Battling The Coronavirus and Going Viral with Joe Calagaz
The had to believe there's going to be a a light at the end of the tunnel was. I don't think it's a training. I really believe that sometime. This summer is going to explode because pent up demand but I have to have to have faith that it's going to get better. Now's the time to kind of take care of our teens. Make sure that they stay healthy that they stay employed and they stay busy preparing for the unknown and having a good relationship with a biker. A lawyer and Accountant. I guess. Keep your head up and keep trying to come up with ways to help the community and your team. That's all I can say. Hey Buddy today. We're going to give a win. Win Win Join AVARS business story. This thing's gone truly borrow all over the region and nationally. It's bill good media story. We're going to talk with Joe Allegations Against Printing. It's a commercial printer known for their menu in Restaurant Printing. Joe Needed a way to keep his talented and skilled team employed and busy during this time because orders just disappeared so what he decided to do was posturing and clean the whole company. Something different and wonderful happened. An employee had a high uric above it and realize the chance to start using the BRA materials. They had on hand to make the much-needed face shields for the medical and hospital workers and possibly even create a whole new revenue shrimp for his printing company after making a crude facial prototype categories now producing five to ten thousand of these shields. Everyday on this episode. You'RE GONNA learn how Jones team turned disruption in a much needed new orders coming in the healthcare world has a new source of much-needed equipment. Kalugin employees are engaged in super excited to be a part of this business innovation new revenue source protecting frontline medical workers in a media story. Everyone's is talking about Kalligas story has blown up on social media with three hundred fifty thousand views. Local and state traditional media has picked up the story and not only that mayors and governors are contacted Joe and shared his success stories to inspire others. Kala's made a splash across the whole printing industry and shared their idea design and prototype to the printers across the country. That will listen. Said they can start filling their needed orders and supply the much-needed healthcare worker with protective equipment. Plus springhill college marketing professor and Pr Professional. Stacey wellborn is in the studio. And she's going to explain her role and sharing colleague as a smart business and feel good story in a time when we all need some good news. Hey I'm Karen I'm a former. Cpa entrepreneur business consultant with big ideas. And on the MOM. I'm Katie I'm a payroll specialist business owner and detail oriented person that makes things happen and on the daughter. Welcome to cheer to Business Stacey. Welcome to the show. Thank you for having me. I've seen this story the last couple of days all over social media and the news and I wanNA thank you so much for coming into the studio and we'll have JOE re. He's calling in soon to said that our listeners can hear this story. Thank you for having me and I welcome the opportunity to for Joe to tell more of the stories you know. Most social media posts in media are short so I think this will be a great opportunity for people to hear the full story. This is awesome. Hey Joe Welcome to cheers to business. you're really popular man right now. Now now you've done like five interviews and today's been visiting with the mayor and it's all because you you backed out something I've been saying forever and especially in the last couple of weeks. Is THAT COMPANIES. Need to stop and think outside the box. Tell us your story. Well I think it all began with all this downturn started to happen my wife and I got together and we decided that number one. Our team is too important to us to put him on the street. I just couldn't imagine doing that. Hyun a lot of that right now. They don't know whether to let him go to keep them in what to do. Yeah and this was all before all of the governmental stuff and and we had a cash reserve and we were prepared to keep him on staff and I actually Kinda started a new company motto that said the for the foreseeable future. We're GONNA clean and cross train and that's what we're GONNA do. We were GONNA. I'm we're a pretty skilled environment with printing presses and those kinds of things but not everybody can run every piece of equipment so we decided that what we were going to do. Is We will use this time to get better so on the other side of it we had a better train staff and the facility was in better shape and and that kind of stuff. I think that Kinda gave my staff away to think outside the box in Michael Cuesta who's director sales. He saw an article on online. That said the face shields were becoming a real problem for the healthcare industry so he started walking around the shop and Started piecing together different components. And see what he did is went to production manager and handed it to him. His name is Donny. Web and said Hey Donny can we produce this and Donald took a minute and look at it and saw what he came up with and he said I think we can So they brought it to