How COVID and Lockdown Affect Manufacturing Sector - Panel Debate

On October 22 AmCham Manufacturing Committee organized a debate: How COVID and Lockdown Affect Manufacturing Sector



Read key points from the speakers below: 


Dagmara Trawińska – Quality Director, Flex

They have donated 61K worth of facemasks by helping the local society.

Facemasks are key to their operations at this current moment.

Employees have noticed that this is no longer a regional problem rather it affects them in their region it is now a national problem.


Anna Gomółka – Plant Manager, Mondelēz International

They are strict with sanitation at the company, engagement was a struggle at the start. 

Mandatory masks helped a lot on the production line.

Education is the key as well as awareness to be able to manage the current situation.

Continuous improvement is also one of their approach, where they adapt to the constant evolution of the situation.


Anthony Crawford – Manufacturing Operations East Europe and Wroclaw Site Manager, 3M

They had sales of 300% on products such as pet hair removal tape which was an observational trend.

As customers have restarted opening after the lockdown, demand restarted increasing.

It is all about adaptability to the new norms, now we go online which a new norm is for example.

Regarding the legal framework, in a manufacturing side of things they are good.

During the first wave there was panic, then summer Poland was the green area of Europe, and now the mindset has changed right as summer ended.

Adaptability is the keyword, we have to get comfortable from the uncomfortable, we won’t get it right all at once we have to expect and accept that there will be surprises and adapt to the constant situation.

They had 0 transmissions internally thus far, they communicate what they know but no speculation.


Dominik Kania – Managing Director Woodward/Co-chair AmCham Manufacturing Committee

It was mentioned how important it is to educate people so that they think as a community where they need to think of protecting others as well as themselves and wear your mask for a community basis.

The awareness is very important as we can’t fight the virus a 50% mindset, we have to fight it at all time at 100% to remember that we can get infected anywhere and then bring it around.

They are trying to educate people, but they have not gone through it lightly.

The key is to keep doing what they are doing, if they take care of each other we can reduce and eliminate the spread of the virus, we have seen that during the summer there was a relax time then in the fall kids returned to schools which certainly had an impact.

We can’t survive another lockdown, therefore, we have to work hard on reducing the spread of the virus.


Michał Poczęsny - Operations Director, Flex

They care about the safety and security of their employees and also looked at how to maintain production maintenance. 

They have bimonthly meetings with unions to maintain comfort in discussing the updated situation with the representation of employee safety and security. 

At the start there was a challenge with the supply chain, but with their scale they secured the supply chain continuity and did not have a significant impact on the entirety of their operations. 

Touchless clocking system is the solution which they have clock in clock out, this is a solution they introduced. 

The break schedule is also been modified to mitigate people’s interaction. 

The biggest impact has come from schools and kindergartens. 


Fabio Pommella  – Senior Director of Operations Area North (Poland , Slovakia, UK) & Chairman of Whirpool Polska 

They created a special task force to create a local supply base. 

Between March and April the market collapsed significantly up to 20% and some countries even minus 40%. 

Social distancing was done, modifying the lines, there was a big quarrel with unions in regard to mandatory masks where a lot of people did not believe in COVID-19 in Poland for a very long time.

In terms of demand, they have had an increase of 40% on the digital market which was not one of their first channel of sales. 

They have observed a huge demand when shops have reopened, which affected everyone including their competitors. 

Their production line is balanced between West, Central and Eastern Europe which was excellent for their supply chain depending on the situation in what region the virus spread was increasing, which was the key to their success. 

In Poland they have 6,000 people working. 

They can’t do anything from a schools perspective, but they offer swap tests to know if they are positive or not to protect the families of their employees. 

The consumer attitude is changing, where targeting consumer communication is no longer what it was previously.