As pandemic restrictions begin to transition toward a less restrictive environment, business managers across the country are planning and implementing their reopening strategies.
Lessons have been learned through this crisis that will influence both near- and long-term plans and operating procedures. Looking at the state of the electronics components supply chain and the need to carefully manage the process of reopening, ECIA has conducted survey of electronic component manufacturers and distributors to gauge how companies are modifying their business operations and their progress in adopting best practices recommendations published by the ECIA Industry Practices teams.
This report presents the results of a survey of ECIA members conducted between June 16, 2020 and June 22, 2020. Major subjects addressed in the survey are:
- Facility reopening schedules
- Remote work plans by function for the near- and long-term
- Travel resumption and precautions
- Best practices adoptions for infection prevention for –
- Sales activities
- General facilities management
- Factory/warehouse management
- Employee morale actions
- Trade show participation and modifications
Top level summaries of some of the key survey results are presented. Measured optimism in the reopening process is seen in the transition between the end of Q2 2020 and the end of Q4 2020. Fifty six percent of companies in the survey expect that 50 percent or less of their employees will have returned to the pre-pandemic work locations by the end of Q2 2020. Six months later, at the end of Q4 2020, 95 percent of respondents expect that 75 percent or more of their employees will have returned to their company facilities. However, in the long-term, a notable share of companies expects between 75 percent and 90 percent of their employees will not return to their previous work locations.
While the limitations on remote working are obvious for employees engaged in the operations functions, even in the near-term risk environment, a significant amount of time by other company functions will be spent in remote work environments. While this will shift in the long- term, it is clear that companies will continue to evaluate remote working solutions as a part of their company workforce strategy.
In a somewhat surprising result 96 percent of survey respondents expect their employees will resume domestic travel by October 1, 2020. Thirty percent are expected to begin domestic travel in the coming month. The picture for international travel is one of much greater caution. Long-term solutions for managing international relationships will need to be developed and maintained as personal engagements will take longer to return. As the world works to find the new normal, companies will be re-defining parameters around necessary versus unnecessary travel.
ECIA has endeavored to support our members through a variety of projects. One of the most direct areas of support has come in the creation of documents outlining “best practices” for companies to manage virus infection risks. The survey has revealed that over 80 percent of companies have instituted their own internal advisory teams to provide guidance on developing risk management protocols. In the area of sales and general facilities best practices it is encouraging to see that large majorities survey respondents have either implemented specific best practices or are in the planning phase. The one area of concern comes in the adoption of best practices in manufacturing / warehouse operations.