MonoSol CEO says demand ‘soaring’ for dissolvable products
MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The chief executive officer of Merrillville-based MonoSol says keeping up with the demand for its dissolvable hospital laundry bags has been a challenge, but one the company has adapted to meet. P. Scott Bening says the company, which also produces water-soluble films for laundry and dish detergents, took early steps to ensure the health and safety of its employees before the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold in the U.S.
“The disaster plans that we all have for business continuity, whether it’s for tornadoes or hurricanes and things like that, we had to take those plans and adapt them very quickly to this situation, which obviously no one has ever seen before.”
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Bening said while it feels good to still be in business, the situation still calls for caution.
“It makes one very nervous and anxious knowing that if we don’t do it the right way, if we weren’t operating our facilities and managing our people the right way, we could be potentially putting them in harm’s way,” said Bening. “By doing what we’ve done to protect them, I feel much more comfortable because of the work that we’ve done.”
Bening says the company’s laundry bag business has skyrocketed since the pandemic began.
“We can’t make bags fast enough. We’re taking old equipment that we had years ago out of moth balls and re-engineering it quickly so that we can keep up with the demand, especially in the UK where we are the sole supplier to the (National Health Service). We’re also getting a high demand in Japan as well. So being able to help them and crank out new product with old equipment has been very gratifying.”
Bening says another important aspect of the company’s response to the pandemic was to reach out to the communities in which it operates, including Merrillville, Portage, La Porte and Lebanon, to make sure they have what they need.
“We are part of the community and so one of the things that came up right away is our food pantries were going bone dry so we put some emergency funds into all of their food pantries and other organizations that are feeding people in the community.”
Bening adds seeing the different types of companies, especially those outside of the healthcare sector, stepping up to help in the fight against COVID-19 is exciting.
“Part of me thinks that it’s good old U.S. ingenuity; when people see a situation and the speed at which organizations have been able to shift and take a step back and say, ‘Okay, let’s go figure out how to tackle this one.’ I think you’re seeing the reality that the competitive nature in the world may change a bit and turn into a more cooperative nature as we go forward.”