me and showed this fairly Somewhat crude I'm looking at it and tell amazed and impressed because you know to me live doesn't have to be complicated and you took something and made it so punctual you and your team and by the way. How proud of your team are you? Oh it's incredible. I mean them coming up with this idea and being able to execute it and and what they did is applied if you step back and look at it as objectively it is printing project which is not put an ink on anything so what. We boiled IT DOWN TO SIMPLEST COMPONENTS. Now we had involved manufacturers. We had involved suppliers. We had to search and source things that we have no idea. You know the crazy thing that and it's probably the mobile in me. I guess that If you look if you have one if you happen to see the the string on the back of It actually came from. Michael's wife's crafts little boxer. She has for her kids from when they make made the Mardi gras mass for their kids a few weeks ago so simple. It's brilliant and that allowed us to go from making small amounts so these two making large amounts of the second were gearing up to be able to produce between five and ten thousand of these day. It's because we we saw it as a printing project again. We're not putting ink on it but we're doing everything else. It's a kidding project. It's a resource project. It's cutting project and we were able to take some of the different things inside of our shop and China repurposing and and make them do what's necessary to produce these in volume by at tell you something else and I know you come from a long line of we inventors or you know you guys have always known to devise yourself and so but I wanna meet you face to face because something else you've done and you and your team is that number one getting the community involved number two. We did a whole show. One time on knowledge sharing and you have reached out to the other printers not asking for anything in return and shared this knowledge with them and I think that's so huge. It's not about the dollar today. It's about saving us all for the long run. Well it's actually What I did this weekend is is this was Kinda. My plan all along is just based on the way. The hospitals reacted to the idea. I felt the need was going to be significant nationwide so the first thing I did was reached out to a really good friend of mine. That's in California and I shared the idea with her. She's equip the same way I am and actually she's got two of everything that I have. So she can produce even more and obviously California in the middle of the hot spot of the world the US is part of it anyway. So I shared everything. Shared the die lines this year. The Manufacturers Nice everything with her to get her spun up and she started prototyping in producing they had a crew in over the weekend producing their. I I think two thousand shields. The next thing I did this weekend is is. I engaged my trade association because what I want to happen now. I WANNA raise this to the national level because there are printers all across the country that have all of this equipment sitting completely idle right now. I mean when when we started this project Thursday a week ago that Friday we normally have between seventy five and one hundred work orders. Printing work orders in progress. Will I ended that Friday with a single work order in progress? And how think there's been but a handful this week and I sure printers across the nation have capacity. That could really crank this out. Now there's a supply constraint. Jane is a problem. I'm hopeful that I can get the government to you. Know help with that part of an and bring in other industries says I mean I bought an off off the shelf phone. This is packing foam. And I bought the nation's supply of that packing phone from the vendor that I was working with well that only got me to sixty five thousand shields and and so it's it's Kinda that evolution of what's the raw materials today versus. What are the long term raw materials? Say Long term. I'm like next week. So it's it's changing that fast that every day. Something different and while we're talking about foam. Is I think right before we started on the podcasts? Someone from Alabama has reached out and says they can produce me foam so there are hopefully going to change today and this is why I love business. This is why this is so fantastic. I mean the energy is contagious in the hope. And you're talking about I'm looking at one and it goes across the forehead because I've seen people with the scars and stuff from wearing the same mask all day long. Now this is the shield. They still wear a mask right. I think in some cases they wear a mask underneath it and in some cases they don't it depends on the exposure and what function the healthcare workers performing remember? I'm a I'm a printer. Healthcare and learn more and more. We actually are prototyping today. A were calling an ice shield which will attach directly to a cloth mask so a lot of the hospitals have a lot of standard cloth mass while they don't have the plastic shield to protect their eyes. So this will be a product that will go onto the actual mask. I mean we'll have it. He's the tape on it the appeal type off from though it's Tajik the master getting ready. Use those if I can get raw materials. I can produce