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Boston’s Willwork rises from the ashes

Re-dedication set for April:

Late on the night of Feb. 21, 2008, all Bill Nixon could do was watch as 20 years of realized hopes and dreams were consumed by fire and smoke as a result of an electrical fire originating in an outlet in the company’s server room. Unsurprisingly, word came to Nixon just a few hours later, that all was lost. Willwork would have to find a substitute location for up to two years if it hoped to survive as an industry-leading installation and dismantling (I&D) company.

 

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Teamwork employee’s doing metal fabrication work, as part of the overall headquarters reconstruction project.



“It was devastating ­‑ so many memories gone,” Nixon recalled.

Early the next morning, Nixon awoke to a clamor in his front yard. To his amazement, staff members, who heard about the fire, traveled through the night to Willwork’s hometown of Boston from as far away as Chicago. Each had the same question, “Now what?” Not one to be easily discouraged and having seen lean times before, Nixon vowed to himself and to those workers they would rebuild better and bigger than ever.

In that moment, things began to change. One employee soon found a location for short-term rental just around the corner from the still-smoldering office. Another volunteered to lead the salvage effort while another employee became the project manager for what some have dubbed the “phoenix of the I&D industry.”
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A day after the blaze, Willwork was functioning in a nearby location and by Monday morning, telephones were ringing, offices were operational and Willwork was taking labor orders again ‑ eight new orders before 10 a.m. Through hard work, determination and commitment, honed by many years at Willwork, that small group of loyalists recently celebrated the groundbreaking on Willwork II, a new facility within the same footprint of the old, with expanded office and technological capabilities.

It was difficult for many to imagine rebuilding in this economy. Much of management’s time was consumed with dealing with banks, creating operating efficiencies and maintaining existing business. During that time, Willwork partnered with Teamwork Labor Specialists, a company that services broad retail construction needs and Nixon’s 9-year-old brainchild.

With the help of Teamwork’s managers, a rebuilding plan for Willwork was hatched. The facilities could be rebuilt, and this time it would have a state-of-the-art-facility.

Teamwork “really stepped up to the plate and handled this effort from nuts to bolts,” Nixon said. “I am convinced that there is nothing they can’t handle.”

Teamwork utilized its project management team to demolish, engineer and plan the structure. Moreover, Teamwork’s labor staff is currently in the process of full re-construction efforts with an April 1 target re-dedication date.

“I think the only thing they didn’t do was the site work,” Nixon said with a laugh. “But I know they were somewhere supervising those efforts.”

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Damien Keefe

By redirecting its warehouse needs elsewhere, Willwork’s new office will be able to house a multi-faceted one-stop solution for its clients in one location. Willwork and Teamwork will continue to offer services including I&D, special, corporate and private events; general contracting, user group meetings, museum and retail store installation and store fixturing. With the new facility, they will do these tasks while incorporating a sophisticated tracking system. The online tracking system permits Teamwork clients to maximize their time by keeping track of every piece of information pertaining to their projects as it happens 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The convenience will keep clients informed in the comfort of their own home or office. Willwork also has added a creative lab in which to foster content provisions for its clients’ project needs.

With the new dedication only months away, Nixon said he hopes his ideals and dreams will be realized once again and Willwork will experience a “rebirth.”

 

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