The Killer App in Digital Transformation is “People”
Everyone is on a quest for digital leadership. But the reality is 75% of executives say they’re still waiting to reap tangible benefits from disruptive technologies. That’s why companies are investing vast amounts of money into new tools and technologies.Yet well over half of all IT projects still fail. One of the reasons is that organizations tend to only focus on implementing technology to solve a problem or move them forward. But new software, mobile apps, or Cloud platforms alone can’t solve the challenges companies are facing in times of advancing digitization.Rather, the key to successful Digital Transformation lies just as much in people, culture and new thought processes – as it does with technologies and tools.The killer app in Digital Transformation is the people who have to develop, use, and work with these new technologies. It is also people who have to pursue a company’s targets, which would otherwise come to nothing very quickly. And, anyone who regularly deals with Project Management has long known that projects generally fail because of people, not because of methods or tools.Rather than putting technology first in your IT organization, start instead with culture, and open culture at that.So what does that mean exactly? Well, one of the most common “cultural blockers” is the hierarchical management style prevalent at many companies. The Digital Transformation process cannot be dictated from above.While it is up to the CEO to set out a vision, each individual employee must believe in the transformation themselves. People need to feel like they can have an influence on the bigger picture. It is even more important to involve everyone in a project, to brainstorm new ideas together, and to also make decisions based on these ideas as a team.Good ideas can come from anywhere and the best rise to the top. People should be able to come forward with their ideas without the fear of criticism. That’s why the biggest task facing management is creating a culture and management style that supports autonomy, empowerment, and active engagement.An open corporate culture is an equally indispensable prerequisite for eliminating widespread silo mentalities. Company objectives and overarching targets need to be pushed to the forefront, rather than the interests of individual departments and divisions.Of course, it’s easy to always use the same people on projects. But why not involve the entire organization or all the people with whom you otherwise rarely or never work? Digital Transformation needs to break down the barriers that have developed over the years. This is essential since data, knowledge, applications, and processes have to mesh and move seamlessly.The fact is technology alone does not help drive forward Digital Transformation – it requires people who resolutely stand behind it. Communication between people is still paramount to being successful in the world of IT. Unfortunately, this is something that is often forgotten.AiTHORITY
The Vegan Market Is Flourishing. How Can Niche Producers Keep Up with Demand?
Many small businesses, especially those in niche or newer industries, struggle to obtain competitive pricing when ordering from manufacturers in relatively low quantities. High production costs can hinder a small business from taking advantage of growth opportunities. As their products grow in demand, they may hit an uncomfortable stage of growth where they are forced to squeeze maximum efficiency out of their current processes to keep up with that demand.Consider, for instance, companies in the vegan food industry, producing items including alternatives to cheese and meat. The number of vegan consumers in the U.S. has risen more than 600% in the last five years, according to research firm GlobalData. This presents an attractive opportunity: entering a market niche with lower saturation to capture market share while competition is reasonably low.The nature of this opportunity means, however, quite a few vegan companies are only a few years old and may be faced with rapidly growing demand. As small niche producers of food products, they specifically face the challenge of outputting enough food to satisfy their customers while still keeping their products fresh and authentically vegan. Furthermore, they need to accomplish this while keeping their costs low enough to grow their businesses.Scaling Up Is a ChallengeAs demand grows, these niche companies may lack the resources to manufacture enough product in-house. To overcome this, some outsource manufacturing to larger companies. However, the challenge with this strategy is ordering in large enough quantities to negotiate effective deals with manufacturers. Many manufacturers even charge premiums to offset the cost of producing a smaller quantity of goods.In the case of vegan food, it must be fresh and is often perishable due to the nature of its ingredients. If you order too much, you risk the food going bad before you can sell it to a retailer or before a customer can purchase it. If you order too little, you may have difficulty manufacturing at an affordable rate. One solution is to add preservatives to the food, but this approach can counteract the health benefits of a vegan lifestyle. Compromising quality is an approach that could negatively impact your business in the long term.Negotiation TipsFortunately, these production costs can often be negotiated down, and there are things you can leverage in these talks to help find an agreement that works for both your company—keeping your product authentic while still being cost-effective—and the manufacturer. Consider these approaches to help you negotiate an advantageous agreement with a manufacturer.Join a consortium. In order to help lower