South Korea’s Poonglim Pharmatech got popular fast when demand for its low dead space (LDS) syringe suddenly spiked. The LDS minimizes how much of the vaccine remains in the syringe after injection, allowing six doses per vial instead of five.

The only problem? Poonglim was a small business. But because their syringe was the easiest LDS model to make, they received support from the government and from South Korea’s Samsung to ramp up production.

Company VP Cho Mi-heui told Reuters that Samsung helped them refit production lines, facilitated talks with Pfizer and guided them through regulatory procedures.

Poonglim has grown its workforce fivefold and vastly expanded capacity. And because the syringes work so well, Pfizer/BioNTech nearly doubled the projected number of COVID-19 vaccine doses they could provide globally.

During the pandemic, companies nimble enough to scale operations to meet the needs of the moment found opportunities to maintain (or even boost) business as many struggled to stay afloat.

Lockdowns led to a surge in online shopping. Quick-thinking transportation companies deployed continuity plans that ensured optimal service while prioritizing customer and employee health.

Lesson learned: A flexible strategy, innovative thinking and digital-ready infrastructure can put any company ahead—even during a global crisis. And having the most efficient manufacturing processes possible not only speeds production, but it can make your company the most attractive to outside support.

This article appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of Insigniam Quarterly. To begin receiving IQ, go here.

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