Retooling, v.: to reequip with tools; to reorganize; to revise or modify
The concept of retooling is not foreign to the manufacturing industry. Machines need updating, workflows need streamlining, and strategies need changing. However, with COVID-19 influencing the way the entire world runs, the demand for efficient approaches to retooling has never been greater.
As the pandemic has unfolded, a stark shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for both front-line healthcare workers and ordinary citizens alike has been recognized. Face shields and masks, for example, are among the most critical supplies needed by hospitals and health-care providers. Ventilators, hospital gowns, gloves, and more are needed on a daily basis in hospitals. PPE is required in several states in public places.
Many manufacturers have answered the call to help produce PPE for front-line healthcare workers. Large and small companies alike are retooling to do their part in fighting the pandemic and keeping people safe. Karrikin Spirits Company, a distillery located in Cincinnati, is making hand sanitizer. Bauer, a popular manufacturer that makes hockey gear, has shifted to making face shields. All over the country, manufacturers are working overtime to produce these important items.
Depending on the company and their scope of capabilities, retooling has looked different for everyone. Creating a new product rapidly under challenging financial and employment circumstances can seem daunting at best.
If you’re considering retooling to assist with COVID-19 PPE production, there are three angles you need to consider: your customers, your product(s), and your facility.
Who are your customers?
Is the state handling the project, or are you providing materials privately to hospitals?
Will your customers find you via your website, the state government, or through social media?
What are you capable of producing?
How long will your emergency product be needed?
Do you have raw materials (like clear or semi-colored plastic sheet, gown material, or cotton fabric) that might be used to create any PPE items?
What machines and processes to be retooled to create PPE products?
How quickly can you transition back to regular operations?
How will you manage facility risks to provide the best physical safety to your employees?
Are you answering the call to help produce PPE, but need help outfitting your machines with the proper equipment? The UP! App can help you find the right person for the job! Learn more about who we are and how UP! can help support your business on our website.