The Power of Teamwork

In the field, ShapiroCM project managers and field inspectors routinely deal with unexpected delays and obstacles. In the home office, we usually have more control over the variables related to getting the job done.

On Tuesday morning, February 19 - the day after a holiday - we were putting finishing touches on three proposals due at 4 p.m.

"I am giving us until noon to tweak them, then we're going to assemble them and send them in." company President Jay Shapiro declared around 9 a.m.

At about 10 a.m. the office experienced two short power outages. Each time when the power resumed Jay and Special Projects Manager Arne Aakre scrambled to recover work as systems slowly re-booted. After the second outage, Marketing and HR Manager Nancy Popkin put all 3 proposals on a USB drive.

A few minutes later, the power went out for a third time and ShapiroCM Headquarters had no working desktops or internet connection and one laptop with a couple hours of charge that did not have the necessary software to finish the proposal. Estimated time of power return was first reported as 1 p.m., shortly changed to 2 p.m. and then 4 p.m. Local online news reports indicated a vehicle hit a power pole close to the office in Far Hills, NJ.

While Nancy did what she could on the laptop with the USB drive, Jay called the company's IT provider Alpine Business Systems to ask if he and Nancy could come to their offices, about 20 minutes away, with hopes of being able to use a computer with the necessary software to finish the proposals.

Once at Alpine, Jim Kelly began downloading the needed software to the laptop. The download took about 30 minutes, producing a bit of anxiety about what would happen if the software couldn't be put on the laptop.

That also caused Jay to pose the old riddle: What's the most important element of a proposal? The answer: Get it in on time!

Ultimately, the software downloaded. Nancy finished assembling the proposals and Jay sent them in, with an hour to spare.

Back at the office, power was restored at 4:02 p.m., just past the deadline.

Shapiro CM prides itself on submitting well-executed proposals, usually with a lot less drama. For Jay, it's just another great story to tell.

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