Takeaways from Panel on Impact of Coronavirus on Manufacturing

The entire world is on edge with the Coronavirus pandemic. It’s a fluid situation full of uncertainty, including what the impact is and will be on the manufacturing industry. Here are a few insights from a recent webinar on the topic.


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MachineMetrics hosted a recent virtual panel discussion with Steve Kline, Chief Data Officer at Gardner Intelligence, Bill Berrien, CEO at Pindel Precision, Vicente Martinez, Project Leader at ABB Mexico, and MachineMetrics CEO Bill Bither on the short- and long-term impacts of the coronavirus.

The MachineMetrics data science team has been paying particular attention to data that will help the industry understand how recent events are impacting manufacturing.

Here are some key conversation quotes:

  • “Currently, there has been little adjustment of production and capacity. Changes are in staffing, budgets, and contingency plans.”
  • “This crisis will accelerate the reorganization of the supply chain as people have been made aware of the risks.”
  • “Investments in automation, Industry 4.0, virtual manufacturing, machine monitoring, additive manufacturing are paying off during this time.”
  • “This crisis will fuel future investments in collaboration and data tools.”
  • “Shops need to take the analytics journey … applying data strategies, machine monitoring, lights-out machining in the right sequence … in the right way.”
  • “We need to upskill the workforce; double down on skills .”
  • “This crisis is a great time to analyze what they are doing when it comes to data collection and analysis. It is a good time to reflect without urgency when shops are in full production again. Take time to do a little industrial meditation.”
  • “To increase your chance of properly managing and surviving a disruption of this magnitude requires risk assessment—looking for points of failure coupled with a continuous improvement program.”
  • “If we were not making investments in automation, data, etc. our workforce would not have the increased ability or impact to work through this crisis.”
  • “We need to pivot with a bias towards action. For example, emergency POs take priority. With every PO, a message is sent to the sourcing managers that jobs with deliveries two weeks out need to be reprioritized, and they are encouraged to reach out to industry groups to outsource that work … get help.”
  • “A long-term impact is opportunity.”
  • “Short-term impact is the need to have and manage cash flow … especially for those outside of the medical industry.
  • “A longer-term impact is a huge opportunity for manufacturing. Shops now realize their true underused machine capacity and the need to get people more productive with the equipment they have.”
  • “Revenue per employee is a predictor of profit margin.  How much can a shop get through each employee? How do I organize my business to get the most out of my employees? For example, implementing a continuous improvement plan.”
  • “A short- term impact is the suppression of economy and domesticating the supply chain.”
  • “A long-term impact is that we realize we can do a lot more with a lot less; we can do more with our people; we are stronger than we thought and are capable of so much more.”

Click here for the recorded webinar.