How Our Printing Operations Are Dealing With the Coronavirus Pandemic
In a rapidly evolving environment such as the COVID-19 pandemic, large manufacturers like us are challenged to ensure a solid business continuity plan while protecting the health of our employees, clients, business partners, and our community. In times like these, it is critical to have a well-thought-out plan to rally around operationally, yet one that is flexible enough to deal with a variety of possible scenarios.
So how are we addressing the current situation? Our efforts fall into three major categories:
- Risk mitigation if operations are impacted
- Prevention of the disease within our operations
- Monitoring and response as events change
Although this current health crisis is top of mind, our facilities already have disaster recovery plans in place to deal with business interruptions due to natural disaster, power interruption, or other such situations. With a health crisis those plans serve as the backbone for our business continuity; we modify the specific needs of the actual interruption.
Moore has 35 different companies — a national network of agencies and production facilities with business continuity plans already in place. We have eight different production locations in five different FEMA zones:
- Baltimore: FEMA Zone 3
- Chicago FEMA Zone 5
- Frederick, Md.: FEMA Zone 3
- Richmond, Va.: FEMA Zone 3
- Riverside, Calif.: FEMA Zone 9
- St. Louis: FEMA Zone 7
- Topeka, Kan.: FEMA Zone 7
- Tulsa, Okla.: FEMA Zone 6
In the case of a complete plant shutdown, our network of companies and suppliers also allows us to move work quickly to another plant, avoiding business interruption.
In the unlikely event that all eight Moore plants are affected, we have established partners with diverse geographic locations and a top-notch production management company in Production Solutions to facilitate production of our jobs.
We have implemented a leadership response team that will provide enterprise direction in the event of such an emergency. Essential personnel for each type of task are equipped with the technology, computers, and cell phones to function in any contingency.
We know that our clients rely on a global supply chain for materials. We have ongoing monitoring in place to identify shortages in the global supply chain. As a result, we partner with our suppliers to maintain necessary raw materials to fulfill clients’ business needs.
We are following the published advice of The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) for preventing workplace spread, including:
- Increasing the frequency and visibility of 60-95% alcohol hand sanitizers throughout our operations.
- Following the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Emerging Pathogen Policy for cleaning equipment and public spaces.
- Instituting enhanced cleanliness efforts for common surfaces and areas like doorknobs and workstations.
- Adding additional cleaning staff to ensure we can meet these higher standards.
- Requiring operators to wipe down equipment controls with effective hospital grade disinfectants.
We are also educating our employees to prevent spread. We are using shift briefings, posters, and all-employee communications to encourage:
- Staying home when sick.
- Safe cough and sneeze protocols, including covering the mouth and nose with a bent elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Hand hygiene, including both 20-second-minimum hand washing and sanitizer use.
This training is all supplemental to our annual training every September that educates employees regarding what to do when a flu outbreak occurs. This training includes scenario roleplaying, so every Moore employee knows how to handle a pandemic emergency response and how to prevent disease spread in the workplace.
We have and are deploying adequate stores of paper towels, soap, hand sanitizer, and tissues. We are encouraging healthy measures, asking our employees to:
- Minimize touching of other people, including handshaking.
- Avoid touching their faces, noses, and mouths.
- Maintain a six-foot radius from those who are coughing or sneezing.
We are enacting temporary policies to accommodate safer behavior to protect our employees. For example, we have eliminated business travel as much as possible. We are focused on a healthy workplace so we will rely on technology more to hold meetings using Zoom or similar videoconferencing and teleconferencing software. In addition, we have put in strict policies to limit visitors to our facilities. We have also changed some basic activities such as job interviews, FedEx pickups and supply deliveries to limit access to the facilities to prevent community spread.
We are also temporarily adjusting time-off policies for employees to take care of themselves or family members. Given recent government announcements, we have moved quickly to limit the number of employees we have onsite. We have adjusted to support more employees working from home. We have already increased our network capacity to handle this as part of our business continuity planning.
As a global company, we have strong relationships in place with international, national, and local authorities that we continually consult to constantly improve our plans.
We actively monitor the latest information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including reports and travel advisories from the WHO and the CDC. Additionally, we work with state and local health authorities in every community in which we have sites and are monitoring the spread of COVID-19 in real time. Based on that information we adjust our operational plans accordingly.
We are working with USPS Operations & Logistics to monitor potential “hotspots” that may affect mail delivery. This ensures that client mail will arrive on time, as well as helping plan around any potential barriers. We also track delivery in real-time. This gives us the option to redirect mail or production across the country as needed. Through our partnership with the postal service, we are among the first notified about USPS slowdowns and closures.
As you can see there are many moving parts to a well-thought-out business continuity plan, but the most important pieces are communication and transparency. Timely updates and honest conversation with employees, partners, and clients are critical to ensure the best outcome for all parties.
Dave Johannes is the Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, at Moore DM Group, Tulsa, Okla. Johannes is a veteran of the industry with a passion for digital technology. He is also a recipient of the Graphic Communications Association Innovator Award. Johannes' personal business philosophy is: "Success depends on a shared understanding of both the opportunity and the risk for all parties, followed by collaboration to achieve the shared goals."