Aside from being the worst public health crisis in living memory, the current pandemic is irrevocably altering consumer behaviors and business practices, shaping a world where “normal” is becoming an obsolete concept. “The unprecedented disruption of social and economic systems has created enormous challenges both for consumers and corporations as supply chains came under tremendous strain,” comments Shawn Kilgarlin, medical devices expert at American Screening LLC. “As a company engaged in the production and distribution of critical infection control products and other essential medical supplies, American Screening has experienced in full the disruptive force of this pandemic. Our team had to move quickly to cope with the massive spike in demand, which necessitated close collaboration with our manufacturing and supply chain partners to address immediately any shortages. Even though the situation has improved to some degree, this extremely stressful period has taught us valuable lessons about operating under critical conditions.”
Being a digital-centric organization, American Screening LLC entered the pandemic with an advantage over brick-and-mortar operators, but the company has still had to overcome a number of challenges to ensure minimal service disruption, Shawn Kilgarlin notes. Social distancing measures and lockdowns have forced consumers to rely almost exclusively on online shopping, which has put a massive strain on digital infrastructures. One of the most important steps companies had to take was to strengthen their e-commerce capabilities so that they can handle the surge in traffic. Another key component of meeting customer demand in such difficult times is ensuring the health and safety of employees as these are the people who keep a business running, Shawn Kilgarlin points out. In addition to making remote work the current norm, the pandemic has also highlighted the importance of regular internal communications, consistent guidance from company executives, and relevant policy updates.
What has undoubtedly been the greatest challenge for businesses in this environment is dealing with the disruption in the global supply chains, which has led to shortages of many essential products. Some companies have responded by securing alternative suppliers, while others have pivoted to new products, reshaping their portfolios on a regular basis in response to changing demand patterns. Shawn Kilgarlin says, “Resolving supply chain issues has been the top priority for American Screening during the pandemic, but it has become apparent that the existing models need to change if business organization are to be prepared for the next big shock. For decades, the focus has been on minimizing costs, reducing inventories, and increasing asset utilization, but the pandemic has revealed how fragile the modern supply chain is. We can already see changes that prioritize resilience and adaptability, which will serve customers well in future crises of similar proportions.”
A businesswoman, wife, and mother of four, Shawn Kilgarlin divides her time among professional obligations, family duties, creative pursuits, and charitable work. With over two decades of experience, she is a medical devices expert at American Screening LLC, a Shreveport, Louisiana-based company founded by her husband. The diagnostic tests and medical supplies provider is among a handful of enterprises certified under MDSAP (Medical Device Single Audit Program), which conducts rigorous audits of quality management systems to ensure that device manufacturers comply with the regulatory requirements of multiple jurisdictions. While fully committed to her work, Shawn Kilgarlin considers her true passions to be writing, painting, and helping those in need. She has authored many inspirational and motivational books, the most recent ones being God’s Love Letters: Overcoming Adversity and Past Tense: 365 Daily Tools for Putting Stress Behind You – For Good). Her charitable efforts are focused on Holy Angels – a non-profit organization caring for people with disabilities.
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