Senator Joe Donnelly's Office Visits Crossroads Industrial Services

On Tuesday, September 8th, Crossroads Industrial Services hosted Brandon Herget, Senator Joe Donnelly’s Indiana Regional Office Director for a plant tour of our east side manufacturing facility. This was the second opportunity Herget had to visit Crossroads Industrial Services within the last few years to witness the great things that happen at Crossroads Industrial Services every day.

Herget had the opportunity to check in on long-standing contract manufacturing jobs at Crossroads Industrial Services such as corrugated containers that are assembled for Harlan Labs and EPS recycling that is provided for several Indiana companies like Walmart, Roche Diagnostics and Stanley. He also was able to see new opportunities started since his last visit with companies like Gimme Charge, in which Crossroads manufactures a golf cart USB charging system and CareCycle, in which we recycle plastic filters used in hospital surgery rooms.

Senator Joe Donnelly's Office Visits Crossroads Industrial Services
 

Pictured from left to right are:  Greg Roberts – Product Manager, Katy Stafford-Cunningham – VP Public Policy/INARF, Brandon Herget – Regional Director for Senator Joe Donnelly, Sarah Chestnut – Public Policy Coordinator/INARF, and Anne Traub – Human Resources Manager.

Senator Joe Donnelly's Office Visits Crossroads Industrial Services

Greg Roberts – Product Manager and Brandon Herget – Regional Director for Senator Joe Donnelly

On a personal level, Herget was able to talk with several employees about their work at Crossroads Industrial Services and how employment opportunities had benefitted them. He discussed with several employees the critical role that IndyGo has played in their daily commute to and from work. Currently, more than 50% of Crossroads Industrial Services employees use either the fixed route bus service or the para-transit door-to-door service.

Senator Donnelly has been a great supporter of creating opportunities for individuals with special needs to thrive in the workplace. Senator Donnelly is included as one of our nation’s Senators and Representatives that have earned the distinction of being named a Source America Champion. Source America is an organization that was created thru legislation in the early 1970’s to help create workplace opportunities for individuals with special needs. Crossroads Industrial Services is a proud member of Source America, primarily through our work in manufacturing Combat Identification Panels for the US Army and USMC.

State Representative Donna Schaibley Visits Crossroads Industrial Services

As part of our ongoing initiative to invite Indiana State Representatives, Senators and Congressmen to Crossroads Industrial Services, a Division of Easter Seals Crossroads, to inform and engage their support for increasing business development and more employment for persons with disabilities, we had a visit from State Representative Donna Schaibley, District 24, on Thursday, September 3rdRep. Schaibley learned about our business at a Carmel Rotary Club meeting in August where Curtiss Quirin, COO of Crossroads Industrial Services, was giving a business presentation on manufacturing solutions.  As a result, she asked if she could visit us to see what great things we’re doing at Crossroads Industrial Services.  Rep. Schaibley was very interested in the numerous jobs that we provide for persons with disabilities through our contract manufacturing services, document services, and order fulfillment services, just to name a few.  She was also able to speak with several of our employees and saw what a great job they were doing.

State Representative Donna Schaibley Visits Crossroads Industrial Services

Pictured from left to right are:  Anne Traub – Human Resources Manager, Indiana State Rep. Donna Schaibley, and Curtiss Quirin – COO of Crossroads Industrial Services.

State Representative Donna Schaibley Visits Crossroads Industrial Services

Pictured from left to right are:  Rep. Donna Schaibley, Curtiss Quirin, and Tyler Wagner, employee

State Representative Donna Schaibley Visits Crossroads Industrial Services

Rep. Donna Schaibley and Claire Strahan, employee

We really appreciated Rep. Schaibley’s interest and enthusiasm for what we do at Crossroads Industrial Services and she will prove to be a great advocate in the Indiana House of Representatives for supporting more employment for persons with disabilities.

 

Product Launch – Real Food Blends

When starting anything new, and especially when launching a new product, it is always beneficial to begin with the end in mind. Planning is key and there are many tools and checklists available. An effective way to alleviate some of the stress related to launching a new product is to work with a contract manufacturer, like Crossroads Industrial Services. 