production costs, many small businesses consider joining procurement consortiums, where multiple small companies band together to achieve volume discounts and economies of scale. Depending on just how niche your industry is, however, this can present its own challenges. In a space with few competitors but very specific manufacturing needs, you may end up sharing procurement with your direct competition, or you may struggle to find enough businesses to go in with you on a given order to reach the volume needed to qualify for a discount.Negotiate pricing. Small businesses can also lower the cost of production by negotiating more favorable pricing with their manufacturers. Though this can be challenging, small businesses often find they have more bargaining power than they realize.Below are some strategies that may help give you leverage going into pricing negotiations:1. Research the costs and have a target dollar amount in mind before you speak with a representative. Ask your peers in the industry what they pay for their manufacturing, or ask a mentor if you can. Then you’ll know if the quotes you’re receiving are significantly higher than the industry average, and you’ll know you can probably find a better deal elsewhere.2. Don’t accept the first offer, and get the job quoted by at least three manufacturers. Let them know that you are in talks with multiple manufacturers and that you will go with the best offer. This will encourage them to give you more competitive pricing. You can also ask them up front for a list of their customers as references. Their other customers may be willing to share their prices with you, so you’ll know what to expect before you begin negotiations.3. Offer a mutually beneficial agreement. If negotiations are stuck, you may be able to compromise on the amount of the down payment or the length and terms of the contract. Do your due diligence, and try to understand the manufacturer’s business model as much as possible. You may be able to find a way to lower costs for both of you, such as shortening the time it spends on your order or helping it get a good deal on supplies. Giving the manufacturer favorable terms on other parts of the deal can be an effective bargaining maneuver to move things your way on price.4. Have your down payment ready and immediately available. This can be one of your greatest negotiating tools. The larger the down payment, the more power you will have when negotiating the ongoing cost of manufacturing. This can be a challenge for small businesses, but some consider financing a larger down payment to save on long-term production costs.5. Demonstrate trustworthiness by sharing your payment history and experiences with potential manufacturers. A strong business credit report could set you apart from producers who may not have as positive a payment history or as strong a business credit file, making you more appealing to manufacturers. This could grant you some additional leverage in negotiations and help ease any worries they may have about working with a small business.As with any negotiation, the first offer you get from a manufacturer can simply be a jumping-off point. However, it’s important to understand the risks a manufacturer is undertaking when it agrees to work with a small business. One of the best ways to get your foot in the door with a manufacturer is to demonstrate that you understand these risks and its need to mitigate them. Making on-time or early payments and exhibiting positive business credit scores and ratings is helpful not only for procurement negotiations but also for building positive business relationships with manufacturers.Following a partnership agreement, positive business credit score and ratings can increase your chances of successfully securing trade credit. This payment following the sale of goods (rather than on delivery) may be useful to both parties: It can help give you the cash flow you need to grow your business (and that means you can order more from the manufacturer and allow you to make timely payments that strengthen your creditworthiness.Understanding your worth and the manufacturer’s needs will help you feel confident in negotiating an arrangement that benefits both parties. A mutually beneficial agreement is likely to be stable and long-lasting, allowing your small business the opportunity to grow along with demand.THE VEGAN MARKET
Japan's Electric Wire Makers Expand in Asia to Ride EV Boom
Japanese electric wire manufacturers are transferring their production and investment into high gear in Asia as they prepare for growth in the region’s electric vehicle market.SWCC Showa Holdings will invest about 700 million yen ($6.5 million) to relocate and integrate two plants in China. The company will likewise establish a method to develop, manufacture and sell EV cables through Jaxing Showa Interconnect Products, its Chinese subsidiary.In Southeast Asia, Hitachi Metals will increase its production capacity in Vietnam and Thailand, while Furukawa Electric will also boost its capacity in Vietnam.Japanese wire makers are eager to grow sales elsewhere in Asia as automobile electrification takes off and Japan's auto parts suppliers shift their own production bases.Jaxing Showa's two existing plants, which at present make products like copper wire for consumer electronics, will be coupled into a new plant that is scheduled to go online in July 2020. The new plant will probably be double the size of the existing two factories' 10,000 sq. meter area, and will include automated facilities to increase productivity. The company's sales totaled about 4 billion yen in fiscal 2017. SWCC Showa aims to lift the Chinese subsidiary's gains by improving logistics.According to Fuji Keizai, a Tokyo-based research company, EV sales in