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Microsoft Leverages Supply Chain, Rescues Stranded COVID-19 Medical Supplies

Microsoft procured and then expedited a shipment of medical supplies needed to help fight the coronavirus. The shipment was stranded in Memphis after Microsoft’s overseas team had arranged for the supplies to be delivered by an undisclosed foreign government last week.

The load of 240,000 desperately-needed N-95 surgical masks was being held at a distribution center awaiting FDA inspection. Late last Saturday, Microsoft President Brad Smith reached out to White House staff involved in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and helped arrange the release of the supplies.

Smith told the Seattle Times, “The FDA was short-handed, and so those (masks) were stuck in Memphis from last Thursday to Saturday,’’ adding it was already 8 p.m. ET when he phoned Washington, D.C. “I actually reached out directly to the White House staff — specifically, people who work for the National Security Council … and they were able to scramble the FDA and get everything released by first thing Sunday morning.’’

The unique procurement endeavor leveraged Microsoft’s supply chain to secure 15,000 eye protection goggles, 850 medical caps, 850 protective suits and 120 infrared thermometers. The first of several expected shipments began arriving earlier this week. Microsoft expects an additional 15,000 eye goggles, 35,000 bottles of hand sanitizer and 2,000 disinfectant wipe containers to arrive for donation later this week. The state’s Department of Enterprise Services will pick up the supplies at Microsoft’s warehouse in Redmond for distribution to the highest-need areas.

*Photo Courtesy of Microsoft

For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Kaiser

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About Dennis Kaiser

Dennis Kaiser is Vice President of Content and Public Relations for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Dennis is a communications leader with more than 30 years of experience including as a journalist and in corporate and agency marketing communications roles. He is responsible for Connect’s client content operations and is involved in a range of initiatives ranging from content strategy, message development, copywriting, media relations, social media and content marketing services. In his most recent corporate communications roles, he led a regional public relations effort across Southern California for CBRE, played a key marketing role on JLL’s national retail team, and was responsible for directing the global public relations effort at ValleyCrest, the nation’s largest commercial landscape services company. In addition to his vast commercial real estate experience, Dennis has worked on communications and launch strategies for a number of residential projects such as Disney’s Celebration in Florida, Ritter Ranch in Palmdale California (7,200 homes, 22,000 acres), WaterColor in Florida and PremierGarage in Phoenix. Dennis’s agency background included firms such as Idea Hall and Macy + Associates. He has earned an outstanding reputation with organization leaders as a trusted advisor, strategic program implementer, consensus builder and exceptional collaborator. Dennis has developed and managed national communications programs for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, both public and private. He’s successfully worked with journalists across the globe representing clients involved in major-breaking news stories, product launches, media tours, and company news announcements. Dennis has been involved in a host of charitable and community organizations including the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, BoyScouts, Chrysalis Foundation, Freedom For Life, HOLA, L.A.’s BEST, Reach Out and Read, Super Bowl Host Committee, and Thunderbirds Charities.

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