in the tens of thousands a day. It's the process used in that. It's the first half of the process that I'm using to create the face shield with the phone when the string all that if I just provide them an ice shield that protects. There is if that isn't acceptable product for the hospitals in mood deliver our first batch of face shields today we're going to take them those prototypes and then just ask them. They have a current product. That is a mask an eye shield already attached by manufacturer to what I'm hopeful is that and I'm trying to kind of focus in on the the hospitals the healthcare workers. I mean in really when I say that I mean it could be anything from emergency medical. Whoever medical professionals and let them figure out the best need and use case for the four what we're able to provide that makes total sense. I mean they're the guys that know where it needs to be and how it needs to be and and let them protect their workers says they start testing and start trading and all those kinds of things Jeff. What's the best advice that you think's going through this that other small businesses? That are really struggling right now. What would you tell them? I've been telling my peers that I had to believe. There's going to be a a light at the end of the tunnel. I don't think it's a train I really believe that sometime. This summer is going to explode because pent up demand now. That's just me thinking it's going to happen but I have to have faith that it's going to get better now. Is the time to to Kinda take care of our Make sure that they stay healthy that they stay employed and they stay busy as possible. I feel like we all have to really try to prepare for these unknown things. I mean I do swot analysis and I don't think I've ever identified a pandemic my threats I just. I just don't ever think anybody thought that but I think preparing for the unknown and having a good relationship with a bike or a lawyer accountant in addition to my customers. That's my grandfather actually. That's one of the things I tell people all the time as a you know if you stay in business because your customers but what keeps your business going as your lawyer. Your banker and your accountant. Because they help you keep what the business side of business running on the right track. You are preaching for twenty five years and had a practice. I Yeah I totally right there with you and I want you to know that I admire what you're doing so much Stacey I think you have a question Yeah Joe. Will you talk a little bit about what the reaction has been? I mean you walked into this And took a leap of faith and started producing and buying materials. We talk about what the reaction has been. Well it's been overwhelming. I'll be honest. I'm not the guy typically stands in front of cameras are are does phone interviews. That's just not kind of been my thing in the past. So That's outside my comfort zone but the reaction. I've never seen anything like this. I've never experienced anything like this on the social media side of things and the outpouring of support and I mean I think I think this kind of speaks volumes is that because of that facebook post we have maybe three hundred thirty thousand reaches or and maybe thirty five hundred shares and I think I looked at the statistics on quoting from memory out of all of those shares and likes and all of that. I think we might have had three negative ones to me. That just shows that people behind this idea people want positive things going on if you put something on social. Tends to garner sombody body right now joe. This is so positive. I think those three people probably nothing makes them happy. So you know just wipe it off. Let a guy. Because here's here's your to you Joe Joe to the three things that I wrote down while you were talking one have a cash reserve to clean work on Your Business. Cross train. Always get better in three. Think outside the box so I think. Do you think you have a new dynamic. Now the employees feel so engaged and just honored to be able to provide these four. I mean the healthcare you some of these things are tearing heart out of it you know. I have a daughter or son our family member who works in the healthcare world and they're concerned about their life and our staff is seeing. Our team is seeing all that then. They're recognizing they're just providing a little bit of protection a little bit of comfort for those individuals in and Yeah. The dynamic has changed quite a bit. I mean I've got a great team in there. There are one hundred percent behind this and they're just I mean I have ideas coming from all they're excited. Oh yeah well we said I want to leave. Whatever business of Mon and that it was when you leave at the end of the day I want you to feel productive. That was my biggest goal from my people because then it just gets bigger and better but if you think about it was the worst thing about your kid. Being sick. Can't do anything to help them. Your people in you are helping side. Just want to give you a big shout out and a big. Thank you anything else for today. Show I guess keep your head up and keep trying to come up with ways to help the community and your team. That's all I could say I can't tell you what a pleasure it's been meeting and talking with you today. I hope we can