We spoke with Uwe Peregi, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Herrmann Ultrasonics, this past week about his company’s efforts during the COVID-19 crisis. Peregi explained that the company exists and functions because of customers that want to implement ultrasonic solutions.
“We are very active in facemask and COVID-19 testing applications,” he said. “To continue our support of these customers we have taken the following safety measures to protect employees while meeting customer needs:
• Our operation in our headquarters in Bartlett, Ill. and Karlsbad, Germany have separated operations into two independent team to ensure manufacturing. There is a time gap between the team change and the working areas being sanitized.
• We continue to increase social distancing within the offices, allowing many to work off site and those that must work in office are following distance.
• No on-site customer meetings; we are using web conferencing. If an internal meeting is justified and mutually agreed upon, all guests must complete our on-line COVID-19 questionnaire.
We are committed to taking proactive measures to ensure the health and safety of our community and most importantly the health and well-being of our employees.”
Peregi noted that there is a shortage of face masks and other non-woven protective gear that is required by nurses and doctors to treat patients safely.
“As a global supplier with multiple production sites, Herrmann ensures availability for the manufacturing industry. Ultrasonic technology is used to increases production of these critical products to fight COVID-19. Given the current economic situation, we do expect that we will see a decrease over the next several months in opportunities and we are being proactive in planning for this,” he said.
Peregi said that Herrmann’s leadership team and inter-office teams/divisions have daily web conference meetings. They have heard positive feedback that all working remotely enjoy the check-ins and are using web conferencing to its fullest extent
“This time is bringing our teams together and they are showing that with team work we can continue accomplish great things even in the face of adversity,” he said.
From a supply chain standpoint, Herrmann is working closely with customers, to understand their requirements and manufacturing activities. This will allow the company to understand the demands and adjust the inventory accordingly. Additionally, Herrmann has contacted its suppliers, so they understand the company’s demands, and can plan accordingly.
Peregi thinks that it is key to stay in touch and engage with direct reports on a regular basis. His team checks on not only status of projects but also the well-being of their employees in daily web conferences.
“Follow your normal morning routine, as if you were going to the office,” he suggested. “Keep in communication with your coworkers. Avoid distractions; if you have an actual home office, close the door.”
Herrmann has also increased its web conferencing capabilities, so each employee has individual conference licenses, and additionally they have increased the server capability – taking into account an influx of employees telecommuting.
Peregi does have encouraging words in the midst of these trying times.
“We will get through this, it’s only temporary,” he said.
Filed Under: Hack the Crisis: Engineering through COVID-19