business feel that it is going to be more stretched out than we had originally anticipated. Our first article is a health care executive poll that talks about 84% of these health executives expect another pandemic in the next ten years. It’s going to be a long time until we get back to normal if we ever get back to normal.

The impact on that is very far-reaching just initially looking at trade shows we attend/exhibit at about 120 trade shows a year, if you can imagine. Yet here we are starting to question if FDIC is going to happen in April of 2021 or Interschutz in June of 2021, probably not, based on everything now unless a vaccine comes out and be used broadly across the United States and the world. Our second article that we attached is a white paper put out by the Association of Exhibitions and Events company. It’s on the impact of COVID-19 on the trade show industry. The third attachment is a McKinsey article called How B2B sales have changed during COVID-19. It talks about how companies are changed and moving to this digitization, rather than tradeshows and how they are spending their marketing dollars.

We as a business have pivoted into a lot of webinars. We had a great one last week on Haas Alert. We’ve got one this Thursday, August 6th on Health and Wellness in the Fire Service. We have a number of these planned for the future including one on our Bridgehill Fire Blanket and other interesting products services.

Our fourth article that we have attached here for you, is a great piece from Kellogg Northwestern University. It’s called 10 Timeless Principles of Leadership Communication During a Crisis. The things I would point out is that businesses need to communicate more on issues. Make sure the business’ message is humanized. Layout a plan and follow it up. Businesses need to use these crises to share their values with their customers.

Our company is a small business that was eligible for substantial PPP money from the government. We as a business decided to give that money back to the government. We were guided by grandma Darley who would say if you don’t want it on the front page of the Chicago Tribune then don’t do it. We know that the fire service and our military customer’s budgets are going to be in dire shape in the later part of 2020, 2021, and possibly 2022. Just in good conscience, we could not accept that so we are pressing that message on to our employees to continue to look for ways that we can continue to be good citizens.

The other article that we attached is a webinar from the western fire chiefs. They had an economist come in under their CEO Chief Jeff Johnson, some good stuff here. The stock market, if you watch that, is trending upwards the NASDAQ just hit new highs, the DOW is coming close to hitting new highs. We know that a lot of the future stimulus package is baked into that growth, as is a vaccine being imminent.

The next article is from RW Baird. It covers a lot of the companies in our industry; it was shared with us by a different reader. It talks about Oshkosh, REV Group, Rosenbauer, Shyft Group, Federal Signal, and some other companies you might recognize.

I want to end on a note about the national guard. The national guard was called into Illinois. There is a lot of controversy about it, but you know the national guard has been around for roughly 200 years. It started as a militia and we as a country have invested billions maybe even trillions into it over the years, to prepare. Their purpose is really to make sure we have protection here in our homeland from outsiders as well as internal concerns. The Illinois national guard has only been used twice in the last 110 years. The first time was in 1918 during our first pandemic 10 years after our company was founded. The second time, 1968, when Martin Luther King was assassinated, to handle the civil unrest that was taking place. Now we have both of those events taking place as well as the heated emotions from the upcoming elections.

Thanks for tuning into this issue of Inside Darley, if there is anything we can be doing to support you, we hope you reach out to us.