As of the date of this writing, a number of major North American OEMs have targeted the re-opening of their production facilities by mid-May. Drawing on best practices used in overseas facilities in COVID-impacted countries that have re-opened, adjustments to everything from the size of the production crew to employee spacing and PPE requirements to additional time needed for cleaning and sanitizing between shifts will be the new normal for the foreseeable future.
In an April 30th webinar, Ford executives announced that its assembly facilities won’t restart until Michigan’s stay-at-home order has expired given the extensive supply base located in the state. With manufacturing restrictions lifted in Michigan as of May 11, OEMs are planning to re-start by May 18th and are communicating protocols with their suppliers, with Ford indicating they have 1-2 days of working stock on hand from when plants were abruptly shut in March.
While the above has wide ranging implications for the supply chain, planning appropriately for the startup will benefit all suppliers regardless of size, location or key OEM customer.
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