Real Food Blends partnered with Crossroads Industrial Services to help provide quality service to its customers. Julie and Tony Bombacino started Real Food Blends in 2012 with the desire to provide 100% real food to be used via feeding tubes. Inspired by the need to supply their son AJ with quality food, Julie researched feeding-tube alternatives and began blending real foods when AJ was 10 months old.

Product Launch - Real Food Blends

View and listen to their story here:

When we first met the folks at Crossroads Industrial Services (CIS), we knew right away that we wanted to partner with them. The amazing work they do to employ and empower people with disabilities is amazing and inspirational. As parents of our own special needs son (AJ), my wife (co-founder and CEO of Real Food Blends) Julie Bombacino and I are proud to work with the team at CIS. It’s been really rewarding and easy to work with them to date and we look forward to partnering more in the future as we continue to grow Real Food Blends.

– Tony Bombacino, Co-Founder & CMO, Real Food Blends

A contract manufacturer, like Crossroads Industrial Services, can help speed up your new product launch and reduce startup expenses by providing you with manufacturing resources on a variable basis. 

You Get What You Inspect

Today’s post was written by Curtiss Quirin, Chief Operating Officer of Crossroads Industrial Services.

I learned a long time ago, you don’t get what you expect, you get what you inspect. This concept is very simple to grasp, but very difficult to implement and sustain. Inspection requires not only the creation of a standard, but also the discipline to observe and audit on a regular basis. If done correctly it will help to create constancy of purpose and the development of a work culture.

How many times have you personally or your company started a new initiative (sometimes with great fanfare), only to see it slip away over time? This generally occurs because the expectation was created, but no follow up was established. This confuses your work force and makes people skeptical of any future changes. That is why before any new initiatives are started, you, as the leader, must decide what is important and be prepared to stay the course. The goal is to set a standard and change behavior.

The following are the key steps required to get started:

  • Pick something important
  • Involve your people
  • Establish measurable requirements
  • Make it visible
  • Set up an audit frequency
  • Have the discipline to stay the course

People will do what is important to them and what they perceive is important to you, but if you ask an employee to do something and never come around to check to see how it is going or whether it was even done, you are sending a very confusing message. So before you begin a new initiative, develop your plan on how you will audit the activity.

Crossroads Industrial Services instills these values in our employees and production managers. Learn more about our unique workforce on our employees page.

Document Scanning: Do-It-Yourself vs. Outsourcing

Today’s post was written by Mary Jo Gremling, Manager of Crossroads Document Services.

Are you weighing the pros and cons of tackling that document scanning project in-house? It can certainly be done, but such a venture requires a lot of thought, planning, and consideration to assure success without disrupting your entire office environment in the process.

Document scanning, while not “rocket science,” does require proper training and quality control to produce suitable electronic images. Remember, there is no room for mistakes—an error rate of even 0.1% means that one page in every 1,000 could be missing or unreadable, and that is totally unacceptable. Likewise, data entry must be accurate to ensure the record can be located and accessed after it has been scanned.

The Challenge of Do-It-Yourself Document Scanning

Using in-house staff to prepare and scan paper documents is one option to consider. This can be successfully performed with the understanding that the project will require at least two full-time employees (one to prepare the files and one to scan) as well as a workspace large enough to allow an efficient assembly-line process.

It is very important to carefully choose personnel for this project. Not everyone is detail-oriented enough to perform the repetitive, tedious task of removing staples and organizing pages. Nor does everyone recognize the importance of consistently capturing every piece of information in the file. Every scanned image should be viewed, checked against the original, and approved.

Your project will also require the use of a scanner fast enough to handle several thousand pages per day. While office scanners rated at 20-30 images per minute may work well on a go-forward basis, they are not robust enough to efficiently handle the initial work of scanning a large volume of documents. Whatever savings there may be in purchasing an inadequate scanner will be lost in the hours it will take to complete the project.

The scanner should have built-in fail-safe features to guard against more than one page feeding through at a time, resulting in lost information. Scanning software must allow images to be scanned into multiple-page PDF or TIFF files that can be named in an organized, logical structure.