China are expected to nearly quintuple to about 2.46 million vehicles in 2035, compared with 2017.SWCC Showa’s current mid-term management plan calls for enhancing the company’s operating profit by 5% to 7 billion yen in fiscal 2022, compared with fiscal 2018. The company believes this target is achievable thanks to its EV-related business expansion. In Southeast Asia, in the meantime, Hitachi Metals is building its capacity to produce wire for electric parking brakes in Vietnam and Thailand. The company will widen production capacity at its existing plants and build new facilities during the first half of fiscal 2020. It plans to supply EPB wire mainly to Japanese auto-sector manufacturers in Southeast Asia. It will also open new production facilities at its plant in Hai Duong Province in northern Vietnam and beef up the capacity of present facilities at its plant in Ayutthaya, north of Bangkok.EPBs do not require conventional mechanical levers, making it possible to more properly use space around the driver’s seat. Hitachi Metals is rushing to enlarge local processing in anticipation of growing demand for EPB wire in Asia. In Vietnam, Furukawa Electric will also invest about 3.5 billion yen to quadruple its existing local plant’s capacity to produce aluminum wire for automobiles. A new building will go online in September 2020. Furukawa Electric intends to cash in on increasing demand due to greater use of aluminum in EVs to make them lighter. Many Asian countries are marketing EVs under government initiatives. The Chinese government is promoting the spread of ecologically friendly cars like EVs the help address environmental problems due to auto emissions.The Thai government is also pursuing "Thailand 4.0," a policy to enhance the nation’s industries. Next-generation automobiles such as EVs have a striking place in the place. There are also moves to establish charging infrastructure for EVs in Asia, which is also supporting Japan's electric wire makers to expand their operations in the region.Source: NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW
Benefits of Blogging for Businesses and Why You Should Start
Benefits of Blogging for Businesses and Why You Should StartEver since the dawn of the internet, there have been people posting their experiences and opinions online for others to peruse. Bloggers opine and review products, explain the intricacies of software and computer errors, and provide fifty different ways to dress on a Saturday. As a compilation of thoughts, facts, and opinions, a lot of blogs provide the first half of the internet’s give-take relationship of information.Despite the trappings of other social media, blogs still remain as prevalent as ever. Chances are, if you are one of the 2.1 billion digital buyers in the modern age, you have benefited from the blogposts of reviewers and trial testers. In fact, almost 77% of internet users regularly read blog posts. That’s a lot of traffic floating around.As an entrepreneur, how can blogging benefit your business?Lead the room Putting up blogs about one’s products and services can lend a hand to establishing one’s authority. By sharing your experiences and knowledge about the goods you offer, this can lead to better trust between brand and consumer.Almost 61% of online users buy something after reading a blog. How many of those could be conversions from your blog posts? It’s highly likely a customer browsing your blogs are already interested in the products that you offer, and a great blog can turn them into a spending customer.Moreover, as an entrepreneur, knowing the finer details of the products you have as compared to the average customer is par for the course. Blog about it! Let the masses know about the intricate machinery that mass produce sinks, or how many hours designers spent on one of your more exquisite package designs. This can make consumers view your brand as not only an expert in your niche, but also as an approachable, transparent brand, which can open doors to more great opportunities.Boost your SEO Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is paramount to your online presence, especially as an entrepreneur in this digital age. Consumers find your website through a few methods:-Typing your website name into their browser. This is an audience that already knows who you are, and it certainly doesn’t bring anyone new to the table.-Through emails. Some entrepreneurs spend money on email lists, blasting emails that may get filtered into spam, and hope that some curious eyes will open and click through said emails. This is not cost efficient, and illegal (in some places!).-Through paid advertising in social media. Despite massive audience coverage, the fees are still costly, and the moment you run out of money, advertising and traffic stops just as fast. Blogging helps solve these problems! With a topic, an hour to spare, and Microsoft Word, any entrepreneur can begin drafting a blog. Tastefully adding keywords (we’re talking stuff like ‘benefits of blogging, blogging benefits, business blogging, and the like,) can help web crawler bots easily identify the content that you create, ranking your blogs higher in search engines. Best of all, it’s completely free.Spamming keywords are obviously discouraged, due to unprofessionalism, and Google can outright ban or lower one’s ranks on the search engines if the site is stuffed full of keywords with nothing of value added between them.Share and be shared Blogging, as a written piece of information, easily accessible and free to browse on the internet, is easily shared. Hyperlinked, attached to messages, sent as a copy-pasted link, a blog has great potential to be shared across the world wide web and reach thousands, if not millions.Since blogs tend to be written more