meet in person and shake hands and I'm a hugger time might give you a big hug. So that'd be okay. Once you know the President says we can now stop doing Social distancing will definitely meet and shake hands and get maybe a big this right. My husband wants to shake your hand and I'll say trump told me I could. I can give you a hug. Gripe all right man you take care. Go get busy. Hey Dell your whole team that everybody here at the Container Yard Deep Art Studios Pay. Well Ball you name. It mastery net were marine exhaust all the companies that we all represent sitting here right here today give them a virtual bigalow hop off absolutely all. Thanks to all right. Thanks Stacy thank you so much for introducing me to Joe in his story and I think my eyes might leak powerful it is. I'm glad that We were able to get you connected with him. He is somebody I've known for ten plus years and when they called last week I said yes. See now my eyes are league. He is so good to have something. Good how did you because you weren't your professor at Spring Hill College and you're not. You're not doing that much. Pr How did you get brought back into this? So I did work with Joke Alagoas ten years ago. Did some logo development work for them and literally only seen. I haven't seen in years. He has a big concentration in menus right. So they change Do National Printing for restaurant chains. Coal is really their focus area. They do local printing as well. But that's been their focus for the last eight or ten years. Can you ask him to take about fifty items Tuesday when we were there? When I was there last week I kept seeing all these menus in boxes and I was like. Oh I'm hungry. That's they way I'm sorry. They do that and they also have a print t shirt printing business that they do. That's fans right. Correct so literally in the Michael. Cuesta is director of sales and he mentioned Michael in interview. That Michael One. Who really came up with this idea? And Michael reached out to me on Wednesday and said. Hey Gimme call. I want to run something by you to later. I was sitting in their office talking. And they said what's is GonNa be in take and I said I don't know and I said Look we've worked together for a long time. I don't care what you pay me or how this works out. I just want to be a part of this and let's just get works. See that's what it's about. It's not the dollar today it'll be you'll be paid back. Just help everybody else. Well and of course the end. I'm getting great material for teaching and Research and writing and such. I mean we talk about people say all the time to US marketers. Well how do I make viral? Will you don't make something go viral? It just has to happen. You don't have a magic wand. If there were a magic formula I would be rich. They but there is a bit of a magic formula which is timing and the type of content the way you put it out. I mean I was very strategic with the messaging so we put a post out Thursday at six o'clock in Michael Joan. Iro texting this whole time and I said we might get to two hundred shares by eleven o'clock that night now. Johnny may disagree with me but I WANNA put it in perspective of where we are with the corona virus today Right now so it is Monday. I know that March thirtieth March thirtieth. Yes so it's just come down that the you know stay at home guidelines are going to be extended to all of this is wing up laws continuously changing and this has happened. Yes so this idea started about ten days ago the Thursday before last and then Michael went into Joe and said Hey. I have this idea on Monday. They had prototype. It took two four area. Hospitals got feedback from them. Revised purchase orders all four hospitals by Wednesday. They call me and say we think we have a thing and we need your help. While and Thursday we put the post out I reached out to the mayor's office and said Hey I have a good news story for you. I think that you might like to hear it. They mayor came on Friday morning. All three news stations came Friday. Who's on the radio Friday? Joe An interview with the Birmingham News Station. Yesterday it's been onto national or state websites. I can't tell you how I am right now Kennedy too. So thank you thank you for introduce me and at least being here so I want to really thank you. Thank you thank you for having me. It's really it's easy when it's good right and you. It's about relationships as you've said many times it's not about the dollars the dollars will follow up. Let's just do good work Let's be good people. Let's work with good people and the rest of it will follow. Just wipe my nose with the hand sanitizer white sinus better. I forgot to where non running Mascara Waterproof. Anyway go back. I'm sorry I got us off target. I got a little motivational you. We all have family and wall trying to do right. And we're all a little bit of social media right well. Let me see social media so crate when this came and I said to Joe I said again. There's not a formula for making some to go viral but everybody is craving good news right now all if you turn on the TV is just bad. News and in a fair amount of social media is bad news. So I think that's what happened. It was the right story at the right time. We just put out a couple of photos of real people in a print shop. It wasn't a perfect photo