Be aware that all imaging software does not produce the same results. Some have more file compression capabilities than others. Electronic file size can be an issue whether a business stores data internally on a server or uses a web-hosted system. Web-hosted services usually charge for data storage based on the total number of gigabytes used. The software provided with a multi-function machine (copier/scanner/fax) is not usually designed with this in mind.

Document Scanning: Do-It-Yourself vs. Outsourcing

Outsourcing: A Viable Alternative

While the do-it-yourself option may sound a bit overwhelming, there are more efficient ways to convert documents from paper to digital, decreasing the overall time required to complete the project and greatly reducing the stress on your office staff. One such option is outsourcing the scanning of paper records to an imaging service bureau.

An imaging service operates under a confidentiality agreement with each of its clients. All personnel who handle customer documents sign confidentiality agreements, and privacy requirements are strictly enforced. Records are usually transported to the service provider’s facility for processing.

At Crossroads Document Services, we have a fleet of vehicles for picking up any size shipment, from just a few boxes to many pallets of boxed or crated documents. We can also send our personnel to pack your files. We can even provide boxes! 

In a production scanning environment, a dedicated team efficiently removes all staples and paper clips, positions sticky notes, unfolds, smoothes and aligns all pages. Trained scanner operators using high-speed equipment evaluate every image on the computer screen as each page is scanned. Quality control steps are built into each process to ensure all images are legibly captured and correctly labeled.

Outsourcing the scanning of business records to a competent imaging service should be seriously considered when weighing the transition from paper files to digital. The actual cost of outsourced scanning is often significantly less than the expenditure of purchasing adequate equipment and utilizing staff to perform the work in house.

An imaging service specializes in performing the “grunt work” associated with scanning and can have all records prepared, scanned, indexed, and uploaded in a fraction of the time it takes for persons with little or no experience in scanning large volumes of documents.

Having all records digitized at one time can streamline the implementation of electronic records management, allowing your organization to make the transition without the confusion created by having some files in paper and others electronic for an extended period of time.

 

Conclusion

While the transition to electronic records is a major paradigm shift requiring buy-in from your entire staff, it can be accomplished far more easily if day-to-day operations are allowed to proceed as usual, with as little disruption as possible. Outsourcing document preparation, scanning, and indexing to a service that specializes in these tasks eliminates the need to distract staff from their usual responsibilities. The end result is a smoother, less stressful transition and quicker implementation, at a price that is often less than the cost of using your own employees to perform the project.

Call Crossroads Document Services at 317-897-7320, ext. 4230 to discuss your imaging project. We take the pain out of going paperless!

Mary Jo owned and operated eLucida Imaging from 2003 to 2013, when her Indianapolis-based company was purchased by Crossroads Industrial Services. She now manages Crossroads Document Services, located at 8302 E. 33rd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46226.

The Benefits of Outsourced Manufacturing

Today’s post was written by Curtiss Quirin, Chief Operating Officer of Crossroads Industrial Services.

Outsourcing manufacturing can be a matter of convenience for small and mid-size companies, but it can also be a great way to do business. With the ability to outsource their manufacturing to a competent contract manufacturer, companies can gain the economies of scale, flexibility and resources that allow them to effectively compete with their larger competitors. It will also allow them to focus their time and limited resources on product development, sales and marketing.

The Benefits of Outsourced Manufacturing
Few companies have the ability to invest in facilities and upgrade processes and equipment, personnel, and process technology required to compete in a market of shrinking product life cycles and eroding margins. Why not take advantage of capacity and capability that already exists? Outsourced manufacturing allows a company to reduce up-front investment and pay for capacity as it is used, products are built and revenue is generated.

If you are a smaller company, you will face challenges that require resources greater than your larger competitors. The decision for you, the original equipment manufacturer, is to make the right contract manufacturer selection, and partner with them to establish a relationship as an extension of your business. The goal is to negotiate win/win pricing and contract terms, and invest time and resources to develop relationship an ongoing collaborative relationship.

Lucky for you, Crossroads Industrial Services can do just that. For more information, view our page on Supply Chain Services to understand our process from procurement and manufacturing to sales.

Call to Congress: Increasing Competitive Integrative Employment for Persons with Disabilities

On Thursday, August 21st, Indiana State Representative Robin Shackleford visited Crossroads Industrial Services, which resides in her District 98.  Representative Shackleford has been the District’s elected official since 2012, and her visit on Thursday was a great opportunity for Crossroads Industrial Services to inform her about our business, what it does, and how it impacts the employees that work here.

