March 16, 2020
Dear Valued Customers and Suppliers,
We wanted to reach out today and assure you that we are monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation closely and are working to ensure we meet the needs of our customers as well as provide for the health and safety of our employees. We realize this health situation has already been disruptive to many businesses across the globe and wanted to share facts about what we’re doing to support both our customers and employees.
Volm’s ability to provide packaging, equipment and service during the COVID-19 outbreak will remain strong; This is in part due to Volm’s large domestic footprint, allowing us to deploy resources to our customers even amidst international travel restrictions. Our team will keep working and our trucks will keep in transit to deliver your products when you need them.
We anticipate very little disruption in our ability to supply products and service equipment. Volm has spent years building a decentralized business model across all key business units, which allows us a level of protection against calamitous situations in localized areas. We utilize domestic manufacturing for all the Volm main product groups utilizing multiple plants in different regions across North America, this ensures that if a virus outbreak occurs at any single location, we have manufacturing redundancy at other Volm manufacturing locations.
As it relates to sourcing raw materials from outside North America, Volm maintains a large inventory safety buffer in the USA, and where possible, utilizes multiple vendors ensuring we can supply from both domestic and import manufacturing locations.
Things, you, the customer can do to be prepared for demand spikes and/or service issues relating to COVID-19:
It is recommended that all customers review current inventory levels and carry additional safety stock of key packaging materials and supplies.
In case of packaging shortages, review all aged and/or obsolete packaging and consider (via re-labeling) the ability to use these if in a crisis situation.
We ask that during this time of very heavy demand for all fresh produce packaging that our customers be flexible; be willing to use old inventory when possible and to have conversations with retail contacts about using alternative bags when possible. We will work with every Volm customer to fulfil needs but understand that quantities on large orders will likely be limited and orders partially produced and shipped.
Lead-times may be longer than normal, and we appreciate your patience as we work through this unusual demand spike.
Due to rapidly changing events as it relates to air travel, OEM manufacturer inventory levels and shipping delays, Volm strongly recommends customers carry additional equipment-critical spare parts in case of service travel interruptions due to government/industry mandated travel restrictions. Our service team has experts who can help advise what parts and quantities should be considered.
Volm is monitoring key developments on a regular basis and remains vigilant in offering prudent and flexible solutions to maintain current project expectations and will remain in constant communication with all who are actively engaged in projects with Volm.
Please utilize our equipment phone support should you be impacted by access to Volm’s field support due to travel restrictions or demand spikes.
To ensure our customers’ businesses are supported we have taken numerous specific steps as part of our business continuity plan.
These steps include:
- Working closely with our partners and suppliers to make sure we have consistent delivery of raw materials and supplies to maintain the manufacture of our products.
- Assuring that all supplied polyethylene films are produced with materials that are manufactured in North America.
- Asking that suppliers monitor and supply information to us regarding any risk through our supply chain. We anticipate few, if any, disruptions at the present time.
To safeguard our employees, we are:
- Where possible, moving employees to work from home in a thoughtful, choreographed manner. This ensures your businesses continue to receive excellent stability and support.
- Implementing a comprehensive cleaning and sanitization protocol for all our manufacturing and administrative facilities. All locations are performing additional cleaning measures to maintain a safe environment. Employees are required to maintain the same hygienic standards as normal during cold and flu-season (covered below) and maintain clean common areas like bathrooms and break rooms.
Hygienic standards include:
- Hand washing for 20 seconds with soap and hot water
- Sneezing into a tissue and using it a single time before throwing away
- Keeping a clean and sanitized workstation, as well as common areas
- Staying home if showing symptoms of sickness
- Allowing only essential travel by our employees is allowed.
We are suspending all non-essential intercompany and international meetings, trainings, conferences and trade shows and travel through the end of March. Additionally, any employees returning from countries that have a level 3 Travel Health Notice from the CDC are required to stay home for a period of 14 days upon return to the United States.
Should an employee be diagnosed with COVID-19 or has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the COVID-19 requiring proper quarantine procedures be followed.
Please keep in mind that Volm, like our customers, is also impacted by employees who are dealing with school closures, municipalities that are encouraging them to stay home and more. Only by working closely together with our customers in a spirit of flexibility will we come through this together.
As a company proud to supply the markets we serve, we are committed to helping our customers maintain their business during difficult and complex times like these.
Your team at Volm Companies, Inc.