National

How firms ensure output during Covid wave

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani | | Updated on: Jan 10, 2022
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Companies employ a variety of measures to keep factory output going during the Covid-19 spike

Reducing number of shop floor workers in each shift, staggering entry and exit of staff at production facilities, creation of bubbles by dividing staff into small groups and reactivating crisis management teams - these are some of the measures companies have implemented to ensure manufacturing operations keep humming during the ongoing third wave of the pandemic.

Companies said they are leveraging the learnings of the last two waves and have reinforced key safety protocols at offices and production facilities.

Crisis management

Simon George, President, Cargill India, said, “Plants are critical part of the supply chain and significant focus of the leadership goes into monitoring the situation at plants. We have implemented various safety protocols at our plants including creation of bubbles. We are also consulting with medical experts if any additional measures may be required in the wake of the Omicron spread and rejuvenated our 200-strong crisis team to assist employees and their families.”

For durable goods companies, the third wave comes ahead of the key season for ACs and they are taking measures to ensure production capacities do not get impacted.

“Last month, we reinforced all the safety measures at our plants that we have been implementing since the second wave. We also started our seasonal production of ACs a month in advance in December. So that production does not get impacted even as we have lesser number of people on the assembly lines to ensure social distancing between workstations,” said Krishan Sachdev, Chairman, Carrier Midea India.

Kanwaljeet Jawa, CEO & Managing Director of Daikin India said, “We have about 50 per cent of the employees working at the plants and running three shifts instead of two.”

Monitoring

Sunil Ranjhan, Senior VP & Director HR & MS, LG India said, based on the emerging situations, decisions are being taken on attendance and other aspects on a realtime basis. “We are going ahead with our manufacturing activities in adherence with Central and State government Covid protocols and internal guidelines. At factories, we have announced specific quarantine and testing guidelines for people travelling from other States or may have attended gatherings. Additionally, our “Covid Control Tower” in factories and corporate office have been activated to monitor the health and well being of our employees,” he added.

Hyundai Motor India said, emphasis on hygiene practices and vaccinations is key. “At the factory, our teams continue to maintain the highest safety and hygiene practices across all work stations, shop floors, canteens and office/common areas; which is being closely monitored, reviewed and enhanced on a daily basis. We have also increased our fleet count of buses to ensure employee travel to work and get back home safely. We are continuing with our vaccination drives at the premises,” said a spokesperson for Hyundai India.

Ensuring stocks

FMCG companies such as Parle Products and Dabur India said they have increased inventories of raw materials and packaging materials at the plants to maintain supply chains in case of any disruptions.

Amit Prakash, CHRO, Marico said, “In order to ensure the business continuity and production of essential goods for our consumers while also taking cognisance of the wellbeing of our members in the manufacturing units, We have implemented shift rostering that further limits the members’ exposure internally”.

“At the factories, we work in small independent groups to prevent transmission of Covid-19,” said a spokesperson for Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages.

With inputs from S Ronendra Singh

Published on January 10, 2022

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