It has been 6 (crazy?) months since COVID-19 hit our communities. The virus is still playing out so it is difficult to predict when things will truly be back to “normal” from a business standpoint. A few things are coming more into focus however. Before the pandemic about 8% of all knowledge workers worked from home. Over the past 6 months that has shot up to over 30%. Surveys are predicting that it will settle back to around 20% once a vaccine is widely available. Even at twenty percent, that is over double from what it was a few short months ago so our business – telecommunications – will only become more important supporting this change. Higher bandwidth, video conferencing and unified communication platforms are now common business tools.
At First American Businesses, our work-at-home policy has been in place for over 10 years. Our suite of collaboration tools make communicating internally and with clients relatively easy.
Another key change in the business world is air travel. Airlines are only operating at 40% of pre-pandemic levels and don’t expect to recover for years. With newly accepted telecom tools like Zoom and Teams there won’t be as much of a need to get on a plane. We are fortunate to have a nationwide footprint of local engineers. We are able to continue supporting our customers with a combination of local and remote technical support.
We will see what the next few months brings. We are proud to have kept our entire staff this year – in fact – our business has continued to grow and we have added new employees!
Over the past six months the number of quotes and contract wins has really picked up. Like most businesses we were impacted by the “pause” in the March and April timeframe but then, customers who had delayed decisions, started to sign new agreements and request new proposals. A few examples of new big awards this year for our team include:
Navy Contract: First American Business will provide telecommunications Operations and Maintenance services under a base year plus 4 optional year agreement to The Navel Support FLC Puget Sound (“Navy West”). This is a multimillion dollar contract supporting many Navy locations in the Northwestern U.S. Please see our Press Release.
Damovo: We signed an umbrella agreement and a direct support agreement with Damovo USA in August. First American will dispatch to their customer locations on a 7×24 basis throughout the U.S.
These are just a few examples. The First American Business team has been working overtime to on board these new customers!
Because of our new contracts we are expanding. We now have 5 full time certified CM8 engineers and 4 full time certified Nortel engineers. On the Navy West project we hired four new (very talented) staff dedicated to that account: Chris Kinsman, Earl Lange, Matt Mason, and Tom Thornwall. We are very happy to have them on the team!
This is the largest our engineering team has been since business started 11 years ago!
If you recall in previous newsletters we mentioned we were constructing a Lab. The Lab is 2,200 square feet that includes a server room, a small warehouse, individual desk space, a conference room, a training room and a small kitchenette. The Lab is up and running and fully functional.
First American Facemasks
We know these are trying times for families and businesses. More than ever we are grateful to our customers for sticking with us and for helping us to expand.
To ensure we are doing our part to protect our customers and employees, First American Business has created a company sponsored protective facemask that is being distributed to our personnel who report to or visit a customer site.
Thanks to you, and our employees – we look forward to finishing out the year strong!
Owner, Managing Partner