Page 20

July, 2020

Part 2: Contract Manufacturing in the Time of COVID-19

By Michael Skinner, Editor A

s we carry on through what ex- perts predict to be the dead- liest phase of the current pan-

demic, contract manufacturers are still scrambling to meet rising de- mand for essential services. In part 2 of our coronavirus coverage and the impact of the virus on EMS provi - ders, several manufacturers shed light on their experiences over the last few months.

Michael Harlow, Vice President, Kodiak Assembly Solutions.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has

thrown us a huge curveball, as it has all businesses in the U.S.,” says Michael Harlow, vice president, Ko- diak Assembly Solutions. “Soon after the ‘shelter in place’ order was an- nounced in Texas, we received letters from several customers (and their at- torneys, in one case) stating that they were Essential Businesses.” Therefore, as part of their supply

chain, that status passed down- stream to Kodiak. The company was reminded that it had a responsibility to continue operations and support their PCB assembly needs. These customers make products for first re- sponders, hospitals, and the oil and gas industry. “As we processed the dramatic

changes that suddenly came about, our focus became how we would be

able to continue operations, while keeping our employees healthy and safe,” says Harlow. “We put togeth- er a plan following the CDC guide- lines with some extra precautions included.” The company started to have

meetings with its employees every few days to inform them of the changes. Kodiak spaced employee workstations appropriately, issued extra masks and

In addition, the company limited

access to its building from visitors and vendors. Anyone coming into the facility must wear a mask, have their temperature checked and use hand sanitizer. “Regarding the supply chain and

materials, we have experienced very few price increases on materials so far,” says Harlow. “The exception to that are masks, gloves and some cleaning supplies, due to the limited supply and high demand of those items.” The company has seen some delays on items coming from China, due to the pandemic, which came on the heels of the Chinese New Year. “Since this situation is unprece-

dented in our lifetime, we feel very for- tunate that we are able to keep our staff employed during this time. We feel comfortable that we are doing the very best we can to keep them safe while at work,” says Harlow. “From a global perspective, we feel confident that the world will come out the other side of this with a new perspective on society in general. As the saying goes, ‘We’re all in this together.’”

gloves and started a twice-daily rou- tine of disinfecting surfaces and appli- ances in the break room and rest- rooms. The company also checked each employee’s temperature daily, with an infrared thermometer.

David Raby, President, STI USA Due to COVID-19, many compa-

nies are cutting back their forecasts and production orders, as well as the demand for analytical and materials analysis work. This is due in part to

companies’ needs to pause and re- assess the current situation. This of- fers the opportunity to see how long and how deep the COVID-19 finan- cial impact will be to each individual company.

“The good thing is there are a lot

of smart people in contract manufac- turing and they will take a hard look at supply chains, inventories and other issues, and we will all figure out how to be better prepared for the next time,” says David Raby, presi- dent, STI USA. STI’s focus has always been to supply the best quality product to its

Continued on next page

See at SEMICON West (Virtual)

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80