How We Are Addressing the Risk of the Coronavirus
I wanted to provide you with a brief update on our global actions associated with the Coronavirus, specifically focused on:
- The safety & health of our employees
- How and why we are viewed as an ‘essential’ business in most parts of the world
- What the demand and supply dynamic has been to our business
- And what we might be facing as a result of virus, and our potential contingency plans to address a possible recessionary period
If we look at the timeline of the Coronavirus spread, we were at the front end of addressing its risks from both an employee and business health perspective. Back on March 5th, we set up geographic cross-functional teams to address the potential threat from the Coronavirus. It was clear to me that a regional approach was needed as I expected each national and local government would be initiating its own specific requirements. This has absolutely come to fruition. We have 15 Chromaflo locations around the globe, all different in size, number of people, spacing, and capability. The Coronavirus teams were given very specific instructions to address the key aspects noted below:
- Employees’ health and welfare, protection measures and the ability to perform their roles
- Supply-chain monitoring, rapid response, and long-term ability to supply customers
- Implementation of government recommended initiatives
- Development of a contingency plan to deal with ongoing government, employee, or demand/supply shocks
At the outset, we adopted workplace measures as recommended by the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control, as well as by specific country, state and local health officials. These measures and precautions centered upon the best practices which would protect our workplaces and mitigate the risk of the Coronavirus transmission. We followed this with planning on how we could effectively implement social distancing at each of our sites to help protect our employees. We initiated a “work from home program” whereby a broad base of our regional administrative roles could work remotely. Today, that is over 160 employees. Additionally, for those roles that remain at offices and in the plants, we have implemented changes to our normal operating schedules by eliminating shift overlaps, and in some cases implemented shifts where there were none before. And in the locations where offices remain open, we have limitations on guests and meetings. We have been conducting daily meetings with each regional leadership team on the status of employee health, what additional actions we could implement to assure their health and safeguard business continuity. We have had zero incidents of the Coronavirus with any of our employees or families.
In looking at whether we are an “essential” business, Chromaflo Technologies serves a host of industries including Paint & Coatings and Composites. Our downstream users include the healthcare industry including items like latex gloves and protective clothing, industrial facilities (including pharma, oil & gas), infrastructure like highways, bridges and airports, transportation industry from trucks, to autos, to rail, jets, ocean-going vessels and their cargo containers. We are also in many consumer goods like appliances. We have received numerous customer letters asking us to remain open and supplying our products as a critical vendor in the supply chain. While all of our North American and EMEA facilities remain fully operational, we have experienced some plant shutdowns in our APAC region, specifically China, India, Malaysia, and most recently, South Africa. China and Malaysia are now back up and running. We expect India and South Africa to resume production soon. However, conditions change daily, sometimes hourly. However, In the past, you may have heard me talk about diversity being one of our strengths. This diversity is reflected in our geographic balance, as well as our market segment split and broad market application reach. We touch over 6000 customers globally, and the applications range from items in:
- Transportationsuch as engine parts and panels, flooring for mass transit, filters, cargo containers
- Communications: telecommunication vault covers, satellite dishes
- Food & Beverage:trays, food packaging
- Agriculture: body and roof panels, hatch covers for farm equipment
- Defense: boxes for military parts, underbody ballistic panels, military boots
- Healthcare:housings for hospital equipment, protective gloves
- Construction:hospital floors and walls, grocery store flooring, laboratory tops
- Energy: Cooling towers, insulators, circuit breakers, electrical housings
- Infrastructure: bridge decks, utility markers, utility poles, wall systems, window profiles, laminated sheets
On the raw material supply side, to date, we have not had any disruptions. In instances where we were concerned about production stoppage or transportation delays, we did procure additional supplies early in the year when the Coronavirus initially captured headlines. Our current levels of inventory are higher than normal as a buffer against any future logistical issues.
We are prepared as well as anyone can organize for such an occurrence. Please know that we have proven our flexibility to date, and we will need to continue with this flexibility going forward. However, I am fairly certain that we will continue to evolve as this physical and economic pandemic evolves.