As promised, this is to update you on the current situation at Jacobi Carbons and the way we are managing the consequences of the Corona crisis, making sure our people are safe and that we serve you the best way we can.
The good news is that we have been able to sustain 100% operations. However, the situation is still fragile and our production & logistics costs remain exceptionally high due to the crisis. Unfortunately, since our lead times for certain products are relatively long, it will take time before we see the real impact in the market.
As the situation is stabilising, I will reduce the frequency of our communication to once every 2 weeks. If something unexpected happens, I will increase the frequency again. Let’s hope this is not needed.
As everyone is focusing heavily on controlling the spread of the Corona virus and maximizing our production output, we should maintain our focus on safety as well. This is especially true at our plants where we have implemented social distancing, been impacted by a reduction in the workforce, have employees performing new tasks, and have modified hours of operation.
Our office teams continue working from home. If a visit to the office is necessary, strict rules are being applied in terms of hygiene, social distancing and ensuring a limited number of people in the office at any one time.
We will not travel until September 1, 2020 unless it is critically important and pre-approved. This is to make sure that we do not take unnecessary risks for the health and safety of our people and you as our customer. Also, we do not want to contribute potentially to spreading the virus. Fortunately, communication technology enables us to stay very close with you as our customer.
This also means that we do not accept visitors to our plants. External visitors may introduce a risk which could lead to being forced to close down the site by local authorities. In order to do everything in our power to keep our sites in full operations, we cannot allow visitors until September 1, 2020.
Your Jacobi representative will stay in close touch with you to understand your changing needs and communicate about any prospective supply delays, making sure that we can continue meeting your needs. Pro-active communication is of absolute importance to make sure we can anticipate and serve you best.
Even though our output is back at 100%, our production and logistics costs remain high. All our Asian factories are now running at maximum capacity, and our close collaboration with our charcoal suppliers have enabled us to quickly restore the supply chain and rebuild stocks. This however should not distract us from the inherent risk caused by the virus in most countries: we are still maintaining very strict hygiene and social distancing rules in our factories, transport of people and goods requires utmost attention, and safety must remain our prime focus.
- INDIA has entered a first phase of reopening but is doing so at a time when the spread of the virus is accelerating, which is extremely concerning – nearly 1,000 deaths were recorded in the past 4 days in India. We have however been allowed to resume full operation with full manpower, but are imposing restrictions for employees who live in villages where Covid-19 cases are reported. Public transport restrictions remain, and we have had to take extra measures to safely transport many of our employees ourselves. We see some restrictions in supply of parts and access for contractors as travel from Chennai is very restricted (Covid-19 test compulsory).
- In SRI LANKA, the virus situation is under control and the economy is restarting, despite restrictions on gatherings and occasional curfews.
- In the PHILIPPINES, the Community Quarantine in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental stays “modified”, which means less restrictions and travel allowed between the low risk areas. The limited Covid-19 testing capacity remains a worry.
- VIETNAM has successfully suppressed the spread of the virus.
- CHINA is reopening its economy but not eradicated the Covid-19, it is critical that we all remain cautious to prevent new clusters from appearing.
In most European countries, the lockdown has been lifted and we are back to full operations while fully respecting social distancing and hygiene rules.
- Italy: we have sustained full operations in the Basiano plant.
- France: is back to full operations in Vierzon with full staffing, including the AMCA team.
- Our operations in Germany, Spain, the UK, and Sweden are facing no disruptions.
Our production facility and warehouse operations remain fully operational.
“Although we are confident having adapted well to the “new normal”, we expect the crisis to last. We should not rule out a new local outbreak, or other unforeseen events that could suddenly hit us or our supply chain. However, we are confident that our broad Manufacturing Footprint, our robust Supply Chain, our capability to adapt and the quality of our People will continue Security of Supply. Focus on health & safety, and close cooperation with you as our customers, remains more essential than ever.”
Take good care.
Remko Goudappel CEO
Jacobi Carbons AB