Stampin' Up! Employees Manufacture Good Works
December 14, 2000
STAMPIN' UP! EMPLOYEES MANUFACTURE GOOD WORKS
A period of excess production capacity at the plant affords employees the opportunity to give back to the community
KANAB, Utah (December 14, 2000) - When Stampin' Up!® management had to address temporary excess in production capacity at its manufacturing plant, the company's CEO and Co-founder Shelli Gardner made a unique executive decision. Rather than temporarily lay off employees during the period, Stampin' Up! is maintaining normal staffing levels and asking employees to join in on community projects instead of reporting for work at the plant. Employees are now engaged in a number of service efforts throughout Kanab, from assembling school equipment and preparing for fall and spring landscaping, to sewing quilts for babies. Even more remarkable is the fact that Stampin' Up! is paying its employees their usual wages while serving the community.
A number of Stampin' Up! employees continue to work at the plant where they stitch quilts to be given away to the town's first-born baby each month. As construction of Kanab's new middle school is underway, Stampin' Up! employees are helping out with landscaping the football field and relocating classroom materials to the new building. Other projects include reading to children at elementary schools and volunteering time at nursing homes, libraries, and a senior citizens center.
Stampin' Up! is a national leader in manufacturing decorative rubber stamps for the hobby and crafts industry. The 13-year-old direct sales company has experienced a period of rapid growth, especially during the past three years.
"The excess capacity is due to the efficiency of our employees, and is not due to a decline in the popularity of stamping," said Gardner. "If anything, our growth is right where we expected it to be. Sales are continually increasing. However, we have realized even larger increases in orders for numerous accessory products throughout the catalog-many of which are not manufactured in Kanab. This means our employees at the plant are just not as busy producing as many rubber stamp products as they are capable of manufacturing."
Stampin' Up!'s products are not sold in stores but through a national network of independent sales consultants (known as demonstrators). This summer, the company introduced a new career program for its demonstrators and, at the same time, released its largest product Idea Book & Catalog ever, featuring expanded product lines and accessories. "With so many variables in place, it was difficult to forecast production with 100 percent accuracy," said Gardner.
Rather than temporarily laying off employees-which is standard practice at many manufacturing plants-Stampin' Up! is finding ways for employees to serve the needs of the community and receive a paycheck for doing so. Gardner sees this unusual "work order" as an investment in the future.
"First of all, we value our employees and don't want them to go without a paycheck, especially during the holidays," said Gardner. "By keeping our employees working through this period until stamp product demand catches up with production capacity, we want to reassure the community that we're committed to maintaining our manufacturing base in Kanab. Plus, we anticipate returning to normal production levels soon and want our workforce to remain in place."