While the Corona virus outbreak has caused massive disruption, companies are largely managing to cope. UPDATE – The Italian government is asking companies to close all non-critical activities this week, so all is likely to change this week.
We have had all manner of feedback on the current crisis, largely driven by the constant media coverage of a fast moving issue. We therefore thought it worth highlighting how many - if not most - companies are maintaining production in order to fulfil orders and all are proving a full product support function.
Italy has been the hardest hit worldwide in terms of the number of fatalities experienced so far. Spider and boom lift manufacturer Platform Basket is located in Emilia Romagna, close to where the Covid19 outbreak originated in the country. It implemented a series of measures to protect employees and continued production as normal, until a week ago, but have now implemented a one week halt to production as the disease peaks, with the option to extend a further week. Completed machines continue to be collected and shipped. Meanwhile the product support area remains open and is shipping parts as usual.
CMC on the other hand is located much further south near Bari, and is maintaining full production, while taking the necessary precautions and respecting the new rules enacted by the Italian Government. It adds: “Our warehouse stocks allow us to face up the months ahead with confidence, we will do our best to avoid and solve any possible problem caused by this emergency to guarantee our very best service as usual.”
Challenges manufacturers face though can include some parts shortages where component manufacturers have shut down for a period, and for shipments to more exotic destinations obtaining the right documentation, given that public offices are not working normal hours.
Terex Cranes has also confirmed that its facilities are still producing and shipping machines.
Truck mounted and spider lift manufacturer Multitel Pagliero says it implemented a full sanitisation of its eight different production sites and headquarters, while equipping all employees with ‘Personal Protective Equipment – DPI” and then implemented a one metre distance rule, with some areas redesigned and volumes reduced in order to help with this, while any suppliers coming to the factories are required to wear masks and gloves and follow a set of rules.
It says that it also produces a high quantity of its own components, and has a decent inventory of outsourced ones which is helping with maintaining production. Parts and service is being maintained at normal levels. One area where it is facing challenges though is transport. “Due to European travel, restrictions are slowing down the whole transport system”. It added: “Its not easy, but we are still alive and kicking!”
In the Verona area of Northern Italy Hinowa says that an increasing number of suppliers are temporarily closing down in order to sanitise their facilities and source the right Personal Protective Equipment. While it has been working at full production it has suspended production until Wednesday March 25th. However the production support and warehouse areas will remain open as usual.
Spider and mini crawler crane manufacturer Jekko, says that it is “closely monitoring the situation and has also implemented new procedures to protect Jekko employees health”. Meanwhile all product support departments are working as normal as is fellow Italian GSR.
Elsewhere Klubb in France says one of its greatest challenges is the number of customers that have closed temporarily and unable to receive deliveries. Haulotte has announced that it has implemented a temporary shutdown of production at its three manufacturing facilities in France, while its network of sales and service operations will remain open as usual, having “undertaken all health prevention measures”.
In the UK JCB has shut production down at its nine plants in the UK for two weeks and will then review the situation. However its plant in Pudong, China has reopened and is running as normal again.
Wacker Neuson in Germany is reducing production this week and bringing annual plant shutdowns forward at some plant, in order to match demand and its supply chains. Also in Germany crane manufacturer Sennebogen is doing the same thing, and both companies are maintaining full parts and service coverage.
Finally in China, Sinoboom is back in production having tested all of its employees as they came on site and kept them safe with rigorous hygiene measures and accommodating them all in the onsite dormitories. The company has also published a helpful guide to the disease which it is sharing with everyone. A copy will be posted on our library later today…
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