PVC furniture manufacturer in Niles sees sales boom amid COVID-19 crisis
Published 8:36 am Tuesday, March 24, 2020
NILES — In a time when many businesses are facing heavy mandates, at least one warehouse in Niles is bursting at the seams with business. With a nearly full parking lot and a semi-truck and trailer in the loading bay, things from the outside appear productive. The warehouse on the inside is full of PVC furniture in various stages of assembly.
Innovative Products Unlimited is a leading manufacturer in PVC healthcare equipment, and while its biggest sellers are generally products from their shower line to long term healthcare providers and senior centers, it is currently seeing a boom of orders from hospitals.
With the COVID-19 virus putting heavier demand on hospitals around the country, the company’s isolation line and low beds are being ordered in volume.
According to Casey Becker, director of sales and marketing at Innovative Products Unlimited, over the last two weeks, business has seen a drastic increase. The company’s previous average of products a day rested somewhere between 30 and 35. Since the virus has come to the U.S., the company is averaging about 166 units manufactured per day.
“Today’s orders are 280 [units],” Becker said Monday morning. “It just keeps going up every single day. We have basically shifted. Shower care is usually our bread and butter — our catalogue leads with seven pages of it. Now this one page further back in our catalogue is the one blowing up.”
Becker flipped through the company’s product catalogue to reveal one page of isolation products with carts and storage, shown with yellow fabric.
“Usually yellow indicates isolation in facilities, so a lot of our products are going out in yellow. That’s an indicator that a room is under isolation,” Becker said.
The carts generally sit outside of the rooms to prep those entering and leaving the room.
Orders are currently being fulfilled quickly from the company, and Becker hopes to continue that.
“I can’t guarantee that we’re going to continue that way. We keep our production staffing pretty close to our max. We don’t have a lot of extra people,” he said. “We know what we have, and we know what we’re doing.”
Orders right now are coming heavily from the most affected areas of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.
“We are shipping truckloads, filling up a whole truck and sending it to Garden City, New York,” he said.
He also said lots of product was going to California and Washington.
“It’s coming. New York is 10 days away from filling all of their [hospital] beds,” he said. “Now, these [low beds] are being ordered at a very rapid pace.”
Becker said that the company sold around 75 of the low beds over the course of 2019.
“It’s not usually a very high demand product for us,” Becker said. At this point in March, the company has already had orders closer to 250 low beds.
“They don’t sell very often, and they’re selling like crazy now,” he said.