How manufacturers can prepare for emergencies and unpredictability

April 3, 2020 Casey Nighbor

Because of recent events, the state of manufacturing is shifting frequently and unpredictably. There are many things out of your control but there are some tasks that can help you be proactive and prepared in the face of uncertainty.

Prioritize safety

The safety and health of your associates should always be your number one priority, but it is even more important right now. There are many steps you can take to ensure a clean and safe working environment for your associates.

  • Add additional cleaning staff and consider designating team members to consistently wipe down and sanitize all common places and common items that are touched frequently during their shift
  • Consider breaking shift team members into multiple shift teams with staggered schedules
  • Conduct daily meetings with your staffing providers and have frequent check-ins throughout the day to monitor any issues

Read more best practices about keeping your employees safe here.

Identify supply chain risks

As markets shift and the supply chain changes, it’s important to stay on top of your key suppliers. You should be contacting those suppliers and learning of any potential risks as well as communicating that they should reach out immediately if any new disruptions occur.

You should also begin identifying alternate suppliers or possible substitutions if a disruption were to occur.

Ramp up communication

Communication is critical during times of emergency or uncertainty. You should be frequently communicating with both your customers and your associates.

Reach out to customers with consistent messages to ensure them that you are still operating and solicit any feedback on how you can help make it easier for them to purchase. You want to be proactive about addressing concerns and use all available communication channels at your disposal. Not only does this help avoid any miscommunication problems, it also strengthens the relationships between you and your customers.

Talking with your associates is also key during this time. You want to ensure that any new policies and procedures are understood by your staff. Creating an environment of open communication within your operation also creates a sense of trust and assurance.

It’s also a good idea to encourage cross training among your associates of critical activities and create a plan of who they should reach out to within your organizations with any questions or concerns.

Create a plan for the future

If your operation is facing unusual demand, it’s tempting to focus only on the present problems. However, shifting some of your focus to planning ahead and forecasting ramp downs or any large shifts in your workforce will pay off in the long run.

If your production is slower than normal, use this time to develop plans for greater efficiency in your line once demand regenerates. This is also a good time to do any maintenance or equipment repairs and to train associates on any new information or cross training procedures.

Partner with a staffing provider

When the market becomes uncertain, it’s good to have a staffing partner who can scale with your operation. Whether you are facing unexpected peaks or valleys, Staff Management | SMX’s onsite model offers flexibility when you need it most.

Partnering with a trusted staffing partner means you are not alone when dealing with emergencies or large market swings. Staff Management offers flexible and scalable options so that you always have the correct number of people to do the job

Learn more about how we can help your business.

About the Author

About Casey: Content marketing manager, frequently reading, aspiring chef, failed plant mom, connoisseur of tater tots, beauty products and airplane food.

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