personal and opinion-like, as compared to the polished, unapproachable sparkle that are marketing advertisements, one can engage existing and prospective customers through a way not possible through other marketing techniques. This can raise a brand’s online presence, or how “out there” you can be found by consumers.This allows for immense brand awareness, as blogs can be easily shared, one’s brand can be easily found plastered on many sharing platforms. A well written blog can go viral, bringing in exponential growth as more viewers read it, share it, and their recipients read and share it down their line of friends. Furthermore, as a blogger, it’s also easy to link other blogs with your own, asserting credibility and trust. Bloggers that frequently backlink to other blogs will find themselves more likely to be ranked higher in search engines, as the website crawler bots view reputable blogs connected to a trustworthy website as more valuable. Search engines aim to show the most relevant and highest quality results for any user’s searches, so a blog with a good handful of backlinks is a great tool for entrepreneur bloggers. Keep organic traffic Imagine the power your business can hold if more than 50% of your viewer base comes through your blogs that serve almost 99% of their questions. If the blogs still leave questions unanswered, comment sections below blogs allow for questions to be asked any time of the day, and you can get back to them at your own leisure (preferably quickly!). Moreover, active members of your community can engage with said bloggers, allowing a budding community to grow. This is a prime example of organic traffic, and it’s a golden treasure in a digital world of spambots and AI clickers. Organic traffic creates a plethora of benefits, such as bringing in potential customers, increased reputation to new viewers, and even brings up your website through SEO as well! Blogging provides an opportunity to connect with the most important audience: your consumers. Without the mask of trying to close sales or front a false PR face, blogs allow for a more conversational way to bond with your consumers, creating a community. A strong community withstands the test of time and can begin through a few keystrokes posted online. It would be far too simple to imagine that pasting advertisements over Facebook, Google, social media sites, and forums will be enough to bring traffic to one’s site. However, if properly built, blogs can be made to last for the long term.Start a blog on your website with your own custom domain with Tronserve today.
Malaysia's 5g Plan Follows China's Path
Kuala Lumpur---MALAYSIA is offering airwaves for 5G networks at little cost to carriers to reduce the investment needed for the speedier wireless service, a model followed by China in its rollout of the technology last year.The government will forgo revenue from spectrum auctions and instead will allocate airwaves to a consortium of carriers via a tender starting after April," Al-Ishsal Ishak, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission chairman, said in an interview. Commercial 5G services may be available in the country by the third quarter this year, according to a January presentation by the commission.The cheap airwaves policy frees up funds for companies including Maxis Bhd and Axiata Group Bhd to invest in 5G infrastructure that could cost at least RM7 billion (S$2.3 billion) over the next five years, Mr Al-Ishsal said. The policy also sets up competition among carriers including Maxis, Axiata, Telekom Malaysia Bhd and Digi.com Bhd to form groups that will vie for the licence to operate the country's first 5G network.Countries around the world are pushing for upgrades to the higher-capacity wireless technology, which also has less lag or latency, because it is crucial for implementing industrial applications from self-driving trucks to remote surgery and robotics.Axiata unit Celcom Axiata Bhd has said it expects 5G to be a catalyst for consolidation in the industry to help spread the cost of building the networks and to increase the likelihood of winning a bid for the solo consortium licence to serve the country of about 32 million people.Malaysia's approach will avoid duplicating infrastructure, allowing consumers to benefit from lower cost, Mr Al-Ishsal said in the northern city of Langkawi. "Because we're not charging unnecessary cost, there will be no need for the industry to charge a premium," he added.China's carriers are also benefiting from very cheap 5G airwaves as the government pushed for early implementation of the networks in a bid for tech supremacy, including at Huawei Technologies Co., the world's largest supplier of 5G wireless equipment.The Malaysian and Chinese approach contrasts with most of the rest of the world, where governments from Germany to Italy, Taiwan, India and the US have pushed to raise billions of dollars in auctions of spectrum.In Malaysia, carriers will only need to pay "a few thousand ringgit" per tower, Mr Al-Ishsal said. Malaysian carriers may also hold costs down by using 5G equipment from China-based suppliers including Huawei, which has been subject to a US boycott and pressure campaign asserting the company's gear poses a risk to national security.Malaysian Prime Minister Mohamad Mahathir has pushed back, saying in May last year that the country will use Huawei gear "as much as possible," and that it offers a "tremendous advance over American technology."Mr Al-Ishsal said the US didn't pressure Malaysia to avoid using Huawei's technology when he met Ajit Pai, head of the US Federal Communications Commission, in December."We spoke of cybersecurity, and of course he offered his view about the USposition, and of course we listened," he revealed. "We offered our views as well, so there was no pressure, or no imposing of values." BLOOMBERGMALAYSIA'S 5G PLAN
