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Making Lemonade Out of Lemons: Finding Ways to Create Value During a Crisis

Part 1 of 3: Strengthening Operations

By: Katie Malnight Meisinger | Vice President of Operations

April 8, 2020


If your inbox is anything like mine, you’ve been inundated with emails about COVID-19 and how to protect your company and your employees. While these notifications are necessary (we’ve got our own FAQs posted in case you’re interested), at Engauge we’ve been thinking about how we can leverage our 25+ years of experience working in the local community to go beyond warnings and help people create value during this challenging time.

While you have little control over the external environment, you can control how you respond and there are a number of things you can do now to help set your company and your employees up for a stronger future. So, in this spirit, today I am kicking off a series of posts over the coming weeks where I will share some tactical ideas you can implement immediately to help your business and your employees as we work through the COVID-19 crisis.

To start, I want to talk about Operations. We know you’ve had to adjust – from managing temporary shutdowns to coping with supply chain disruptions. Despite these challenges, here are a few ideas for how you can actually strengthen your operations while being mindful of COVID-19 restrictions:

1) Take the time to do Preventative Maintenance

This is a perfect time to catch up on your preventative maintenance program. We have several clients that have a skeleton crew going through the plant doing PM’s to either catch up where they are behind or get ahead so when your production returns to normal you are well prepared to support it.

2) Retool shop floor practices to support demand volatility

One of the hardest things to deal with right now is the inconsistency in production orders. And the more layers above you (i.e., you are supplying a customer that is supplying another customer, etc.), the more your schedules are likely to fluctuate unpredictably. There are several ways to improve your ability to handle this new production volatility:

These are just a few ways we have seen companies find opportunities to create value during an undoubtedly challenging situation. I hope these ideas help you as well. Stay tuned – next week I’ll be sharing some ideas on ways to strengthen your human capital.

In the meantime, and on behalf of the entire Engauge team, I wish you, your families, and your employees the best of health.