How do you make sure your products reach the end customers on time?
By implementing automation, we were able to compete with lower-wage countries when bidding on orders for customers here in our home state. Being close to our customers is definitely more important now than ever—as a result, we have not had any delays in getting our products out. As our customers start making new decisions on future orders, I believe that choosing local suppliers is going to matter even more.
How do you think this crisis will shape your company going forward? What are some of the lessons learned?
I think we will definitely evaluate restructuring some of our workspaces. We have to look closely at how we can maximize the utilization of our floor space while still ensuring the wellbeing of our employees. Social distancing might become the new normal, and we have to be prepared for that in the long run as well. Due to the plant layout, many of our employees are already spread apart from each other, and we also already have established practices such as wearing masks, distancing personnel in common areas, dedicated personnel to wipe down key contact points in the facilities, multiple shifts, staggered lunch breaks, and the use of automation. Other options may include, for example, more of our personnel working from home more often.
What has definitely helped us was addressing the challenges head-on at an early stage and preparing for the worst. When this actually does happen then, such as the COVID case at our plant, we had policies in place and were not scrambling
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