Tactics for Plant Management During COVID19

4/27/20

Are you a manufacturer looking for information on ways to keep your plant safe during COVID19?

Per Fox2Detroit, two of Detroit's big three automakers announced over the weekend they would begin recalling some factory workers back to their respective plants as Michigan businesses seek to start reopening amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Ford said it was planning to recall a skeleton crew of workers Monday as it took steps to restart its assembly lines.

APICS Greater Detroit is focused on serving the local supply chain community with needed information and education to help navigate these challenging times.

We've summarized below three guiding principles shared by McKinsey & Company on keeping workers safe through the Coronavirus crisis.

As the auto industry and other manufacturing organizations look to reopen or expand towards normal operations, they face significant operational challenges.

McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, recently shared helpful guidelines summarized below in their article, "Managing a Manufacturing Plant through the Coronavirus Crisis."

Three areas of focus can help plant leaders navigate the transition from initial crisis response to next level of operations:

  1. Protect the workforce: Formalize and standardize operating procedures, processes, enable workplace distancing and tools that help keep staff safe. Build workforce confidence through effective, two-way communication that responds to employees’ concerns through flexible adaptation.
  2. Manage risks to ensure business continuity: Plant leaders can plan their own response to risks that could directly affect operations in their facility—starting with what to do if an employee anywhere in the plant tests positive for a COVID-19 infection. Responses can include—but would not be limited to—consulting with health authorities, quarantining the affected person (together with any other staff who were working in close proximity), and isolating and sanitizing exposed products, tools, and workspaces.
  3. Drive productivity at a distance: Continue to effectively manage performance at the plant while physical distancing and remote working policies remain in place. For as long as virus transmission among employees remains a risk, companies will naturally want to minimize unnecessary contact between personnel. Anybody not absolutely required on-site, including managers and many support functions, can be encouraged to work remotely as much as possible to protect the health of their shop-floor colleagues. Leading indicator KPIs can be leveraged such as % downtime of upstream equipment or number of reject bin audits to identify potential shop floor issues.

"Minimizing the potential future impact of infections will require companies to alter team structures and working methods in order to limit contact across the workforce.

One way this can be done is by establishing “pods” for all on-site personnel, organized for self-contained teams with clearly defined tasks and workspaces that can be physically and socially separated from each other as much as possible."

Access McKinsey & Company's full article here for more information on ensuring your plant is ready to reopen or expand production.

As many manufacturers will likely continue to have many employees work from home, we shared tactics to help you manage your time and employees remotely in our blog last week with pros and cons of working from home.

APICS Greater Detroit is here to support you with education and networking opportunities. We currently support approximately 400 members representing over 150 Detroit area companies.

We have recently teamed up with CSCMP in the Detroit area to host a new Supply Chain Community Connect live discussion forum to discuss topics like the one above and more! Our next call is Today, April 28th at 12:00 PM EDT. We hope you can join us as we are all in this together.