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Armbrust American Sucess Story featured image
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Industry

Manufacturing

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Company Size

11 - 50 employees

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Location

Austin, Texas

The partner

During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country faced a life-threatening shortage of masks. Armbrust American was born when founder Lloyd Armbrust recognized the need to manufacture masks and personal protective gear within U.S. borders. Within its first week of opening in May 2020, the Austin-based mask manufacturer received over 1.46 million orders, with 72,000 donations delivered to hospitals and businesses in need. Within six months, Amrbrust American was supplying around a million masks per day.

The problem

Soaring demand for your product isn't a bad problem for a young company have. But in the early months, the nation's need for masks overwhelmed Armbrust American's fulfillment capabilities, said Josh Rubin, Chief Marketing Officer at Armbrust. As the production facility worked overtime to keep up with the surge of orders, things like customer service and brand design unification fell between the cracks.

"We didn't have time to hire a full-time graphic designer, accountant, or customer service rep simply and for no other reason than we were always running," Rubin said.

Why Armbrust chose Howdy: Efficiency and ethics

With no time to waste, Armbrust came to Howdy seeking a streamlined hiring solution.

"We needed people, fast," Rubin said. "Howdy made it super simple. Within one week, I had four different potential candidates to interview, plus everything I needed to vet them — their work history, their portfolio of projects, their specific focus."

The team chose Howdy, in part, because of the above industry-standard compensation the company offered, said Phillip Quick, Armbrust Director of Customer Service.

"We've used staffing agencies in the past, and I didn't feel good about the big gap between what we paid them versus what they paid their employees," Quick said. "One of the biggest things that stood out for me was Howdy's transparency around fair payment."

The Howdy solution

By partnering with Howdy, Armbrust hired four professionals who solved three different pain points: graphic design, accounting and customer service.

Graphic design

First, Howdy connected Armbrust with Lucia, a seasoned graphic designer based in Argentina. Lucia immediately took ownership of her role in the company, learning the company e-commerce platform "backward and forward," Rubin said.

"Lucia very quickly started stepping up in the organization," Rubin said. "Our brand bible was a little outdated — she rebuilt it not because I asked her to but because she saw that there was a need."

The results

Shortly after bringing Lucia on, Armbrust started seeing measurable results. Perhaps most notable was the increased speed and improved SEO for the Armbrust website, Rubin said.

"Shrinking and uniforming images increased the speed of our website, which is incredibly important for search engine optimization," Rubin said. "That had a direct impact on our bottom line."

In addition to the site, Lucia also unified the look and feel of email campaigns.

"We saw click and open rates go up while bounce rates and unsubscribes went down," Rubin said.

Lucia, for her part, has taken value from her experience at Armbrust.

"My time at Armbrust has been a blend of creative thinking and brand enhancement," Lucia said. "The collaborative atmosphere and diverse projects have allowed me to refine my skills while contributing meaningfully to its design."

Customer service

Howdy also helped Armbrust hire Gus, a customer service specialist based in Colombia. Gus joined the Armbrust Customer Service team and was up to speed within weeks, according to Quick. In addition to being a fast learner, Gus brings a proactive attitude, Quick said.

"Every day begins with 'good morning' and 'what can I help with?" Quick said.

The results

With Gus, Armbrust was able to open up their overall support hours, said Quick. In the two months Gus has worked with Armbrust, the customer service department has slashed its response time.

"We were at 30 minutes, we brought Gus in, and within five weeks we were down to 22 minutes," Quick said.

Accounting

Howdy helped Armbrust find two accounting professionals, Gisela and Lina. Right off the bat, the two Howdy hires exceeded expectations, according to Oracio Flores, Armbrust Vice President of Finance.

"I have been really impressed with their understanding of the accounting principles," said Flores. "Also, the fact they can quickly pick up and implement more robust concepts with our accounting system."

The results

With Gisela and Lina on the team, the Armbrust accounting team is reliably able to hit deadlines and targets, according to Flores.

"They've increased productivity and saved money," Flores said. "Importantly, they maintain the books for me so I can focus on the higher-level picture."

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The Why of Howdy

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