Following the coronavirus outbreak, Chinese new year holidays have been extended throughout China. After more than two weeks of almost zero production, what is the current status?
In AGC, as our offices are located in Shanghai, following local rules, today Monday the 10th of February is the official return to work day. But it is far from returning to normal. We are facing two main issues: human resources issue and subcontractors issues.
China is taking utmost seriously the fight against the virus, which we believe is a good thing, though we cannot deny that it has an impact on our ability to serve our customers.
Employees coming back to Shanghai from other province have to carry out a self-managed quarantine at their home, from 7 to 14 days according to the place visited during the holidays. Many though can still not even travel back to Shanghai, as there are many local restrictions to travel in other provinces. AGC was able to arrange a core team in the office and keep most of our quarantine colleagues busy by teleworking from home.
Nevertheless, only 10% of our suppliers are back to work. Many are planned to open back on next week (from the 17th), but reopening of factories requires validation from the authorities. Validation will only be given after proper auditing have been made and passed. Factory audits, are related to monitoring of employees (check the legal quarantine have been made) and measures taken to work in a virus free environment:
- Temperature check before entry on the premises
- Anti-bacterial cleaning of the workspace
- Personal protections (mostly face-mask)
- Proper reporting of situation to authorities
As above actions need equipment’s that are very difficult to find currently in China, it is very hazardous to predict when 100% of the factories will go back to normal. In AGC we don’t expect it before second part of March, we therefore thank our customers for their understanding and we will keep close contact with them and factories to resume productions ASAP.