Millerbernd Manufacturing Keeps Its Workforce Informed During Pandemic
- Peace of MindGives HR leaders confidence that factual, time-sensitive COVID-19 updates will be received by employees immediately
- EfficiencyStreamlines operational workflows for reaching employees to fill urgent shift needs
- EngagementKeeps Millerbernd’s 450 employees engaged and connected during a time when regular gatherings aren’t feasible
- Business ContinuityHelps Millerbernd maintain business operations and meet production deadlines
- ProductsEmergency Communication Software
- Primary UsesOperations, HR, COVID-19
Millerbernd Manufacturing Ensures Business Continuity While Boosting Employee Confidence
Millerbernd Manufacturing Company uses state-of-the-art construction techniques to create light poles, traffic signal structures, and accessory components.
Founded in 1933, Millerbernd has four manufacturing plants spread across two locations in Winsted, Minnesota. Due to the nature of its business, 80% of Millerbernd employees work in production roles inside these manufacturing centers without access to a computer. Before finding AlertMedia, Millerbernd relied on email to communicate with employees—which isn’t effective when the majority of employees are working away from a computer. Because Millerbernd manufactures essential traffic light parts, they needed a solution that could guarantee their employees received critical communications quickly to ensure business continuity. They selected AlertMedia for its ease-of-use and multi-channel messaging capabilities, which allows Millerbernd to send important information to their employees via text, email, voice, and app notifications—all at the same time.
While the company initially enlisted AlertMedia for operational purposes like filling urgent shift needs, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic presented a new reason for Millerbernd to leverage AlertMedia’s emergency communication software.
Communicating Critical Information to Deskless Workers Has Challenges
Manufacturing is a deadline-driven industry. To maintain a strong reputation as a manufacturing company, you must meet demand in a timely fashion. Millerbernd Manufacturing uses AlertMedia to help its Human Resources department fill critical open shifts at their production facilities. Filling these open shifts allows Millerbernd to meet tight deadlines and maintain their sterling reputation within the manufacturing industry.
When a shift becomes available, Julia Hafften, Human Resources Assistant at Millerbernd, uses AlertMedia’s survey feature to ask all qualified Millerbernd employees if they are available to work that vacant shift. Hafften also developed custom notification templates and organized trainings to empower Millerbernd Shift Supervisors and Team Leads to send out shift availability surveys themselves. Using pre-built templates and dynamic groups allows management to easily target the Millerbernd employees most likely to fill that vacancy—helping meet production deadlines.
Millerbernd also uses AlertMedia’s emergency communication software to inform employees of facility closures and ensure that they are conserving energy during severe weather. By nature, manufacturing facilities put a strain on local energy providers. When the local grid in Winsted, Minnesota becomes overwhelmed during extreme weather, Millerbernd’s energy provider will request that they temporarily stop production. On days that this occurs and production has stopped, Hafften uses AlertMedia to message employees via text and email—letting them know not to come to the facility until further notice. As these production stoppages usually come with little warning, Hafften must reach every Millerbernd employee in a timely manner—something that email alone simply doesn’t provide.
When COVID-19 began to spread across the United States in March 2020, Hafften quickly realized that AlertMedia’s emergency communication software was the most effective way to keep their employees updated on pandemic developments.
“Our use of AlertMedia transitioned from a strictly operational function to being the company’s voice during the pandemic. It’s the perfect solution for delivering important updates about COVID-19 that impact our employees’ safety and our business.”
Eliminating Misinformation During the COVID-19 Pandemic
To keep employees safe and avoid the spread of misinformation at the onset of the pandemic, Julia Hafften leveraged AlertMedia to send regular updates to Millerbernd’s 450 employees—many still reporting to the manufacturing plant as essential employees. As the Department of Health provides new information, it is Hafften’s responsibility to make sure that these updates, recommendations, and guidelines reach every Millerbernd employee as quickly as possible. Hafften uses AlertMedia’s emergency communication software to instantly send these updates to every Millerbernd employee via multiple channels like text, app push, and email. She easily verifies that each employee received these updates using AlertMedia’s read receipt feature.
“"AlertMedia helps us ensure that our people are receiving timely, trusted information from their employer, which is hugely important when there is so much misinformation about the pandemic."”
Ensuring employees regularly receive accurate information about the pandemic allows Hafften to accomplish an important initiative set forth by the Millerbernd leadership team. “AlertMedia helps us ensure that our people are receiving timely, trusted information from their employer, which is hugely important when there is so much misinformation about the pandemic out there.” Adds Hafften, “I can’t imagine what my role as an HR professional would look like right now if I didn’t have AlertMedia. I would be wasting a lot of time trying to track down every person at the company to hand-deliver these incredibly important messages.”
AlertMedia’s multi-channel messaging capabilities benefit Hafften and Millerbernd greatly. With 80% of their employees working in the manufacturing facility—without desktop computers and the ability to check their email—being able to quickly send them a text message containing timely, pertinent information is key to keeping the entire Millerbernd workforce informed and connected during critical events.
Proactive Communication Keeps Employees Engaged and Connected
AlertMedia helps Millerbernd keep their employees engaged and connected during a time when the organization is physically disconnected from one another. Before the pandemic, Millerbernd held monthly meetings to keep employees informed of everything happening within the business. With gatherings put on hold, the organization was forced to transition to video-based meetings. Hafften uses AlertMedia to easily send meeting invites to every employee.
Says Hafften, “AlertMedia has been an immense help in getting critical communications in front of employees. I truly do not know how we would be able to provide these updates without it.”
While AlertMedia’s capabilities have helped Hafften better communicate with Millerbernd’s employees throughout the pandemic, it’s not just the software’s capabilities that have Hafften excited. “I could sing the praises of the Customer Success team at AlertMedia all day long. Their response time and desire to help us during this pandemic is impressive.”
Timely Updates Drive Adoption and Boost Employee Confidence
The benefits of AlertMedia aren’t just apparent to the management team using the software to fill urgent shift needs, send updates about office closures, and keep employees informed, engaged, and connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our employees truly appreciate AlertMedia. Almost every week I have employees come to my office to tell me how much they value the updates we’re sending.” Adds Hafften, “That’s how you know you have a winning solution.” The high adoption rate—a result of AlertMedia’s user-friendly design and robust functionality—has helped Millerbernd build a culture focused on safety and communication across the organization.
While Hafften is the primary user of AlertMedia, the effectiveness of the solution is known throughout the organization. “Even the owner of Millerbernd said, ‘I don’t know what we would have done without AlertMedia right now.’
And I wholeheartedly agree with him.”