Call to Congress: Increasing Competitive Integrative Employment for Persons with Disabilities

 Greg Roberts, Product Manager, relaying to Rep. Shackleford about our Ability One Program / Combat ID Panel job

Call to Congress: Increasing Competitive Integrative Employment for Persons with Disabilities

 Bill Love, Business Development Manager, relaying to Rep. Shackleford about our Contract Manufacturing capabilities

Call to Congress: Increasing Competitive Integrative Employment for Persons with DisabilitiesRep. Shackleford is talking with one of our customers, Tyler Back, co-owner of Gimme Charge, about the product that we assemble for them, with Ruby Campbell, Line Leader, standing to Tyler’s right.

Call to Congress: Increasing Competitive Integrative Employment for Persons with DisabilitiesBill Love, Business Development Mgr, Anne Traub, Human Resources Mgr, Mary Jo Gremling, Document Services Mgr, Curtiss Quirin, COO, posing with Rep. Shackleford (2nd from left)

Representative Shackleford wrote,

“Thanks for taking the time to provide a wonderful and informative business tour. During my visit, I couldn’t help but to appreciate all the efforts Crossroads Industrial Services is doing to cultivate opportunities for Hoosier adults and children with disabilities.

Learning your business goals and highlights is valued input. For instance, Crossroads does a great job innovating and creating new ways connecting entrepreneurs to income generation for disabled adults and children.  Also, life skills are positively reinforced by implementing initiatives making sure work is more than “just a job.”

My goal as your State Representative is to give vocational services a voice within the Indiana General Assembly.  By taking the time to discuss your goals and concerns, it helps me form additional legislative groundwork to improve the quality education and communities.”

We appreciate Representative Shackleford’s support and will continue to invite other Representatives and Senators to Crossroads Industrial Services to see the great work that we do, which also helps provide and increases employment for adults with disabilities.

Today’s post was written by Anne Traub, Manager of Human Resources at Crossroads Industrial Services. 

Curtiss Quirin Presents Manufacturing Solutions to Rotary Club of Carmel

On Friday, August 21, a crowd of 80 individuals in Carmel gathered together for their weekly Rotary Club meeting. Curtiss Quirin, Chief Operating Officer of Crossroads Industrial Services, was invited to speak about manufacturing solutions offered by our company.

Curtiss Quirin Presents Manufacturing Solutions to Rotary Club of Carmel

Since joining Crossroads Industrial Services in 2009, Quirin has presented to multiple groups to discuss the importance of making a difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities, special needs or challenges while also helping them understand how Crossroads Industrial Services can impact their bottom line.

From polystyrene recycling to contract manufacturing, Quirin outlined the major operations of the facility in a way that anyone could relate to, even those without advanced manufacturing or technical degrees. Crossroads Document Services, for example, can be used by any business who relies on paper for keeping track of important information, no matter how big or small they may be.

Curtiss Quirin Presents Manufacturing Solutions to Rotary Club of Carmel

ZOO Fans employs Crossroads Industrial Services to manufacture their product, which is sold to large grocery store chains to be used in the freezer and refrigerated sections. The ZOO Fans help circulate warm air into the chilly areas, allowing people to shop comfortably and for a longer period of time.

Curtiss Quirin Presents Manufacturing Solutions to Rotary Club of Carmel

Crossroads Document Services prepares small and large files for scanning. This operation employs individuals who may be have ambulatory challenges and require sitting, or those with autism who enjoy repetitive tasks.

Curtiss Quirin Presents Manufacturing Solutions to Rotary Club of Carmel

Two trailer loads of polystyrene are recycled every day at Crossroads Industrial Services. Last year, two tons of polystyrene material was recycled.

At the end of the presentation, at least a dozen hands popped into the air to ask questions about how products are manufactured, where staff is recruited from, and how their business could work with Crossroads Industrial Services. In addition, State Representative Donna Schaibley of District 24 connected with Quirin to arrange a site visit with her and her team. Schaibley’s visit falls in line with our Calls to Congress initiatives where we are inviting our elected officials to tour the facility and learn more about our available resources.