Reeco Wins Prestigious Henry Ford Award
A specialist in collaborative robots has won a prestigious global award for its work with Ford.Reeco Automation has received the Henry Ford Award for its partnership with Ford's engine plant in Bridgend is successfully integrating a collaborative robot (known as ‘cobots') into its manufacturing process.Seven entries from Ford plants around the world were assessed by judges before Reeco was chosen as the winner along with Ford engineers, Gary Evans (Electrical Controls Specialist) and Phil Moreton (Senior Emerging Technology Engineer). Reeco's Managing Director, Llewelyn Rees, Gary and Phil were presented with their award by Wallace Yearwood, Bridgend's Engine Plant Manager. The high-profile success has resulted in Reeco being put forward by Ford for similar projects at some of the motor giant's other sites internationally. Llewelyn, whose company is based in Caersws, Powys, said: "To win the Henry Ford Award is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved, both at Reeco and the team at Bridgend Ford with whom we worked so closely. "Both larger and smaller manufacturers are increasingly seeing the benefits of integrating cobots into their production processes, not to replace the human workforce but to complement them." Other Reeco customers include Rolls Royce, Honeywell and Unilever. The company is a turnkey solutions provider for cobots - integrating use of developing technology on to production lines, bringing about a step change in speed of production, efficiency and safety. Reeco was founded in August 2016 by Llewelyn and is the leading integrator of cobots in the UK. The global market for cobots is expected to grow by more than 40 per cent per year and be worth over £3billion by 2020. Reeco provides customers with eight different cobot solutions including screw and bolt fixing, pick and place, riveting, dispensing, polishing, electronics and gluing. The company also has a strong focus on safety working with clients to develop and implement safety strategies to ensure compliant cobot application. By using cobots to carry out a range of tasks, employees can be freed up to work on more important tasks requiring human intervention. Cobots allow operators and robot to work together without the need for safety fencing and expensive guarding, all regulated to ISO 13849-1. The cobots generally have a payback within 12 months dependent on the application.This article is originally posted on ROBOTICSTOMORROW.COM
5G Offers Massive Benefits, But is it Secure?
5G provides manufacturers with a lot of exciting opportunities with improved bandwidth, speeds and consistency. However, with the excitement comes some hesitation around the potential security issues as well. After all, the idea of exponentially expanding the number of devices on the network makes it a hot bed of opportunity for today's highly sophisticated hackers. When it comes to security, Spirent, a West Sussex-based telecommunications testing company, sees three primary ways to look at 5G.5G is a Pandora’s box representing a massive security risk as software, network disaggregation, higher volumes of devices and cell sites, an influx of new vendors and open source trends exponentially. 5G is part of future national critical infrastructure and as such securing the supply chain is of national importance. 5G is potentially more secure than any previous network given that the underlying architecture is capable of incorporating a number of advanced security mechanisms."Let’s focus on the threat to industry," says Spirent Head of 5G Steve Douglas.. "As more factories and machines come online, IoT attacks become a risk factor, from device vulnerability and Botnet DDoS to malware, fraud and even rogue devices. Many Industry 4.0 use cases see devices connected to an edge network that essentially extends the telco or cloud network closer to where devices consume bandwidth."According to Douglas, this new network location introduces man-in-the middle, packet injection and data breach security threats. Of course, as the networks themselves become software-based and multi-vendor, additional risks are presented. "The threats don’t end there but even just shining a spotlight on these vulnerabilities brings the magnitude of the overall risk into focus," he says. However, there is a flip side. After all, 5G is more powerful and capable than any network generation before it. "It has the potential to actually be more secure than any previous network due to the underlying architecture being capable of incorporating a number of advanced security mechanisms," says Douglas." For instance, right next to a 5G network slice that a manufacturer may be using to power new devices could be a slice designed to be more secure, act as a treatment center in event of an attack or even as a honeypot to capture traffic in the network to be analyzed. Further, new security features being built into the 5G standards from 3GPP provide a solid baseline for stronger security than seen in 4G." Steps to Staying SecureDouglas tells IndustryWeek, manufacturers should always be validating 5G infrastructure and vendor software security, as well as the broader 5G supply chain. "Be sure that IoT devices in use have been security certified by an independent body," he says. "Verify network ability to handle 5G device weaknesses and continuously assess them with active monitoring via an approach like synthetic attack traffic generation. Essentially, analytics will be your best friend – use them to identify, quantify and respond to security, compliance and business risks."Douglas recommends continuously war gaming network to discover weaknesses and future risks. "We also recommend not trying to go it alone. Great ideas and strategies are emerging constantly," he says. "Take a community-oriented approach to arm your organization with the resources and agility to react quickly to changing security dynamics."INDUSTRYWEEK
