BOZEMAN- West Paw in Bozeman is a business that has changed from pre COVID- the way they test products has changed, instead of people coming through the doors with their dogs they pick up the test product and take them home.
West Paw is a manufacturing company in the heart of the Gallatin Valley, they were nervous as coronavirus slowly halted production across the country.
But due to quick thinking and teamwork, you at home are still able to play fetch with a toy that is made right here in Montana.
“So in March when this all started we were thinking first can we preserve the business, [and] is the economy going to completely fall apart,” Spencer Williams CEO of West Paw said, “and how do we maintain all the great jobs that we have built in this community.”
West Paw is a company that exports to 45 different countries, when everything hit it was an all hands on deck situation with the main goal being, efficiency.
“So when our Chinese partners first told us they were having to shut down because of COVID that was our first indication back in January that this was something to be concerned about,” Williams said, “and then we started to see supply chains breakdown.”
As other manufacturing companies close their doors due to lack of supplies West Paw kept moving forward because of a mostly domestic supply of raw materials and manufactures right here in Bozeman.
“So we were able to keep shipments going to our retailers to help keep them in business,” Williams said, “So we felt like we were well prepared by having a U.S. supply chain.”
Williams says West Paw has been all about adapting and changing but his best advice for business owners be open and upfront with employees.
“When COVID hit we started sharing information with our employees because they have similar concerns about their jobs but also what’s happening at home,” Williams said, “I think for any business owner just to be as transparent and as honest as you can during these crises will be the most important thing for employees.”