Quoted from Schaibley’s Facebook page: “I attended the Carmel Rotary meeting yesterday and met Curtiss Quirin of Crossroads Industrial Services who spoke at the meeting. Crossroads employs many disabled members of our community doing contract manufacturing and document scanning, matching a persons individual skills to positions.”

Curtiss Quirin Presents Manufacturing Solutions to Rotary Club of Carmel

Are you interested in learning more about Crossroads Industrial Services and our manufacturing solutions? Schedule a site visit with us by calling 317-897-7320!

7 Ways to Identify a Good Document Scanning Company

Today’s post was written by Mary Jo Gremling, Manager of Crossroads Document Services.

Despite the popularity of desktop computers since the 1980s, most businesses still produce and handle mountains of paper. Even with good paper records storage, efficiently locating a specific document becomes more and more difficult as the volume of paper increases. That, coupled with the ever-rising cost of office space, often prompts a business or organization to seek the services of a document scanning company.

But how do you go about choosing a document scanning service? As a mother, I liken this process to selecting a good childcare provider. You wouldn’t hand your children over to just anyone who claimed to run a daycare. Neither should you choose a scanning service bureau without knowing it meets important criteria that insure your documents remain safe, secure, and protected.

1. Integrity—A good document scanning service should have an excellent reputation and be able to provide credible references. Contact these references and ask pertinent questions: What was it like to work with this company? What about the images they produced? Are they clear and legible? Do the file names make sense and help you find the information you need? Would you use this company again? Why or why not?

“Thank you for coming out to take a look at the work we have for scanning and shredding. We had such a good experience with your team last time, that there was no question as to who to contact for this project. Thank you again for your team’s excellent work!”

– City of Westfield, Crossroads Document Services customer reflection

2. Experience and Expertise—Can the scanning service handle your type of documents? Some imaging companies specialize in certain sectors, while others serve a broad range of organizations. Not all imaging services can scan fragile historical documents, large format prints and drawings, or bound books.

Crossroads Document Services scans for a variety of businesses and organizations. In the past two years, we have imaged historical property records, both large and small format, for the Indianapolis Airport Authority and the City of Westfield; an entire archive of engineering drawings and maintenance manuals for Rexnord Corporation; several special collections of photos, posters, programs, and scrapbooks for the Indianapolis Public Library; and a wide range of real estate, healthcare, personnel, education, financial, and automotive records. (And that’s not a complete list!) 

7 Ways to Identify a Good Document Scanning Company3. SecuritySecurity and confidentiality are of the utmost importance. Is the facility locked, with access limited only to employees during their scheduled shifts? Have criminal background checks been run on all employees? Is the facility alarmed and monitored by an outside service? Are 24-hour surveillance cameras in place? Are all employees who handle your documents formally trained to follow HIPAA and other privacy regulations and procedures?

All Crossroads Document Services employees are taught to respect the documents we handle as “sacred.” We have often recognized and returned originals that the client has not previously recognized as valuable (live checks, original student records of “celebrities,” etc.) so the originals could be retained by the customer instead of shredded upon completion of the project. 

4. Scanning Technology—Professional imaging hardware and software should be kept up to date. Does your service provider have the capacity to handle your job in a timely manner? Can they provide the file type you need (TIFF, PDF, JPEG, other)? How accurate is their OCR (optical character recognition) software? Can they provide cloud- or server-based solutions to help your company improve information access? How will they deliver your final electronic archive?

5. Quality—The object of every scanning project is to capture every image as legibly as possible to ensure the information on the page is readable and printable. Is your provider a “load and walk away” shop, or is the scanner operator visually verifying the capture of each image on the screen? In some industries, 99.9% accuracy is terrific, but in the document scanning world, that means one page of every 1,000 could be missing or unreadable! In image capture and data entry, your service provider should strive for zero defects.

As part of an ISO 9001:2015 certified business, Crossroads Document Services consistently upholds strict standards through our established process controls and quality systems.

