“I keep everyone informed — communicate, communicate, communicate.”
This is #4 on Convergint’s list of 10 guiding principles, our Values & Beliefs. Our Vs & Bs guide us in times of triumph and times of trial, and it is in the spirit of open communication that we are posting the letter below, sent from Convergint CEO Ken Lochiatto to all our colleagues.
Let me begin by acknowledging how incredibly proud and thankful we are for our colleagues who are on the frontline supporting healthcare providers, critical infrastructure, emergency services, and all our valued customers as they are battling against COVID-19. As I write this letter, California, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania are all on lockdown, with other states following soon. This pandemic has altered life as we know it for all of us.
We entered this crisis financially strong and have taken on additional debt to increase our available cash, but this is not free money. It will help us bridge the short term, but we need to pay it back. We must take dramatic action to ensure that we can fund our operations and protect our company for the long term. As we have seen with COVID-19, waiting to act just makes the problem bigger and harder to solve.
“I keep everyone informed – communicate, communicate, communicate.”
“I have integrity – it’s what I do when no one’s watching.”
It is clear to us that this crisis will get worse before it gets better and will likely continue for months, if not longer. Unfortunately, the coronavirus has also created huge disruptions to Convergint’s ability to conduct business. We could withstand a decline in bookings, an increase in customers not paying us, colleagues not having projects or services to work on, or some customers cancelling business. Unfortunately, all are happening at the same time. For example, in San Francisco our business dropped 75% within one day of the city-directed shutdown. We are aggressively pursuing every cost-cutting measure available and have directed local leadership to completely suspend all discretionary and non-essential spending, but these actions alone will not be enough for the company to remain viable.
“I make responsible decisions – timely, educated, and cost-effective.”
Without knowing what the future holds, our leadership team has looked to our Values & Beliefs as our compass. We have attempted to review every possible option, modeling and assessing each with the goal of limiting the impact to our colleagues. In the end, we are faced with no easy decisions. To manage through this crisis and remain a strong company for the long term, our way forward will impact every Convergint colleague.
Our co-founder Dan Moceri, our President Jim Boutwell, and I have elected to forego our salaries. The executive leadership team has volunteered to reduce their salaries by 50%.
Our exempt salaried colleagues will be taking a 20% salary reduction effective April 1. In addition to these salary actions, we will be furloughing certain salaried colleagues based upon workload and how the CDC and CTCs are impacted. Hourly colleagues will have their hours flexed as determined by local business needs or will also be furloughed. We will assess our ability to work on a daily and weekly basis, which will lead to other furloughs or callbacks based upon workload. Your local leaders will be reaching out to you directly to discuss specifically how this will impact you and provide further information.
To provide some relief for colleagues who have been furloughed by 80% or greater, they will continue to receive their medical benefits and Convergint will suspend the insurance premium charge for these colleagues at this time. For those that have been furloughed, one day of accrued Paid Time Off (earned this year) can be used per week of furlough. You will be eligible to apply for unemployment while furloughed.
“We believe in balanced lives – family, business and community.”
I know that these are incredibly stressful times for our colleagues and your families. Please access our Employee Assistance Program for resources to help. When we created the Ken LaChance Colleague Emergency Fund, we never could have anticipated this crisis. Many of our colleagues have donated to help grow the fund. Convergint is donating $100,000 and will make further donations to allow the fund to help as many colleagues as possible in the coming days. For those that would like to contribute, you can do so at this link: www.kenlachancefund.com.
“We expect to be our customers’ best service provider – no matter what business we are in.”
As difficult as these days are, they will pass. Our ability to keep the company strong will require all colleagues to be obsessed with being our customers’ best service provider. We will have to be proactive, innovative, and responsive to this landscape as it changes and find opportunities as they are presented.
Convergint has faced adversity before, and each time we have been able to emerge successfully. In our first months, our co-founders Dan Moceri and Greg Lernihan were facing a changing world in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. At that time, they carefully studied the uncertain landscape, adjusted the business plan, and then made a series of deliberate decisions that refocused Convergint. They did the same again during the Great Recession of 2008. Ultimately those decisions resulted in growth during a time when many companies folded or struggled to survive.
My commitment to you is to ensure that this global crisis is no different for Convergint. Our leadership team will continue to be guided by our Values & Beliefs and the knowledge that each of you, our colleagues, are Convergint’s most valuable asset. We will constantly reassess our plans based on the evolving nature of the crisis and adjust accordingly. In the interim, now is the time to be our customers’ best service provider like we never have before.
The next few months will be incredibly difficult. By acting quickly and boldly, we will be able to navigate the challenges in front of us. Thank you for your trust in our leadership during this difficult time. Like all of you, I look forward to the end of this crisis, focusing our energies on our families, and being our customers’ best service provider.