An Inside Look to Manufacturing During a Time of Pandemic
We’re over a month in to the Covid-19 outbreak and the freezing of non-essential business operations. That said, manufacturing was deemed essential at the outset. Thus, the path moving forward would be littered with challenges and strategic best practices to keep things safe and healthy for the manufacturing employees around the globe. Here in New Hampshire, and specifically under the roof at MuShield, things have changed, but, while the approach has been altered slightly, the operative measures of the day-to-day remain in large part the same. Jobs need to get done. The manufacturing wheel continues to spin even as the economy at large spirals out of control. The following is an inside look into the last month at MuShield manufacturing facility here in this time of pandemic.
An interview with:
Luke Grilli, Vice President
How have things changed in and around the facility?
(Knocks on wood) Not yet, and we are very fortunate. We service two extremely important sectors (Defense and Medical) so we have continued making parts for our customers in those sectors and have been receiving new orders as well.
What precautions have you taken to set up safe operative practices for your employees?
Social distancing continues to be the best tactic to keep our employees safe. Areas in the shop that were once filled with 8-10 employees are now being used by 4-5 employees, while we have become creative with our floor space layout.
How has quality and shipping/receiving changed (if at all) to practice safe handling?
Shipping/Receiving wears gloves as an additional safety measure, but our day-to-day has not changed dramatically otherwise.
What have been the biggest challenges thus far?
Simply put – the unknown. From a day-to-day and long term business planning approach, we seem to be facing new challenges and tough decisions almost daily. How long will this last? When will we be able to go back to normal and operate at 100% efficiency again? How does this impact new equipment or our plans for trade shows in 2020?
Other than that, we try to continue on as “business as usual” to ensure that our customers receive the highest quality of parts they have come to expect from us… even if we are in the middle of an epidemic.
With regard to the manufacturing industry as a whole, what’s your take on the current state of things?
From those in my network of manufacturing companies, I have heard that business has slowed down a bit. Our customers (and theirs) are working a less than 100% capacity (likewise), so we understand that efficiencies are down and things take a bit longer to complete. The important thing is they are still open and placing orders. As long as that stays true, we will keep making their parts.
What’s the importance of “banding together” to keep manufacturing strong here in New Hampshire, and globally?
We are facing unprecedented times right now and stress levels are at an all-time high. It is important for everybody within the manufacturing industry (even if you are the customer or the vendor) to recognize this and work together for the common goal. Communication continues to be key, so if there are delays in the supply chain pipeline due to COVID-19, it is imperative that this is communicated.
Have you done anything in the last month(+) that you never thought you’d need to consider prior to this pandemic?
Well I have rarely left the house other than to go to the grocery store and have spent more time on Zoom calls than I care to admit…
As always, if you need anything from anyone at MuShield, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to hear you out. And we’d love to know you’re all safe, healthy, and plugging away!