As the events and impacts of the coronavirus continue to effect business operations in our regional area and the state, FCMA remains vigilant to track employee and business concerns. Follow our updates here.
Update - 3/25
National Institute of Standards and Technology is looking to identify any manufacturers that are in process of making masks, ventilators, or other critical items or are looking to change their manufacturing capabilities to produce those critical items. Please let us know if your company is actively manufacturing, changing your manufacturing processes or are planning to change your plants to accommodate the surge in demand for these critical items.
What we will need is:
Please email Amanda@fcmaweb.com if you are/can assist. In addition, this google docs repository was referred to us, created by the maker community. It's an open source compendium of manufacturing blueprints and specs for many of the critical items on state and hospital critical needs lists like PPE, hand sanitizer, medical supplies, devices, etc. View the whole thread at https://mic.nist.gov/Lists/Community Discussion/Critical Supply Lists - Manufacturing Specs
Update - 3/18
Dear FCMA Member,
As the events and impacts of the coronavirus continue to effect business operations in our regional area and the state, FCMA remains vigilant to track employee and business concerns. Last week we made the decision not to hold any committee meetings nor to hold training classes this week. Many of our companies have implemented plans which restrict out of office or out of shop interaction during business hours. This week we have seen a continuation and expansion of directives from many of our members again focusing on restricting interaction with persons outside of their companies.
The governor and other local officials have issued restrictions on the size of gatherings and number of persons gathering in restaurants and other public locations. Several questions remain concerning the virus, including levels of potential contamination or infection by contact. The actions taken by private and public entities are no doubt an attempt to limit the spread of the virus. FCMA will follow the directions and advice of the CDC and various levels of government to reduce the spread of the virus. We will be postponing our committees and events through April 3 and reevaluate activities going forward into summer and fall. This includes the cancellation of our Social Connection/General Meeting, which was scheduled for March 31. One of our key programs that will also be postponed is our Golf Outing, which was scheduled for April 3. We hope and anticipate rescheduling the event soon and will advise our members accordingly. We regret having to make this decision; however, we believe it is in the interest of our members and staff as a precautionary measure.
The FCMA office will continue to be open during this time. We will be available to receive packages, information and interact with individuals as required for various activities we continue to conduct. Our Leadership Academy and Professional Progress classes will be rescheduled, and the revised schedule provided to the class students.
During the next several weeks, FCMA will be collecting information to make available to our members concerning actions taken by all levels of government. Currently, we are watching various large federal regulations to help companies through these challenging weeks. Some of you may have seen information concerning SBA Loans which are being made available from the federal government. Additional programs are being made available for the state government. We anticipate having an interactive web conference to share information and to gather information from other companies. As policies are developed, we look forward to your input and guidance in how we can best create policies to help our companies during this time.
I will be forwarding information on a weekly basis as we collect information that may be of interest to you. In addition to forwarding emails we will be posting information on our website to it available to our members. Please know that we remain committed to serve you. If there is a special need or information that you would like to share, please do not hesitate to contact us. I will be making calls with our companies and look forward to those opportunities to speak with you.
Thank you again for your support.
With kind regards.
Lake Ray, III
First Coast Manufacturers Association
SBA South Florida Adds Virtual Office Hours to Help Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus
The U.S. Small Business Administration South Florida District Office will host virtual office hours to answer questions about the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. In addition to the virtual office hours, the District Office will also be hosting webinars twice daily to help small businesses navigate the disaster loan application. Details about the webinars coming soon!
In the meantime, feel free to contact the staff during the hours listed below.
Virtual Office Hours:
Monday, March 23 - Friday, April 04
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
How to Participate:
Join Skype Meeting
Join by phone: (202) 765-1264; Conference ID - 16281728
Resources to Help You Recover Financially
Resources During COVID-19
Florida Dept of Emergency Management (DEM) and Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO)
If your supply chain is already impacted:
Contact your local FloridaMakes Business Advisor through the FloridaMakes Network so they can advise of available resources or support.
Review potential short-term and long-term impacts to make business decisions. Develop a plan for immediately handling impacts. Existing sales orders, forecasted demand, criticalcustomers, work in process, inventory of raw materials, critical suppliers and their locations, and incoming materials on order can all affect a manufacturer’s ability to make sales and impact production schedule and staffing.
Communicate with current and alternate suppliers. They may be getting similar requests from other companies and have capacity limits and/or higher prices. Manufacturing suppliers may be impacted and distributors could see spikes in demand based on actual or perceived concerns.
