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 we serve you in the best way possible.
We have been running our operations at 100% in the past 2 weeks, even in India and the Philippines where the alert-level is highest since the outbreak. We were able to do so by taking additional measures in our operations and supply chain, which all come at a cost. Our lead times have reduced overall but remain high for certain products of which demand has increased strongly.
As everyone is focusing heavily on controlling the spread of the virus and maximising our production output, we are maintaining our focus on safety as well. This is especially true at our plants where we have implemented social distancing strictly, employees performing new tasks and have modified work shifts, and restricted presence of certain employees and contractors at the factories.
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 to 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. In order to meet the market-needs, we would like you to cooperate in keeping stocks as low as practically possible. We cannot allow stock build-up in times of shortage.
All our Asian factories are running at maximum capacity and the close collaboration with our charcoal suppliers has enabled us to rebuild raw material stocks. We are still maintaining very strict hygiene and social distancing rules in our factories, transport of people and goods require utmost attention, and safety remains our prime focus.
- INDIA: The virus is spreading very fast in Tamil Nadu and cases have appeared in the vicinity of our factories. We have been intensifying health checks and taking a lot of care to identify the employees living in affected communities, and asking those at risk to self-quarantine momentarily. We have also expanded our own dormitory accommodation and transport capacities to ensure social distancing. Our Emergency Response Plan has been enhanced to cater for different levels of risk, such as going back to different levels of skeleton operation if we have to.
This month, we have started up a new kiln at NOVA and completed significant infrastructure – and environmental projects in our operations enabling us to add capacities. This is a great achievement by the Indian team while operating the plant under challenging conditions. It will produce additional volume to serve our customer base. Our charcoal stocks are healthy again and although transport is restricted between districts, we are running 100% thanks to the commitment and calm of our people and close collaboration with our charcoal suppliers.
- The PHILIPPINES: The virus is still spreading in the Philippines and we have seen more cases in Misamis Oriental recently. The “General Community Quarantine” level has been reinstated in Mindanao: this limits transport but we are running production without restrictions and with healthy charcoal stock levels. Nevertheless, we continue to enforce strict hygiene and social distancing rules, a thorough health monitoring of our employees, and have a Business Continuity Plan in place to cater for different levels of risk. We are expecting typhoons and heavy rainfall in July which will make things even more challenging from an operational point of view.
- VIETNAM: has eliminated the virus and the country remains closed for foreign travel.
- SRI LANKA: has ended all curfews and seen no new community-cases in a month.
- CHINA: was faced with recent outbreaks in Beijing but these have been controlled and our supply chain and carbon- and resins operations in Tianjin (2 hour drive from Beijing) are running without disruptions.
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 continue to fully operate in Basiano.
- France: is fully operating as well with full staffing, including the AMCA team.
- Germany: we continue to fully operate in Premnitz.
- Our operations in 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