After deemed an essential business by the state of California, Phillips Industries reopened its California facility after a temporary shutdown with a significant overhaul in mind. In order to produce electrical and air-brake interface components necessary to keep trucks and trailers operating, the company spent two weeks implementing a comprehensive plan to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
Some of the changes include:
- Thorough sanitation of the facility, which takes place throughout the day to ensure a virus-free environment for all employees.
- A reconfigured production floor so employees can maintain a safe distance from one another.
- Adjustments to daily production lines throughout with less personnel density.
- Necessary safety equipment, such as gloves and face masks, are provided.
- The production staff is an assembling of volunteers; only those employees willing and able to work.
- The administrative staff will continue to work from home. All necessary communication technology has been made available to them to support Phillips' customer base.
"When the state of California issued a stay-at-home order on March 19, our first thought was the safety of our employees, which we considered our number one priority. We initiated an immediate temporary shutdown to protect our employees and abide by state requirements," stated Rob Myers, president of the aftermarket division. "The other important consideration we have is that our customers rely on getting the products they need from us, so they have the availability of parts necessary to keep trucks moving and delivering critical supplies. To meet both these goals, we undertook measures that both address the safety of our employees while also continuing to produce essential parts for our industry."
Production schedules at the Phillips facility will be adjusted regularly to manufacture parts that are in the highest demand.
"These are unprecedented times we are living,” said Rob Phillips, president and COO. “The challenge for us, which we like to call "opportunities for improvement," is how this will impact future production when this pandemic slows. We don't want to go back to business as usual. We're spending this time to innovate our manufacturing processes and make permanent safety improvements to our facilities. We want to be ready for all future challenges."