SIGMA Responds to the COVID-19 Crisis
By Greg Fox, Vice President of Sales
It's Day 98 - ninety-eight days since China reported to the World Health Organization of a number of cases of pneumonia originating from unknown causes in the Province of Wuhan. Quickly identified as a novel coronavirus, the outbreak caused a shutdown of Chinese manufacturing and subsequent disruption to SIGMA's, the industry's and much of North America's supply chain. In the days around those Chinese closures, I along with much of SIGMA, fielded calls and inquiries as to the state of our inventories and health of our supply chain. We were all concerned about disruptions adversely impacting the product needed to support our robust economy.
Now, weeks later, China has returned to work and production is much normalized. However, our attention is now focused on the world at large as COVID-19 is affecting every continent with the exception of Antarctica. India, in the midst of a 21-day nationwide lockdown, has shuttered its manufacturing base. No doubt these closures will impact our supply chain, particularly with municipal construction castings that are supplied exclusively from the industrial base surrounding Calcutta. However, to be honest, we expect the decline in demand stemming from the coronavirus outbreak in the US and Canada to offset the delays within the supply chain.
Turning to the US and Canada, SIGMA, like yourself, continues to evaluate and assess the short and potentially long-term affect of the COVID-19 outbreak. Our crystal ball is as clouded as it has ever been. We enjoyed a strong first quarter and we recognize that the second quarter will be weaker. As to the second half of 2020, we simply don't know. We're hopeful that the overall health of our economy and our industry collectively lead to a quick, robust recovery. However, we can't be certain. Things are evolving weekly, if not daily. Knowing such, we are committed to sharing our thoughts and insights with you. We hope that you'll do the same with us as we navigate these unchartered waters.
At this date, SIGMA's warehouses continue to operate while practicing the now familiar steps of social distancing, handwashing, thorough cleaning and other guidelines outlined by the CDC. We recognize the needs for clean drinking water and effective sanitation are as great now as ever. We are fortunate to be positioned to continue to support the nation's infrastructure.
Finally, we at SIGMA, like all of you, are primarily concerned with the mitigation and ultimate eradication of this virus. We're appreciative of scientists working to make that eradication possible and health care professions comforting and healing those who suffer until eradication is accomplished. Until vaccines and therapeutics are in place, please stay six feet apart, wash your hands and don't touch your face. In all its simplicity, it does make a difference.
SIGMA Thinks ZINC
By Ingrid Sondag, National Plant and Specialty Solutions Division Manager
As SIGMA has continued to grow and develop our Zinc offerings, we have seen that its performance is superior to other coatings and products on the market. SIGMA and other market leaders have begun recommending Zinc, and we are encouraging municipalities and engineers to embrace this trend through specification.
Zinc is unique, because it has the power to actively self-heal in many environments. FBE and other standard coating materials do not possess this unique and invaluable property. Unlike FBE, Zinc will not chip, and this is critical, because chips and damaged surface sites are where rust and corrosion begin. Zinc does not require any special handling, installation or repair procedures, and unlike FBE it offers easy repair processes. Finally, Zinc delivers a superior corrosion resistance at a lower total cost of ownership than other protection measures such as FBE or Polywrap.
SIGMA Launches New, High-Capacity Rotomolding Machine
In response to increasing volume and demand for products supplied by the SIGMA-Raven HDPE Division, SIGMA has acquired and installed a new Rotoline 2.6 rotomolding machine in the manufacturing facility in Alexander City, Alabama.
The new machine more than doubles the output capabilities of the facility, and because it is the latest model, it brings with it state-of-the art technology.
Stuart Box, VP of EPQ, explains, "The new machine enables us to reduce our cycle times, and ups our output capability by 2½ times what it was before. The molding machine also has the most modern technology, utilizing a visual factory programming interface, as well as internal mold temperature monitoring feature, which enables us to monitor the internal temperature of the mold, so we can start and stop the cycles based on the precise temperature, not on just timing the process, which is not as exact."
