In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
by William Ernest Henley
The year 2020 might well become the year we all seek to forget. Almost one hundred years ago in 1918-19, the Spanish Flu was a deadly pandemic that infected over 500 million people and caused 50 million deaths. This year’s Covid-19 virus has already killed more Americans than died in the Vietnam war.
As governments across the globe locked down, world economies are in an unprecedented tailspin. Millions are out of work and companies in many sectors will take years to recover. In the US, Congress and the Federal Government responded with alacrity to pass the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” or CARES act. An important part of this (initially) $2 Trillion act is assisting small businesses with loans to help with retaining their workforces (paycheck protection program loans) as well as offsetting losses in revenue (economic injury disaster loans) – programs overseen by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Brillient Corporation has been a partner to the SBA since 2008 working through past crises, providing operational excellence, and assisting with transformational efforts. As the CARES act was passed, we received the call to arms on a Friday afternoon at 5.30 PM. The SBA wanted us to hire hundreds of loan processors and asked if we could do it in one week. These are the types of challenges we at Brillient thrive on. We launched an “all hands–on deck” effort right after we hung up. Recruiting, human resources, program management, accounting, finance, and contracts teams worked through 16+ hour days and weekends with hands-on Brillient leadership to exceed SBA’s expectations. During a time of lockdown, using virtual means, we had sourced, interviewed, and qualified over 1,000 candidates in one week, and another 1,000 by the following week. This would be a record for any company, even a much larger business, compounded by crisis and uncertainty.
Working closely with SBA senior leadership, contracts, program leadership, the office of security and the OCIO, Brillient coordinated virtual training, systems access, logistics of shipping government imaged laptops and devices, electronic onboarding of employees, getting employees set up in Brillient systems, defining policies and management processes for a completely virtual workforce spread from the Pacific into the Atlantic covering SBA’s national footprint from Guam to Puerto Rico.
While we did all this, we had to take care of our existing hundreds of employees, ongoing contracts as well as client obligations and expectations. Even as we hired a new program manager, recruiters, HR, and finance resources to meet the SBA challenge, we firewalled off another group of our executives and HQ employees to focus on existing projects, employee programs as well as ongoing new business development. Our program managers on multiple contracts, ably assisted by our HR team stepped up to the plate working with client guidance to enable our contracts to work virtually or in safe, “socially distanced” conditions, allowing some employees to shelter in place and executing Continuity of Operations (COOP) and Disaster Response (DR) plans successfully ensuring mission success while protecting our employees. As of this writing, of the hundreds of Brillient employees only one Covid-19 infection has been reported and we hope to maintain this trend.
These times are but another (unforgettable) chapter in Brillient’s stupendous growth and achievements over the last 10+ years. Our purpose for existence is – to protect, serve, and care for the American people. We are doing that in spades, serving the nation in time of need assisting the SBA’s crucial and valiant efforts, helping the FDA care for public health expediting vaccine trials, even as we work round the clock with DHS to protect our citizenry.
Amidst a pandemic, when the SBA laid down an incredible ramp–up challenge and our other clients were asking us to flex working conditions, Brillient rose to the occasion. We answered the call to arms because when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Our brilliant employees are living up to our culture of VIFI – Value (to our clients), Integrity, Flexibility, and Innovation.
Invictus is Latin for undefeated. Like we have through other crises, humanity will persevere, we will overcome, we will win, and we will be better for it.
About Brillient: Brillient is a fast-growing solutions engineering company with 14 years of experience providing information management, intelligent solutions and business process management services. Brillient has supported 22 federal government clients and employs 1,000+ personnel in 17 states. The company was recognized as the 2017 DHS Small Business of the Year and maintains ISO 9001:2015, ISO 20000-1:2011, ISO 27001:2013, and SEI CMMI Level 3 quality certifications.
Marketing and Communications Specialist