or any of that. Look it doesn't have to be perfect. That's what I want to get out of it. Is that when you do social media? You don't have to have perfect images just let your images tell the story be real and be real and we were attracted to what's real. Yeah and so in the post I wrote you know. We are a printer focus on the restaurant industry and given the situation. We found a way to do something to help. And we are here to help and it's not about making money. It's not about fame. You know all of that. All the exposure has been great. But that wasn't the goal either. Goal was to get these facials to the healthcare workers. Can you imagine being part of something that you helped change people's lives and that is such a big part of what you know? We all have our talents. But don't you WanNa make somebody else a little bit better all the time and I think that you know to me. Two Thousand and eight was caused by greed. When more summed up the whole thing and I think when you when people are just little bit selfless you know. And that's why I've been prigent. Just stop for a second take a breath look at your business. Do a lot of business. People don't like numbers was my mind. Then find you someone who does find you a PR person you know. That's not what your talent laws and they don't have any money has any money right now. Well and one of the things I said to them was a printer and I need like business cards and stuff so said to Joe. You're a printer and a marketer and I need things printed so maybe part of my payment will be printing absolutely you pay into print. He does this for you. I've always I learned a long time ago not to do too many freebies. Everybody should just pay each other right. You know and we can. We will yes of course of course right now but you do it for the kindness. Now in the payment will come later right. Yep I really applaud them for reaching out to a professional communicator. Because I think that was part of the success of the story and then also I was able to manage the media for them on Friday. Oh I agree so much. And all those media coming in and out of their shop plus my. Don't clean your own house thing. Is that because you were handling that which you know they were able to go and keep this thing and build it better and stronger helping more people that's right. I mean the whole time I was there. They were on the on the phone with suppliers on the supply chain. They were taking. I mean their phone starring off the hook at eight o'clock Friday morning this Bula and they've received thousands of orders and Joe is really going out on a limb. I mean he had made a call to purchase raw material before they had any orders. This isn't their business. Do He's really going out on a limb and investing tens of thousands of dollars gut stands for God. I'm telling you he was telling him what to do. That's right so he and he does. I think he trusts his gut. And he's been successful businessman for more than twenty years. So you don't do that. If you don't trust your. Hey Hey bought the he got it in ninety one and I was thinking when I heard that rhetoric but you know Katie was born in ninety. Two sorry catty. She's she's with the kids today. Everybody knows she's taking care of business. Harnack GONNA meet up later on But we know how hard it is for the moms with kids at home and dad's with kids home right now but so I knew that's a long time. Yeah so Kalligas. As Joe mentioned his grandfather started Alagoas originally nineteen fifty five. Yeah and then Joe joined the company Ninety One and started the printing division but nineteen fifty five. They were selling cameras So I think it's a huge lesson to other people out there ever evolving with your time. You keep doing the same thing you're GonNa do is going to stop. Yeah and if you think about. The JOE is a third generation business family business and every generation they have morphed they have pivoted. They have found new ways to Lumumba Joe Now. Joe and his wife now own CAL printing and so that. There's a separate company for them but they are investing. They've seventeen employees and I applaud them for making this decision two weeks ago when all the started to say no matter what? We're GONNA do whatever it takes to make sure our staff and our team stay employed and have food on their tables. It's amazing to me that they have such a great team because in our in payroll ball and exhaust are are amazing. I can't Oh my heart. Today's about calicoes and innovation and surrounding yourself with PR PEOPLE. The people you need the people like you. I'm Florida Today. I'm humbled I'm probably GONNA go in the bathroom and have a good crack. Well I really appreciate you having me and having Joe and I. It's been an honor to work on this project and I look forward to seeing where it goes. Next cheers to hope cheers. Innovation cheers taking something awful and turn it into something. Nice in new involved into something that could change. The world cheers creative. Thinking cheers cheers difference. Please be sure to subscribe to cheers to business. Podcast on itunes or anywhere else that you get your podcast visit our facebook and be sure to give us a like and if you have any questions or topics you'd like us to discuss. Shoot US an email from the website cheers to business dot com.