‘Maryland Business Adapts’ event to celebrate pandemic-era pivots

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Newswise – COVID-19 was a test like no other for global businesses. Some have failed. But many others persevered, adapted – and thrived. Amidst all of this, the Center for Global Business (CGB) at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business organized Maryland Business Adapts to celebrate five Maryland-based export companies for their resilience in the face of the pandemic. .

This 2021 virtual networking and learning event included special guests Ben Cardin, U.S. Senator from Maryland, and Kelly Schulz, Maryland Secretary of Commerce, and Anthony Roche, McCormick’s Vice President for Human Resources – Global functions.

Now, as the pandemic continues to disrupt global commerce, CGB is hosting a second annual event, aimed at recognizing even more Maryland businesses that have found ways to adapt — and are ready to share those discoveries with others. ‘others.

The Maryland Business Adapts 21/22 initiative celebrates the adjustments Maryland’s small exporting businesses have made during the pandemic, while providing insight to their peers on topics such as minimizing business risk from their global operations or preparing to sudden operational changes.

“Even in turbulent times, Maryland’s small export businesses have shown remarkable resilience. They know how to react quickly to volatile conditions and how to manage international risk,” says Rebecca Bellinger, executive director of the Center for Global Business. “We invite them to share their ideas and stories, so that their stories can serve as valuable lessons for other companies – and for our students as they progress in global careers.”

This year’s event will take place in Baltimore on June 3 and will celebrate the following companies:

Amethyst Technologies: The technical services company is a prime contractor for the U.S. Army, USAID, CDC, NIH, FDA, and Department of State working in Africa, the Middle East, and the United States. United States. He works in global health, diagnostics, research and vaccine manufacturing. At the start of the pandemic, Amethyst established a clinical laboratory in Frostburg, Maryland, initially performing 25 COVID-19 tests per day, and quickly expanded. It now performs 4,000 clinical laboratory tests per day, including molecular testing, chemistry, immunoassays, toxicology and hematology in addition to SARS-CoV-2 testing.

ClearMask: The ClearMask team has designed the world’s first and only transparent surgical mask that is FDA cleared and CE marked. They have sold over 18 million masks worldwide since April 2020. Their transparent masks are a fair, accessible and safe alternative to traditional masks that enhance human connection while providing assured protection. In a 2021 JAMA Surgery study, 100% of patients preferred ClearMask™ over traditional masks, and providers who wore ClearMask™ were seen as better communicators, having more empathy and instilling greater trust. The team is proud to improve communication by bringing the ClearMask™ to hospitals, schools, national and local governments and businesses around the world.

Consistent Technical Services: CTSi needed to integrate new capabilities into an aircraft platform in Canada, which meant sending a team of six people to Canada for several weeks. But with COVID-era restrictions, the team was unable to cross the border. To meet the schedule, the company needed a way to communicate with the aircraft, test its systems and install updated software – remotely. Thus, he built the Mobile Test Cart (MTC), a support tool that helps in the deployment and maintenance of a mission system developed by CTSi on board several aircraft platforms. The MTC provides all the tools necessary for on-site and remote engineers to perform mission system installation verification and functional verification, system troubleshooting, and periodic maintenance, including software updates.

Orbis Technologies: The effects of the pandemic have hit Orbis Technologies hard. Between March and September 2020, more than 20% of its staff resigned and 20% of its client projects were cancelled. Its revenue dropped by $4 million between 2019 and 2020. The company was forced to rethink its value proposition to its customers and employees. The company has grown from a simple software company to a full suite of software and services, becoming a full-service content management company. The impact was immediate – the company acquired two strategically important small businesses in less than 10 months and achieved revenues that exceeded pre-pandemic levels by 2021. It grew its customer base to 400 customers in 37 countries in 2021, growing from 90 customers in 12 countries. in 2020. Its staff also grew during the year, from 90 to 150.

WSC: The company provides technology products and services that simulate the components and systems found in power and processing plants. Building these replica simulators used for training and engineering requires a good amount of design, development and in-person testing. Restrictions on travel and social distancing meant that critical projects required alternative approaches to meet schedule commitments. Projects were completed adhering to international quarantine periods, and some of the projects transitioned to using a single customer representative working in isolation at the WSC facility while a support engineering team worked off-site via web-based technology. Although some projects have been delayed in testing and delivery, the company says its focus on advancing web and cloud simulation technology and commitment to customer service have overall positioned it well for long-term growth. term.

During the event, companies will be further rewarded with a prize from the center and an opportunity to share their strategies and takeaways in depth. And their insights will continue to inform and educate others beyond the roundtable. The center will produce open-source case studies for use in the classroom that highlight the practices of these companies during the pandemic.

“This is a great opportunity for companies to participate in a collaborative process where people can share ideas and be celebrated for their innovative strategies,” says Bellinger.

She hopes this Adapts event will mark the start of a new annual collaboration.

“Each year there will be trends, events, and challenges that businesses will need to adapt to,” Bellinger says. “This initiative can help bring people and businesses together to share some of the best strategies for moving forward.”

The main partners in the initiative are the US Commercial Service Baltimore, the Maryland Department of Commerce and the Maryland/DC District Export Council.

This event is supported in part by CIBE, a Title VI grant administered by the US Department of Education. For more information on Maryland Business Adapts 21/22, visit the event webpage.

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