A Response to COVID-19 From OWC Founder and CEO, Larry O’Connor

To say that it has been a concerning few months is an understatement. As the situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop, I wanted to take a moment to share how OWC is responding because I believe that nothing is more important than the health and safety of everyone. And the need to protect those most vulnerable in our communities is our obligation.

As people draw closer to home, and industries across the world adopt remote work strategies, close shops, or reduce hours of operation to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus, you can rest assured that OWC is online and operating – doing our part to keep supply chains moving. 

We’re here. We’re safe. And we’re here to serve you.

All OWC team members across the globe who can work from home (WFH) are doing so, while essential hands-on team members have been observing safety measures to ensure ongoing operations. The steps we are taking will support the isolation needed to either beat or substantially slow down the spread of the Coronavirus while enabling us to maintain full operational status.

From the beginning, OWC’s USA headquarters have used both conventional and UV Filtration systems that kill 100% of airborne bacteria and viruses. Masks have been made available with the COVID-19 emergence, and OWC’s teams are disinfecting surfaces multiple times a day to keep OWC staff safe.

Of further note: OWC has nearly 50 team members in Taipei, Taiwan and Guangdong, China. All of our team members and their families are healthy. Taiwan, in particular, has been extremely successful in limiting the spread of COVID-19 and is an excellent example of what good practices coupled with short term sacrifice can achieve.

There will be substantial short term impact and pain for all of us in the USA and around the world. But I am very positive and hopeful that the necessary step of self-isolation, combined with limited social exposure, is going to bring the desired outcome of a return to normalcy.

Stock What You Need. Leave What You Don’t.

Up to this point, the primary shortages of products in the stores have been related to only what is on the shelves… not the actual supply. You can see that stores are only closing early and limiting regular hours so they can have more time to restock. I’d encourage everyone to offer compassion and consideration to others by not depleting the resources we all need to share.

We will get through this by being our best selves in this unprecedented generational event. We can beat this collectively – now is the time to use good judgment and take the necessary steps to keep our families, friends, and each other safe.

I appreciate everyone at OWC. The team here is amazing, and I consider myself lucky to have each and every person on board. I find inspiration from their positive attitudes, flexibility, and courage as we move into uncharted territory with a can-do attitude and spirit.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. And please remember, we’re all in this together.

– Larry O’Connor, OWC Founder and CEO

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36 Comments

  • Hi,

    I would like to order goods from you and have sent emails explaining which but have still not received a reply.

    As my order is expensive and due to the Covid-19 situation, I would like to know how safe it is to order in relation to stock availability and delivery to Norway.

    The items I wish to purchase are the 2TB Aura Pro X2 and the 2TB Mercury Electra. If you could reply swiftly, it would be greatly appreciated.

  • Hi, I am local and would like to purchase products online & pick them up.

    Is this still possible?

  • Thanks Larry! I completely agree re your comment ” I’d encourage everyone to offer compassion and consideration to others by not depleting the resources we all need to share.” Some people don’t seem to understand that we all share from the same limited resources and need to feed and take care of our families too.

    Thanks for all you are doing for your employees and their families. Be safe and we WILL get through this!

    Warm Regards,
    Gordon Crompton

  • Thank you, Larry, for this information. I’ll say I’m not at all surprised with your great care of your facilities and your staff. You’ve run a great company for as long as I’ve known about OWC and have been your customer. From memory to refurbished machines, all the gear I’ve gotten from you over the years has been of the best quality and bang for the buck. Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for caring for your people the way you do. Stay safe and well!

  • So when can I expect my power cable to arrive? Working from home, I rely on my computer which now has no power. Please advise. Thank you.
    Paul Bartholomew

  • Your hours of operation on your emails of receipts don’t match your hours of operation that you have when one calls your 800-275-4576 (e.g. you say you are open saturday on emails but your 800-275-4576 says open monday through friday. might want to fix that.

  • Do you work during the covid19 (are you open?), prepare your orders for the ship?

    my order is from Canada, do you have any problem from shipping to Canada?

  • Greetings from Serbia
    OWC is our business partner for decades and they are great as usual.
    The world is so small and fragile, people are connected all over the planet. Will we learn something from this situation and become closer to the Mother Nature ?
    All the best to OWC team and all other people on the planet.
    Stay safe

    • Hi Miodrag,

      I’m sure I speak for the entire OWC family when I say that we can only hope that as a global community, we will learn many things from this pandemic. As you mentioned, we are more connected than ever — to each other and the world we have been given to steward. Our actions are important, and the ways we manage our resources are important.

      As you know, OWC places great emphasis on being “green,” believing that the way we treat our environment impacts generations to come. The better we are at this, the stronger and more sustainable everything becomes. Including us.

