March 23, 2020
From Kevin Roach, Harpak-ULMA CEO
We recognize that the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation around the world presents a unique challenge to our collective safety, health and welfare. Under the circumstances, we believe it important to share Harpak-ULMA’s business continuity plans to protect employees, assure uninterrupted customer support operations, and maintain continuity of current engagements.
The following policies and procedures are in effect now. We will continue to expand our digital capabilities to assure continued service and support during this rapidly evolving health event.
Facility staff will utilize digital technologies to maintain operational readiness:
- On-site facility staff presence has been minimized through remote digital collaboration applications (video, chat, augmented reality, WhatsApp, FaceTime, etc.) and phone forwarding technologies.
- A small team will be maintained in our facilities to prepare equipment for shipments, machine parts, and to pick, pack and ship parts which are essential to our customers’ business continuity.
- All staff will employ social distancing, shift work, and follow published health precautions to help avoid contagion spread.
Technical Service staff deployed around North America will remain available for customer support using the following procedures:
- Employees will avoid non-essential travel. All other domestic travel will be evaluated on a case by case basis and should primarily employ ground transportation whenever possible. International travel will comply with all US Government recommendations.
- Employees scheduled for customer visits will confirm onsite policies and comply with all customer visitation requirements. While onsite, staff will practice social distancing and restrict in-plant presence to required areas only.
- Our technical services teams will utilize the Vuforia Chalk application in many instances. The Chalk augmented reality platform enables virtually guided expert services from any location, allowing us to maintain service effectiveness without physical presence. We will also support other Apps like FaceTime and WhatsApp.
We recognize your important role in the food supply chain, and that this event will stress existing food supply chains globally. In anticipation of potential overseas supply disruption, we have stockpiled additional inventory of both parts and raw materials to enhance our ability to maintain high quality support of our customers:
- Harpak-ULMA currently remains capable of uninterrupted spare parts supplies. Our non-proprietary policy means many machine parts are commercially available from secondary sources outside of Harpak-ULMA.
- Should application-specific parts such as customer tooling experience availability issues, we have the necessary materials and specifications to build most parts in house.
- We continue to ship from all factories without delays and have experienced no cargo restrictions to date.
- Harpak-ULMA facility guest visitation will take place virtually, utilizing digital collaboration technologies vs. onsite visits to facilitate FAT and project continuation efforts.
Your packaging operations may need to accommodate new conditions, such as shifts in bulk food distribution from food services to retail packaging configurations.
We stand ready to assist any customer seeking to revise or expand their packaging production capabilities. This ranges from package design, to increases in production capacity, and increased automation to offset potential labor shortages.
- The Harpak-ULMA sales team remains fully operational and will leverage digital technologies to conduct business virtually to the greatest possible degree.
- We anticipate industry exhibition cancellations or postponements and will publish attendance updates to our website.
We are committed to proactively leveraging innovative digital technologies to minimize face to face interactions and assure safe, effective ongoing customer support. Our role, and that of our customers, is to ensure that food supply chains are protected and fully operational while under stress.
We will post updates on our website as available. If you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to reach out to us by calling 508.884.2500 or contacting your Harpak-ULMA representative.
From the entire Harpak-ULMA family to yours – we hope you stay safe, healthy and operationally secure during these trying times.