Tracked platform manufacturers in Italy, one of the countries most affected by the coronavirus thus far in Europe, are reporting factory closures and difficulties in receiving components. Despite this, they are endeavouring to honour deliveries and customer services, while protecting the health of their employees.
Palazzani has followed other Italian manufacturers in closing down most of its operations. The company said three or four employees are on site to finish some products for export but the others are all now at home. There are also problems with local suppliers, which are in the same situation, and therefore unable to deliver components.
At Hinowa, Davide Fracca, sales and marketing director, says the Covid-19 emergency is proving a major test for the country. “During the last few days, we have received an increasing number of communications from our suppliers informing us of the temporary suspension of activities, aimed to sanitise workplaces and install personal protective equipment.”
As a result, the company risks receiving insufficient materials for product assembly over the next week. “Therefore, an interruption of the production lines is necessary to reorganise activities and reprogramme the production.”
Nevertheless, customer services will continue, with all related European and other export sales and administration departments working from home or the office. “We are doing everything necessary to get back to work with the production lines as soon as possible. The customer base will be promptly informed about any minimum delay in the supply of machines,” said Fracca.
Platform Basket, located in Emilia Romagna, not far from where COVID-19 broke out in the country, has shut down operations until 3 April, following a new government decree, stating that people are no longer authorised to work at their places of employment except unless it is essential.
Products ready for delivery from the yard can be picked up until, 25 March; after this date ship from the premises will be stopped.
Spare parts delivery is also suspended until 3 April. ”Our parts department is still connected and orders are regularly accepted and recorded. It is our aim to speed up the parts preparation and send to destinations as soon as we got the permission to work at our premises.” After sales service at the company continues, it added.
“Despite the information from China in the two first months of the epidemic, I believe we haven’t paid due attention and taken the counter measures against it spreading in Italy,” said Francesca Mora, marketing.
“The company is still running pretty well, having a big order portfolio, therefore delaying the deliveries doesn’t help or make the customers happy. But the health of our staff is our priority, so, once the epidemic leaves our country we’ll dedicate our efforts to catch up the delay.
“Today, according to the existing delicate situation in the Italian hospitals due to the increased number of infection cases, we feel proud that our staff is safe home and Platform Basket didn’t contribute to this long list of infected.”