Berntson Porter Coronavirus Resource Center Details

Newsletters

LIKE WHAT YOU READ? Share this article :

COVID-19 Update for Distribution and Manufacturing

|

This BP Blast is the second in a series of industry-related COVID-19 updates. In the coming weeks, additional articles will be published that highlight more of our core industries. To access Berntson Porter’s Construction industry update, click here.

As your trusted advisor, Berntson Porter is continuing to monitor developments and we are committed to helping you manage your business during this time of uncertainty. We’ve assembled a team to review, analyze and provide you the most relevant, up-to-date information regarding legislative changes. For our complete coverage, visit our COVID-19 online resource library. We will adding updates as the local and national response to the pandemic continues to unfold.

Note that this article focuses on general business practices. Specifics of current federal and state sick leave, SBA loans and other employment related programs can be found on the BP website.

Governor’s Directive – Critical Manufacturing:

In Washington State, Governor Jay Inslee issued a “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” mandate, ordering all non-essential businesses to close until at least April 6 unless all employees can work remotely. President Trump further extended social distancing guidelines to April 30. Critical manufacturing has been deemed essential, however. The essential workforce includes employees necessary for the manufacturing of materials and products needed for medical supply chains, transportation, energy, communications, food and agriculture, chemical manufacturing, nuclear facilities, the operation of dams, water and wastewater treatment, emergency services, and the defense industrial base.

For a summary of what is essential, visit this link.

Communication and Risk Assessment:

For companies that remain open, it will not be business as usual. There could be very real concerns about the ability of customers to take delivery of orders, supply chain disruptions, and employee health and welfare issues. Here are some direct actions that can be taken to respond to these concerns:

  • Clear and direct communication. Determine who the stakeholders are – they could include employees, customers, vendors, lenders, insurance brokers, neighbors, regulators, even the media. Communicate a calm and focused message and consider addressing such items as:
    • Current and potential future impact on the organization.
    • Outline the steps the organization is currently taking.
    • Promote safety steps – social distancing, disinfecting, staggered shifts, etc.
    • For employees – summarize and clarify company policies and positions on common items, such as illness, sick pay, and work from home policies.
  • Business continuity plan. For each location of your business, consider the potential for major disruption.
    • Identify mission critical processes – financial, operational, customer service, compliance or contractual, and brand maintenance.
    • Identify any single point of failure that could derail each process – operations, IT, missed vendor delivery, human resources, etc.
    • Identify and prioritize critical vendors, customers and processes.
  • Financial impacts. Consider and plan as best as possible for direct and indirect financial costs that may arise as a result of the pandemic. These may include:
    • Vacating and sanitizing properties on either a preventative basis or as a response to an outbreak.
    • Income loss related to an outbreak – either on-site or at a supplier’s site, causing a business disruption.
    • PR mitigation costs. If your company is able to stay open, think outside the box and determine if there is a way to reposition the business to help in the crisis, or to expand the business in a different way. Consider this as a defining moment – how you and your company respond to customers and employees matters.

Adjusting Focus:

If your company is able to stay open, think outside the box and determine if there is a way to reposition the business to help in the crisis, or to expand the business in a different way. Consider this as a defining moment – how you and your company respond to customers and employees matters.

    • Is it possible to identify and serve new customers?
    • Is your company able to assist in the development / manufacturing of protective medical equipment?
    • Is it possible to provide a new product or service to the market? Although we don’t know when, history has shown that all pandemics eventually come to an end. While times are uncertain: pause, take care of yourself, your family and check on others around you.

Take Care of Yourself:

Although we don’t know when, history has shown that all pandemics eventually come to an end. While times are uncertain: pause, take care of yourself, your family and check on others around you.

    • Sleep. Research supports the healing power of sleep. Prioritizing sleep will help to build your immune system.
    • Eat well. Fruits and vegetables, healthy fats. Use this extra time at home to try out some new recipes that you never have time for! Reserve your grocery pickup time now (because it may be days away), and edit online up until the day before pickup.
    • Exercise. Taking even as little as 30 minutes a day to get outside and taking a walk (even in the rain!) can do wonders for mental and physical health.
    • Connect with others. Call a loved one using Facetime. Have a family dinner over Zoom. Write a letter and send it through the regular mail.

Berntson Porter is here for you:

The BP team remains committed to our team and our clients. While we are working remotely, team members continue to be available via email, phone or online meetings. Follow Berntson Porter’s COVID-19 updates and connect with your Berntson Porter representative – we are here to help!