Torrey Eldridge and Brian Skach can track, analyze, and interpret data better than most folks. As part of the Jensen MetalTech team in Sparks, Nevada, the pair process data points daily to support inventory management, production scheduling, and order fulfillment. More recently the software gurus have been tasked with helping the State of Nevada manage millions of pieces of personal protection equipment as members of the Nevada National Guard.
“We’re working with the State Emergency Operations Center to keep track of how much PPE we have, how much the state needs, and where it is being distributed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” says Eldridge, a Nevada Air National Guard Client Systems Supervisor. “The State of Nevada has never had to have a system to track PPE for an emergency this widespread. The system was initialized and implemented within about a two week time period and is used across the state to supply vital information to leadership for the COVID-19 response.”
Managing Guard duties alongside MetalTech needs means Eldridge and Skach must plan accordingly to ensure optimal results for two extremely deadline driven jobs. Both are up and at it by 6 am during the week to ensure everything is in line for production at MetalTech. Both switch gears in the late morning to field incoming data demanding immediate attention for Nevada. Working in step at both jobs also means both need to get along fairly well to make it all happen.
“We’re pretty close friends,” says Eldridge, Materials Manager for MetalTech. “You need a good relationship to be able to spend as much time together as we do and still be able to enjoy each other’s company every day. We joke about being shoulder to shoulder in everything we’re doing. We became friends in the National Guard and ended up both working for Jensen. It’s cool that what we’re doing affects our community and our company in positive ways. Shout out to the MetalTech team for supporting us during this time.”
Skach is a Nevada Air National Guard Client Systems Supervisor and a MetalTech MRP Planner. When he was deployed to Kuwait this past year, Eldridge filled in for him at MetalTech. When Skach returned, the coworkers teamed up to help streamline production planning for the shop. The experience undoubtedly prepared them for the monumental task of tracking PPE when the coronavirus spread to the state.
The inventory management tracking software the pair built provides realtime visibility into the PPE supply, which was especially crucial during the early days of the pandemic when scarcity of PPE and uncertainty about how the coronavirus spread was at a maximum. Getting data into the hands of Nevada’s government leaders to share with the public became ever more urgent.
“We were able to get live visibility to the Governor of Nevada to report out and make decisions about who needed PPE throughout the state and how much we had and where at any given time,” Eldridge says. “It’s a lot of long hours into the night and weekends, but it’s also kind of a cool thing directly affecting decisions of our state leadership on the response to COVID-19.
“The main purpose of the National Guard is to support the state and community by utilizing civilian resources. It’s a special function of civilians employing military skills in times of need. When carried out properly, it’s a perfect combination of those two working together successfully.”