Develop standard communications statements for your customers – both a response statement if a customer will likely be affected (your orders may be delayed) and a proactive, standby statement to reassure customers and quell concerns.
Contact FloridaMakes to find alternate suppliers within Florida or nationally through our NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership National Network™.
If you suspect there may be disruptions to your supply chain:
Contact your suppliers, carriers, forwarders and brokers immediately to confirm.
If possible, build forecasted and reasonable inventories of raw materials for which you have limited inventory and secure production and transport capacity from your supply chain partners.
Review your alternate suppliers lists or start sourcing alternative suppliers, as needed.
Consider consulting with a third-party logistics company, distributor, or group purchasing firm to determine alternate means for acquiring materials. Have your specific, forecasted needs on hand.
Identify a resource at your company to monitor the crisis and potential impacts to your business.
Develop a communications plan and standby statements for customers.
Preparing for the next disruption:
Complete a manufacturing Business Continuity Assessment (a risk assessment that includes your supply chain). Or, update your business continuity plan and implement changes to mitigate risks.
Conduct a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) analysis to revisit overseas sourcing. Consider other countries of origin, as well as domestic suppliers who may be able to supply with shorter lead-times at lower transportation costs.
Consider dual sourcing (locally and overseas) for critical components.
Develop, refine, and train employees on your disaster response plan, and a broader business continuity plan. This would include a number of scenarios and risk mitigation measures.
Have a process to monitor global events to identify potential spikes in demand or supply chain disruptions early.
Preventing and preparing for employee illness:
Promote a healthy workplace for employees to retain your team. Now is a great time to promote good health and wellness practices, especially proper handwashing. CDC guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html
Identify critical roles – from customer service to shipping – and consider immediate cross-training, system access, and have an employee back-up plan in place.
Review your employee skills matrix, standard operating procedures (SOPs), and work instructions to see who can jump into other roles quickly, if needed. Contact FloridaMakes for help creating these.
Encourage employees to review their health insurance coverages, and to take care of themselves and their families.
Communication is key. Talk with your employees, customers, suppliers, distributors, carriers, and brokers about potential supply chain disruptions, and how you can work together to mitigate issues.
Collaborate with your regional manufacturers’ association (RMA) to keep updated on the current situation. Your RMA can connect you with local manufacturers that may be able to help with materials or contract manufacturing if your business is disrupted.
Remember that the impacts vary across the global supply chain, so local suppliers can also be affected based on their sources of supply.
Travel and workforce issues overseas can impact your local supply chain.
Remember that you face competing demands for global product and transport resources.
Member Information You Should Know
Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP
As the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, employers are facing an avalanche of uncertainty over what they must do, can do and should do. FCMA partner Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP has compiled a list of common questions employers are asking, along with insights on each topic. Read more here.
FCMA Members Hard At Work with COVID-19 Shortages
Sales of bath tissue and paper towels have spiked due to coronavirus. FCMA member Georgia Pacific’s mill in Palatka produces, among other brands, Angel Soft and Quilted Northern toilet paper.
“Inventory levels across our system remain healthy and we are working hard to maximize the number of deliveries we can load and ship out of our facilities – you can just load and unload so fast. Last week our mills and regional distribution centers managed to ship out 120% of normal capacity. We also are working with customers to have direct shipments when possible to reduce distribution time. We currently don’t have any issues with carrier capacity (trucks and trailers) to ship.” Read more here.
Remedy / EmployBridge Client COVID-19 Legal Update Webinar
Thursday, March 26
As one of the largest staffing firms in North America EmployBridge is proud to offer a resource to help navigate through the legal challenges arising during these uncertain times. Please join us Thursday, March 26, 2020 to get the most up-to-date, comprehensive legal recommendations. Topics will include:
A Challenge from Kaman Aerospace to You
"I am the VP/GM of one of the Aerospace Manufacturers here in Jacksonville. I wanted to get a challenge out to the other manufacturing and operations facilities here in town. On Monday when we got in, I asked my Safety Professional and Operations Director if we used N-95 masks in any of our processes. I actually didn’t know, but the answer was yes. I then asked for an inventory of the what we had. After doing the inventory I found that we had inventory that we could spare based on our usage. We are in the process of donating almost 40% of our stock to local hospitals (300 delivered yesterday). If I hadn’t asked, we probably wouldn’t have taken the action. My guess is there are other businesses in the area that have the ability to do the same thing but haven’t thought of it. Our first responders and hospital personal are depending on this PPE and if we can spare it we should."
How about it, members? How can you help? Let Amanda know what you're doing so we can report about it!