All 75 employees of the company are back at work

Blue Sea Systems

Blue Sea Systems’ facility in Bellingham, Washington

Eight months after fire took out its warehouse and some US$3m in inventory, Blue Sea Systems in the US has a new facility that is fully operational and all 75 employees of the company are back at work.

“The industry and community support were overwhelming,” said Dave Johnson, senior VP of Blue Sea Systems, in a news release. “We received emails and phone calls from customers, suppliers, and even competitors asking if they could help. Even though the fire was a tragic event, it helped us all remember how grateful we are to work in such a supportive industry.”

Based in Bellingham, Washington, Blue Sea provides electrical components to the marine industry and is a division of Brunswick, having been purchased by Power Products in 2014.

According to the release, following the fire Blue Sea Systems was flooded with calls from local businesses, trying to help. Within a week of the fire, the company set up a temporary office location and started receiving and shipping, thanks to support from local companies that donated space at their facility. Employees at Blue Sea Systems continued to receive paycheques while they waited for word about when to come back to work.

“We are a family, and the first thought after the fire was making sure everyone was OK. We even decided to continue paying employee salaries while the rebuild was being done,” according to Craig Smith, Blue Sea Systems vice president of operations. “The next priority was to find a new facility and get back up and running as quick as possible. We know that the fire was disruptive for several customers but were able to recover to a fully operational state in less than one year which demonstrates the positive spirit and dedication of everyone in our organisation.”

Within six days of the fire, the employees, working with Brunswick’s IT department, were able to get the customer service system back up and running. Shortly after that, by using Power Products extensive network of production and distribution capabilities, the team began receiving and shipping orders again and were at 95% shipping rates in March – just four months later.