!"#$%&"'()*+$"+$ Home is Where the Heart (and Work) Is!, continued stops.” Marianne was my first hire for Magformers.In 2012, she was reviewing 14 items and one brand; she now reviews a listing of 600 items and six brands. She manages a staff of six remotely. When I call her, she answers the phone and when I text her, she replies. But I can’t walk over to her desk and find her anywhere. The sales department is dealing with its own new challenges. In-person, face-to-face meetings are currently gone, toy fairs canceled, trade shows halted, no airplanes to catch, and no reps to go meet in stores or at headquarters —so meetings are handled differently. Merle Saddick, Senior Sales and Operations Director for North America is a creative and persistent person. She is managing her business from her home in New Jersey. Whether engaging key accounts, such as Amazon, Nordstrom, or the Qurate Retail Group (QVC, HSN, Zulily) or handling operational aspects for Costco’s business globally, she uses her strength in logistics and operational processes to make our business happen. Using email, texting, and phone calls, she gets it done. Merle, like Marianne, never seems to be checking the clock to see when the work day is over. She doesn’t think that way, and my phone log with her proves it. As if the Magformers workload isn’t enough, Merle is also involved in various groups including the Toy Association IP Committee, and Women in Toys, Licensing and Entertainment. Scott Head, National Sales Manager, will soon complete his eighth year at Magformers. He is used to traveling and working with his specialty rep groups around the U.S. He directly handles accounts such as Hobby Lobby, Learning Express Headquarters, Mills Fleet, and a number of others. Between the reps and the accounts, he has lots and lots of email and phone time. Being on the road 10 to 12 nights a month has translated to being on a computer and talking on the phone many hours per day while working from hom. Despite these obstacles, Scott participated in an American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) Camp virtual trade show, where, in keeping with the theme of camping, he set up outside his home and presented to ASTRA members. He might have
stayed there an extra week, some report. Most of our staff will continue working from home until the end of this year. The current plan is for people to return to the office at the beginning of January. By exception, people come into the office to retrieve supplies, check mail, or meet in-person wearing masks and socially distancing. I do know, without exception, that they are reachable daily. We’re part of this children’s toy industry. We have a unique position in providing fun for children. Our products ignite their imagination, enhance learning, and create fun. These toy products are currently, and I believe most often enjoyed at home. Is there any better place to have our children than at home? Furthermore, is there any better place for them to have us working?
24 tfe October 2020
10/7/20 10:59 PM