6. Service—A good scanning company aims to make your job as easy as possible by offering a variety of services.

  • Consultation—Whether you have a complete vision for your project or are just beginning to discuss it, you should be able to count on your imaging service to help you plan a logical process and file-naming structure to make your project as pain-free as possible. Seek a scanning partner, not just a vendor.
  • Document Preparation—Don’t settle for a provider that makes you take out all staples, paperclips, etc. That’s their job!
  • Scanning—What do you need? Large format, small format, black and white, color, grayscale, high-resolution, fine art, bound books, ledgers, microfilm, aperture cards… Ask about capabilities.
  • Access—Worried about needing your records while they’re not in your office? A good service bureau can track your documents throughout the entire process and should be able to scan and upload requested documents quickly, usually the same day they receive your request.
  • Document destruction or return—Your documents should be handled securely all the way through the process. Make sure you have ample time to approve the final output before your provider has a certified shredding service dispose of the paper documents. Paper documents on hold for approval should be maintained in a securely locked area until they are shredded. Make arrangements with your provider if you want your paper records to be returned or put into long-term record storage.

7. Site Visit—Although they will have some restrictions in place because of confidentiality policies, a good scanning company will welcome a request for a tour of their production facility. Inspecting the facility where your critical business information is to be handled is an excellent way to check out all the points we’ve covered here.

Crossroads Document Services offers experienced, quality scanning for your personal and professional needs. To receive a quote, call Mary Jo Gremling at 317-897-7320, ext. 4230.

Mary Jo owned and operated eLucida Imaging from 2003 to 2013, when her Indianapolis-based company was purchased by Crossroads Industrial Services. She now manages Crossroads Document Services, located at 8302 E. 33rd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46226.

John R. Jones Recognized in AbilityOne Annual Report

Recognizing the good work of our manufacturing and assembly employees is something we do every day, but only occasionally have we received national attention for having such outstanding staff.

John R. Jones, one of our utility assemblers, was recently recognized in the AbilityOne annual report for providing quality service at Crossroads Industrial Services. The U.S. AbilityOne Commission is an organization that provides employment opportunities for people who are blind or have significant disabilities in the manufacture and delivery of products and services to the Federal Government.

John R. Jones Recognized in AbilityOne Annual Report

John Jones with Indiana Governor Mike Pence

Here is the excerpt from the AbilityOne FY 2014 Annual Report:

John Jones is known for his perseverance, hard work, infections smile, outgoing nature and positive “can do” attitude. Having a mild intellectual/developmental disability did not stop him from exceeding expectations throughout childhood nor as an adult. Today, he is a valuable team member of AbilityOne NPA Crossroads Industrial Services. At one point homeless and living in a shelter, Jones worked hard to realize his goal of living independently. He joined Crossroads nearly 20 years ago and currently produces combat ID panels, which are mounted on military ground vehicles to distinguish them from the enemy and reduce friendly fire incidents on the battlefield. His primary job on the combat ID panel project is applying tape – a job that requires great attention to detail and eye-hand coordination – and he also performs assembly, boxing and kitting. Outside of work, he participates in community work through church, enjoys singing and shopping, and collects vinyl record albums. 

“I feel very grateful that Crossroads has provided me with a steady stream of employment over the years, which has allowed me to recently move to a very nice apartment in a better neighborhood… I am also extremely proud of the contributions we have been able to make to the U.S. Army warfighter. This contract has required us to put our best foot forward,” says John.

The recognition for John continued with a personal note from E. Ballard, the Executive Director and CEO of the U.S. AbilityOne Commission.

“Dear Mr. Jones – On behalf of the U.S. AbilityOne Commission Presidential Appointees and the Commission Staff, thank you for allowing us to share your story in our 2014 Annual Report. Your dedication to remain independent and self-sufficient in the face of significant challenges sets an example for others to follow and clearly demonstrates the possibilities arising from the AbilityOne Program. Of equal importance is the care and pride you take in manufacturing combat ID panels for our Army warfighters which helps our soldiers avoid incidents of friendly fire. You are an inspiration and we wish you continued success.”

How many of your employees have been with your company for 20 years? That kind of employment longevity stems from taking pride in your workplace, respecting your colleagues, and an underlying dedication to not just get the job done, but get it done right. When you partner with Crossroads Industrial Services for manufacturing and assembly, it is people like John who will provide the attention and quality you deserve.

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