As the business continued to grow, SIGMA saw that the sales forecasts for 2020 could not be reached with the existing equipment. In response, they took strategic steps to ensure that quality product would continue to be provided for customers in a timely fashion. The newly upgraded and expanded facility is now fully operational and successfully meeting strong, growing customer demand.
For more information on SIGMA-Raven HDPE products, please contact Jessica Johnson at
SIGMA Expands Western Footprint, Creates Two New Regions
Effective 3/31/2020, SIGMA expanded our Western Region with the establishment of two new territories. With an emphasis on growth and customer-facing service, SIGMA has appointed dedicated Regional Sales Managers to support the Western Regional Manager. As such, we have divided the Western Region into Northern and Southern sections to ensure sufficient coverage and responsiveness.
National Sales Manager and Western Regional Manager Joe Webb explains, "Simply put, this is what we need. The west is a massive growth area, and in order to capitalize on that potential we are strengthening our sales support to maximize our ability to service our customers' needs. This enables us to provide the focus and attention required, and expanding our footprint is the right move at this time."
The new leadership structure is as follows:
- Chris King will serve as the Northern Sales Manager - West Region, covering AK, WA, OR, MT, ID, and Northern California. Chris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 951-704-6252.
- Jon Taft will be returning to SIGMA to serve as Southern Sales Manager - West Region, covering HI, AZ, NV, and Southern California. Jon can be reached at email@example.com or 949-533-9026.
- Eric Clayton will serve as Municipal Construction Casting Product Manager for the Western Region, and will focus primarily on expanding SIGMA's MCC footprint in the region. Eric can be reached at EClayton@sigmaco.com or 480-329-4589. He will report directly to Jon Taft.
- Joe Webb will continue to serve as National Sales Manager and Western Regional Manager. Joe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 513-374-0187.
Customer service and support will continue to be based at our Ontario, CA location.
SIGMA Opens New Warehouse in Edmonton, Alberta
SIGMA is pleased to announce the launch of our new facility in Edmonton, Alberta. The warehouse, which is completely owned and operated by SIGMA, enables us to serve customers more effectively in Western Canada.
Canada Regional Manager Dave Pietryga explains, "We see Western Canada as an area with strong growth potential, so it was essential to have a facility near these markets. Having our own location here enables us to deliver efficiently. Shipping in-country is far more reliable and predictable, and this will enable us to serve our customers faster and better."
The Western Canada market has many unique requirements, with the various municipalities having different specifications. SIGMA has the expertise and ability to meet these custom specifications, and we have hired two experienced local professionals to deliver for our customers. Paul Brunelle, the Warehouse Manager, brings eight years of industry experience with him, and Finn Westby, Warehouse Associate, has been in the business for four years. Both have a strong knowledge of the industry, and are very familiar with the local needs of the Western Canada customer base.
Congratulations to the SIGMA Canada team on the new location, and welcome aboard Paul and Finn!
SAVE THE DATE: Rybacki Memorial Golf Tournament Sept 11, 2020
The countdown begins! Just five months until the 2020 Rybacki Memorial Golf Tournament, which will be held September 11, 2020 at the Haven Club in Boylston, MA. Mark your calendars for this special weekend, benefitting Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. A great event for a great cause!
SIGMAStainless Drains Installed at Mercedes Benz-Porsche Dealership
When the Jackie Cooper Mercedes and Jackie Cooper Porsche Dealerships in Tulsa, OK decided to remodel and upgrade, they turned to SIGMA for the drainage plan. They sought better drainage in their maintenance facility, and SIGMAStainless met the specifications.
SIGMA received the inquiry and got to work with our Stainless manufacturer to develop the appropriate solution. We worked with the project's plumbing and mechanical engineering teams to develop the right design and system for the application.