      Thank you for the well-wishes – stay safe and strong.

  • I’ve worked in tech for 25 years, Fin-Tech for the last 8.

    I have encountered so many money-focused, entitled, and otherwise empty suits that I’ve lost count.

    I casually clicked on this out of random curiosity, expecting more vacuous CEO bs.

    Much to my surprise I see the opposite, I see real humans writing unscripted words demonstrating feelings and empathy. From “please don’t panic buy” to explanations of global supply chain safety and integrity, you spell out your decision to remain open. Additionally, the level of transparency with employee options in these difficult times is unprecedented, including the explicit instructions on how to proceed if anyone decides it’s not worth the risk to continue working.

    Bravo team OWC, bravo. From one minor customer to all of you, live long and prosper.

  • It is very irresponsible for you to stay open. If my son or his family get sick from you making him go to work (that’s the only place he goes), I will make it my lives work to make sure everyone knows your business practices. The State has a number to call to dispute your decision to keep your employees in harms way. That number has been called by a number of your employees. Do the right thing. People have children and parents.

    • Thank you for writing. Clearly we need to do more to communicate that each OWC employee has the option to be present in our facilities or not. The bulk of our staff can work remotely and have been doing so. Unfortunately, this is not an option open to those who need to be physically present to do their job.

      That said, we already had one employee who elected to take time off rather than come in because a close family member is immunocompromised. If your son or anyone else feels it is important to them, they have the choice to stay home as well. All they need to do is speak with their manager and HR. Everyone at OWC is a parent, or a son or daughter, and we understand that there are no perfect options. But we have taken many steps to ensure everyone who comes into OWC is as safe as possible.

      We instituted a 6-foot distancing rule throughout the building, and every employee is provided with surgical masks and gloves. We’ve been doing enhanced cleaning, and all high traffic/high touch areas are disinfected multiple times a day. These are new implementations, but from the beginning, the building has been equipped with Merv 13 filters because of their excellent particulate filtration that filters out most bacteria and viruses. Additionally, we have a UV Light Disinfection system installed in the ductwork that also inhibits viruses and bacteria. If any employee is sick, we require a doctor’s note before they can return, even if their symptoms are not those of COVID-19. As a result of all of this, we feel OWC is a very safe environment to come to each day.

      We did not decide on our own that OWC would be considered essential infrastructure – local government officials specifically told us we were. And based on the conversations we are having with customers, we feel very confident in saying we are essential. Our products allow people to work remotely, something vitally important during these difficult times. To be in a position to recover from this situation, the entire country cannot simply take a month off of work. We need to continue planning, creating, and building, so that once this disease is under control, life has a better chance of returning to normal.

      Outside of what we provide to others, we also provide livelihoods for all of our employees. If we were to stop shipping, we would have to join the ranks of all the other companies that are doing significant layoffs or furloughs. That is something we would like to avoid.

      Again, there are no perfect options, but we feel we’ve done what we can to ensure the safety of our employees so we can continue to deliver our customers the solutions they need while providing consistent employment for every member of our OWC family.

      Thank you again for writing. We do not take your son’s health or any of our employee’s health for granted. These are very challenging times for all of us, with much fear and uncertainty. But the more stability we can offer as a company by following prescribed governmental recommendations, the more we can help instill a much-needed sense of confidence that we will all get through this together.

      Jen Soule, OWC President

    • And how Mark, would your son provide for his family if he’s sent home, unemployed? Did you consider that side of the equation?

      This type of shoot-from-the-hip and illogical fear is exactly why millions of people are currently out of work and will have to (hopefully) rely on the stimulus to keep them afloat – temporarily.

      OWC’s response is timely and appropriate; instead of shooting off before thinking you might consider the fact that your son currently has a job and is being responsible.

  • Love you guys. I placed an order for a couple of things yesterday and was wondering what the fulfillment time will be? Are you still shipping things from the warehouse?

    Thanks, you’re my goto for all Mac stuff…

    Bob

  • Larry,
    I’m writing this letter on a Mac with memory that I bought from you. I find your staff helpful and pleasant to deal with. That tells me that they are being well treated by their employer. I look forward to relieving advertising from your company. You are my Mac supplier.
    Phil Hine

  • I appreciate your thoughtful words and its speaks volumes for your company. After reading your posts for many years, its no surprise why OWC is my go-to place for my “Mac Support Systems”. I’m a systems engineer at Kennedy Space Center and my wife is a teacher. We are blessed that we can telework for the foreseeable future but are well aware that many are not as fortunate. We (all of us) can come out of this stronger than we went in if we remain compassionate to others who are not as fortunate as we are.
    Best wishes to you and your OWC family!