By Sonia Yooshing
Although 2020 is finally behind us, the path forward may feel uncertain as the challenges we faced in the past year continue. That said, one thing has never been clearer: We are in this together and, to change the trajectory for the better, we need to work together to build a safer future we can all share.
Creating an end-to-end supply-chain network
Since the pandemic started, we have seen unprecedented examples of how Canadian sign industry professionals have risen in solidarity to meet the challenge by pivoting their business to lend a helping hand to the community. One such example is Toronto Stamp, a 113-year-old, family-run sign shop in Scarborough, Ont., that successfully created a supply-chain network to serve Ontario’s personal protective equipment (PPE) needs.
The company has played many roles and taken on several projects since it was established in 1907, including producing stamps, stencils, nameplates, signs, tags, and badges out of a 650-m2 (7000-sf) facility. The shop even helped Ontario develop its first license plates.
In the face of the global pandemic, the company chose to shift from its usual production to develop the province’s first end-to-end supply chain for face shields and other PPE, including face masks, sneeze barriers, social distancing decals, and instructional labels. The shop has since produced more than five million face shields.
“We won a contract with Health Canada to deliver four million face shields in just two months,” said Jimmy Williams, the company’s general manager. “Like many small businesses, we had the opportunity to pivot our business to stay alive—it was something we were able to do based on our experience and expertise.”