COVID-19 is forcing many businesses to shut down or work remotely under state and federal mandates. Certain manufacturers, however, are deemed essential services, including several materials, hardware, and fastener companies. This is to ensure critical industries — and particularly, the medical sector — continues to receive the devices or components necessary to maintain equipment and effective working conditions.
“We are considered an essential business, providing for the medical, power, semiconductor, ventilator, and defense industries,” shares Barbara Gerard, CEO of Craftech, Inc., a manufacturer of high-technology plastic fasteners and hardware.
The company has taken measures to ensure all of its staff, which is about 60 employees remain safe. This means those that can work remotely from home are doing so. The others, who are necessary to run the equipment successfully at Craftech’s Hudson, NY plant must follow new rules.
“I give straight As to our IT guy who engineered all of our systems to work so well,” Gerard says the company is managing exceptionally well given the difficult circumstances. “We have also issued the six-foot rule, which is not that much space amongst the equipment in our facility. Nevertheless, we’re coping. Plus, we have another employee who is continually cleaning important surfaces.”
Of course, Craftech is not alone in implementing these critical new safety standards at this time.
Advance Components, a distributor of specialty fastening products, released a letter to its customers this week in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also deemed an essential business because it supplies products to the medical, power, communications, transportation, food and agriculture, water and wastewater systems, and other critical manufacturers.
The women-owned company says it has implemented similar new safety precautions throughout its facility: “Advance team members who can work remotely are currently doing so. The remaining team members in the warehouse are enforcing strict social distancing and maintaining a routine schedule for disinfecting all common work surfaces.”
What’s also helping Advance Components run smoothly is that last year, it moved all of its servers and data to the Cloud, and increased its internet bandwidth and VPN capabilities — allowing for much greater flexibility. VPN is a virtual private network to ensure a secure data network.
At the same time, the Texas-based company has increased its It is also increasing its inventory as much as possible to minimize any supply chain disruptions.
Hilti, a global provider of power tools, fasteners, and software for construction, says its manufacturing plants are still running but are closely following the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) precautions.
Plus, the company is willing to go a step further upon request, according to their latest release: “We are following CDC guidelines, but if you have safety protocols in place beyond those precautions, please let us know and we’ll work to accommodate those as quickly as possible to keep a high level of service our customers expect.”
If you’d like to share tips or the measures your company is taking to ensure health and safety during this time, please email fasteners @ wtwhmedia.com.