Dustin Reavis, Parts and Construction Manager for Jackie Cooper, describes the job: "Our GC suggested SIGMA and it was a great pick. The installation went really smoothly, and the performance has been fantastic. The strainer grates are key, because they prevent larger debris from flowing in and clogging the system. We were so pleased with SIGMA's products and service that we are doing another project in our adjacent facility."
SIGMA's drainage team devised a plan to meet the heavy duty loading (H20) requirement and the washdown/cleaning applications with our SIGMAStainless 12" wide and 24" long stainless steel bodies with strainers and stainless grates. The drains are set in line along the center of the shop, ensuring that the fluids flow directly into the drains where they are captured and removed from the facility.
MEET SIGMA: JEFF GANT, Lab Technician
Jeff Gant, Lab Technician in Internal Quality Control (IQC), joined SIGMA a decade ago. His contributions are critical in the day-to-day operations of this essential division. The IQC Team is responsible for testing product for strength, precision, and quality, identifying any issues or flaws, and correcting them. He checks samples from new suppliers to ensure that they maintain SIGMA's quality standards, and works frequently with the OEM division on castings and components. Ever humble, Jeff explains, "I check stuff," but this greatly underestimates his importance and his skill. Using a tensile machine, Jeff checks
the strength of suppliers' test bars, and he is also responsible for checking the calibration of test and measuring equipment. He conducts high-precision testing and measuring both by hand and through the use of other equipment.
A true team player, Jeff calls himself a "jack-of-all-trades. I start the morning in shipping to help with orders, and then I spend the rest of the day in the lab." With Associate Degrees in welding and auto mechanics, and a lot of coursework in ceramics, Jeff is a true craftsman. He has made everything from furnaces to body armor to knives to jewelry. When he is not running the lab at SIGMA, he enjoys teaching Sunday school, helping to build the town float for the annual parade, and routinely wins the SIGMA Halloween costume contest.
We thank Jeff for his dedication and wish him continued success.
We at SIGMA place tremendous value on our SIGMA family. With that in mind, we celebrate the joy and success of our employees and their loved ones, and we share their good news...
From the Northeast Region:
Congratulations to Jim Carr, Operations Manager on his Polar Bear Plunge. This year, over 8500 people "took the plunge," raising over $2.5 million for the Special Olympics. To support this worthy cause, please visit
Congratulations to Accounts Payable Manager Karen Barone on the recent successes of her two children. Daughter Jenny was accepted into the Thomas Jefferson University Graduate Program for Marriage and Family Counseling, and will begin clinical rotations this fall. Son Mario was offered a job at the GOOGLE NYC office-he had previously worked at the Mountainview, CA location-Mom is very happy to have him back on the east coast! Congratulations to Jenny and Mario and best wishes to both for much success in their new endeavors.
Congratulations to Chrissie Miller, Accounts Receivable Dept. Her son, LCpl Arnold Miller Jr., has been named Marine of the Quarter. The
title is earned by a Marine who stands out among their peers of privates, privates first class and lance corporals. He
competed against 1,500 junior Marines at Camp Lejeune. Congratulations to AJ on this outstanding achievement.
From the Southeast Region:
The whole office got in the spirit of the Annual Chili Cookoff! Special congratulations to Ann Powell in the Spec Department for her second place finish.
Belated Happy 50th Birthday to Inside Sales Manager Jeff Fox. His coworkers surprised him with a cake and, because Jeff is always carrying a glass of water, covered the floor of his office with cups of his trademark beverage.
From the Southeast Region:
Congratulations to Territory Sales Manager Dave Brugger and his wife Jessica on the birth of their son Hendrix Stone Brugger. Hendrix was born on February 7, weighed 8.1 lbs, and measured 19 inches in length.
From the Canada Region:
Congratulations to Territory Sales Manager Jean-Francois Lampron and his wife Valerie on the birth of their son Zachary. Zachary arrived on March 6, weighed 8 lbs, and measured 21 inches long.