Rockwell Automation Releases AI Module to Improve Industrial Production
MILWAUKEE, April 29, 2019 — Industrial workers can now more easily use the data from their hardware to forecast production dilemmas and enhance processes with their present automation and control skill set. The new FactoryTalk Analytics LogixAI module, originally recognized as Project Sherlock, uses artificial intelligence (AI) to detect production anomalies and alert workers so they can investigate or intervene, as necessary. Many existing analytics technologies require deep expertise in both data science and industrial processes. But this add-on module for ControlLogix controllers reduces that burden by doing the job of a data scientist. It fits directly into a control chassis and streams controller data over the backplane to construct predictive models. It can constantly monitor a production operation, detecting anomalies against its derived understanding. "The FactoryTalk Analytics LogixAI module makes predictive analytics more available to help more workers make better production decisions," said Jonathan Wise, product manager, Rockwell Automation. "The module learns your ControlLogix application and tells operators and technicians when things are changing in unexpected ways. This can help them get in advance of product quality issues and protect process integrity." For example, the module can help operators spot performance deviations in equipment like mixers that could alter product quality or lead to downtime. It can also be applied as a virtual sensor. Instead of workers taking a reading, like the humidity of a manufactured food product, the module can analyze variables from line assets like sprayers, dryers and burners to predict a measurement, virtually. Workers can then be notified of problems by configuring alarms on a human machine interface (HMI) or dashboard. Future features of the module will go further, helping workers focus their problem-solving or automate the optimization of a process. The FactoryTalk Analytics LogixAI module is the best addition to the FactoryTalk Analytics portfolio from Rockwell Automation. The portfolio includes FactoryTalk Analytics for Devices, which learns about an automation system's structure to tell workers about problems with individual devices. The LogixAI module expands on this by learning about an automation system's application and helping identify anomalies with its overall function. Both products work individually, but each will benefit the other in future iterations. The FactoryTalk Analytics platform aggregates multiple sources of data, so workers can discover new insights. FactoryTalk Analytics for Devices and the LogixAI module will both be data sources for the platform going forward.This article is originally posted on manufacturingtomorrow.com
Xiaomi Executive’s Joke About His Smartphone’s Camera Cost Him Over $14,000
Xiaomi has a new version of its flagship phone. And one of the company’s executives decided to celebrate the launch of the Mi 10 Youth by making a sexist joke. On Friday, Xiaomi vice president Chang Cheng posted a list of jokes to Weibo on how to use the Mi 10 Youth, which includes a new camera capable of 5x zoom. But one of them didn’t sit well with users. How Weibo became China’s most popular blogging platform “Behind every pretty dolled-up woman in the girls' dormitory, there is a (๑> ؎
Volvo Cars To Resume Production Next Week
After shutting down production due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Volvo Cars is preparing to reopen its manufacturing plants in Torslanda, Sweden and Ghent, Belgium on Monday, April 20th. The company has spent the last few weeks preparing to work as safely as possible when its workers return, with the focus now on safeguarding health. The factories will be working at reduced production output, whilst the facility located in South Carolina prepares for its reopening on May 11th.Volvo Cars has been in close contact with labour unions, all partners, and suppliers as it has worked to reopen its plants. This continued contact will help ensure the supply chain encounters minimal disruption, and will allow demand to be adjusted according to the current market.“We have a responsibility towards our employees and our suppliers to restart operations now that the situation allows it,” said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive. “The best thing we can do to help society is to find ways to restart the company in a safe way, thereby safeguarding people’s health and their jobs.”All Volvo Cars facilities have been deep cleaned, with efforts to improve sanitation and cleaning routines intensified also. Employees will have the opportunity to take voluntary temperature tests and to measure their blood oxygen levels before entering the building. Every workstation within the company has been reviewed in recent weeks, with measures for social distancing being taken into account where possible, and protective measures put into place where social distancing is not possible.Around Sweden, office buildings have seen layouts in meeting rooms and office spaces adjusted to enable social distancing, whilst many restaurants have also been rearranged to allow for extra space. Other measures, such as limiting the number of employees allowed in meetings, have been introduced in many businesses to control the spread of coronavirus.For more information on manufacturing topics - please take a look at the latest edition of Manufacturing Global.MANUFACTURING GLOBAL