Like all businesses, we at KIRCO and KIRCO MANIX learned quickly that we needed to be as adaptable as possible during this unprecedented time. From the start of the pandemic our executive team began meeting weekly to help manage the immediate and long-term challenges our business would face as it relates to COVID-19. Because of this, as well as the exceptional efforts of our associates, our business has remained strong and consistent during this time.
We were fortunate that a portion of our business was well suited for the virtual, work from home environment that was needed when the pandemic first began. KIRCO’s sales efforts shifted seamlessly to the virtual world, hosting meetings, webinars and happy hours with relationships across the country; and KIRCO’s corporate real estate team designed and entitled an upcoming world-class headquarters project, experiencing our first-ever (and successful) virtual site plan approval journey.
Our team members in construction, facilities management and service tech divisions, KIRCO’s very own front-line workers, had a unique set of challenges. Without hesitation they tackled them head-on, maintaining continuity of operations, and doing so in a prompt, efficient and safe manner.
Our facilities management and service tech teams maintained the ongoing needs of all tenants and KIRCO properties and implemented important safety protocols, including enhanced building cleaning procedures, indoor air quality and filtration, touchless water faucets in all restrooms, hand-sanitizing stations in common areas, and more. The KIRCO team continues to work closely with our tenants, visitors and vendors to ensure a safe and secure environment at all properties as the conditions surrounding COVID remain fluid.
When construction idled throughout Michigan, the KIRCO MANIX construction team had to secure our sites until work could safely resume again. Our superintendents, while working from home, devised strategies to recover the lost time, and in preparation to resume construction, our dedicated safety team worked swiftly to procure new PPE, and create COVID-related policies and procedures to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone at our jobsites.
As a company we eventually began preparing to transition from our home offices back to our main offices on a part-time basis. There was a significant amount of preparation that took place to ensure everyone’s safety. KIRCO launched an app named “ClearPass,” where each associate completes a daily screening prior to entering any KIRCO or KIRCO MANIX building, jobsite or office. This has become a “best practice” that we have implemented across all states, in addition to social distancing by 6 to 10 feet, wearing masks, hand washing and continuing to conduct virtual meetings as much as possible.
In the midst of pivoting in our own business, we also looked to ways that we could support our community. Leveraging our supplier relationship, we played a key role in assisting Henry Ford Health System procure urgently-needed hand and surface sanitizer. KIRCO MANIX Project Manager Duane Allison delivered and set up a construction trailer and two guard shacks for staff to safely manage the emergency testing operations at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.
Additionally, we offered to temporarily provide vacant space at three of our Michigan medical properties rent free to local health systems looking to move administrative functions out of their hospitals to make more room for essential medical services required due to patient volumes.
We’ve also donated to the City of Detroit Coronavirus Testing Center at the State Fair Grounds and have committed additional funds to support a group of dedicated homeless shelters in the City of Detroit, which were established to provide care and shelter to the City’s homeless residents that tested positive for COVID-19.
Moving forward, we maintain a positive outlook for the future, and our focus remains the same: corporate real estate, healthcare, senior housing, our people, and our communities. We know that our people, and relationships are the foundation of business success; we are extremely proud of how well our organization, and our partners, have pulled together to weather these challenging times.