Coronavirus: How Manufacturers Can Prepare & Plan for COVID-19

This article was originally published on the IMEC Blog.

The Coronavirus continues to make its way across the globe. As many of us are trying to keep an eye on the impact, it is a good time to think through potential risks for you and your organization. We owe it to our customers, employees, and communities to ensure health and safety in our business practices.

Here are five steps you can do this week:

  1. Determine supply chain disruption risks
    • Contact your key suppliers to learn of potential risks, particularly from parts made in China.
    • Request that suppliers are promptly and proactively communicating any future risks.
    • Begin to identify a plan B if necessary for supplying, should your supply chain get disrupted
  2. Reeducate employees on preventing virus spread
    • Even with the widespread influenza in Illinois, it is a good time to provide wellness education through employee training and awareness campaigns.
    • Review and refresh employment leave policies as appropriate.
    • Remind employees of local service providers connected to your company or community.
    • Monitor travel advisories and take precautions accordingly.
    • Consider if your policies are encouraging sick employees to report to work or if there are social distancing options available for some activities.
    • Consider the risks of travel and potential use of technology to stay connected.
  3. Review and revise cleaning schedules for common areas
    • Confirm current state of facility cleaning schedules.
    • Consider increasing the availability of disinfection supplies.
    • Verify that your outside providers are prepared for potential increased demand.
    • Review job hazard assessments and timeliness of training activities.
  4. Work with local health professionals
    • Monitor the situation and seek guidance from local professionals as needed.
  5. Prompt communication
    • Proactive communication will reduce concerns and uncertainties in others.
    • Encourage good communication with employees.
    • Stand out as a supplier by proactively communicating to your customer what you are doing.
    • Seek current communication from your supply chain to understand potential obstacles.
    • Review current state of cross training employees on critical activities and communicate with your leadership team.

Additional Resources

If your organization would like to benchmark performance, information is available for employers to develop response plans based on best practices and regulatory requirements.

By Lori Amerman, Operations Coordinator at IMEC

Strategic Business Management

Crisis Management & Response

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