Phillips Industries recently reopened its California facility after a temporary 72-hour shutdown to overhaul operations in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
By implementing a comprehensive plan for reconfiguring its manufacturing facility, the company says it is protecting the health of employees while maintaining a supply line of critical commercial vehicle components. Phillips produces electrical and air-brake interface components that are necessary to keep trucks and trailers operating.
While many vehicle OEMs have ceased building new vehicles during this unprecedented time, Phillips dealers throughout North America still must have the availability of Phillips products to meet the service and replacement needs of commercial fleet customers.
Changes Phillips Industries made to comply with CDC guidelines 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 facemasks, are provided.
- The production staff is an assembling of volunteers, with 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 so that they may support Phillips’ customer base.
“When the State of California issued a stay-at-home order on March 19, 2020, our first thought was the safety of our employees, which we considered our No 1 priority. We initiated an immediate temporary shutdown to protect our employees and abide by state requirements,” said 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.”
Rob Phillips, president and chief operating officer, added, “Within hours of the temporary shutdown, Phillips was deemed by the State of California to be an essential business that could stay open. We looked at this as an opportunity to enhance our best practices and adopt the new CDC guidelines into our operations.
“Our teams at all facilities—USA, Mexico, Canada, Poland and China—worked around the clock to make these workspaces safe for all employees. We are happy to be safely up and running again and supporting the industry we love. These are unprecedented times we are living. 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.”
Production schedules at the Phillips facility will be adjusted regularly to manufacture parts that are in the highest demand, the company added.