April 27th, 2020
Due to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) Amerplast has made an assessment of possible impacts to its production and customer deliveries. We are constantly monitoring the status of the epidemic and making precautionary actions to ensure the health and safety of our personnel and to minimise the possible effects that the epidemic could have to our business. The majority of flexible packaging we produce are for the food and hygiene sectors. During this time, the demand for our products has increased. Now, consumers, legislative institutions and other shareholders have hopefully understood why plastic packaging is so important. Most important features are, that the right packaging is hygienic and it prolongs shelf life, keeping waste at minimum level.
Now, main focus of the companies is to keep supply chain working. One day, the corona epidemic will be over and while making sure we do everything we can to manage and reduce the impacts of ongoing crisis, we also need to look at things in long term and plan for the future.
“Our aim is to offer our support, flexibility and services to our customers. In this kind of special life and business environment a good and close cooperation helps everybody to keep the business running. It is critical to keep supply chains in the food and hygiene sectors working”, Ari-Pekka Pietilä, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer says.
Our first priority is ensuring the safety and health of our employees, product safety and uninterrupted deliveries to our customers. In addition to our already high hygiene standards, we have increased the cleaning and sanitation within our company and created new processes to ensure efficient hygiene measures. We are limiting the direct contact between people to a minimum and replaced face-to-face meetings with video meetings and conference calls. We have also issued a recommendation to work remotely for all employees who are able to do so. In case of a suspected corona infection during the work day, we have provided guidelines to ensure the safety of our personnel.
The visitors in our company premises have been limited to only business critical persons, such as truck drivers. The epidemic situation is dynamic and we are cooperating with local authorities to ensure full compliance with their instructions.
“We are playing an important role in providing packaging to food and hygiene industry, thus being an essential part of handling this global crisis. As a company, we are doing our best to ensure the health and safety of everyone working at Amerplast so that everyone can feel safe and return home to their families healthy. It is also extremely important that our production is uninterrupted and we are able, together with our customers, to provide European consumers with essential food and hygiene products during this difficult time”, says Tuomo Riihimäki, Chief Operating Officer.
The corona virus has impacted the logistics sector. Many of the European countries have closed their internal and external borders for passenger traffic to limit the spread of corona virus which also has an effect to freight traffic. Furthermore, the loading and unloading of collection and delivery traffic has slowed down significantly due to abnormal operating requirements.
To ensure the safety of our logistics and warehouse personnel and the safe and uninterrupted deliveries to our customers, we are constantly cooperating and communicating with our logistics partners. We have given detailed hygiene instructions to internal and external warehouse and logistics operators, such as increased hygiene measures in ours and our customers’ premises, social distancing and no direct exchanging of documents.
“Even in this constantly changing and challenging situation, we have been able to maintain good customer service level. Everyone has been working hard and going the extra mile to ensure uninterrupted deliveries to our customers”, says Johanna Rinne, Supply Chain & Corporate Development Officer. “It has required proactive approach and planning to manage this situation and close cooperation with our customers”, she says.
Our focus is on making sure our customers do not experience supply chain disruptions. We are closely monitoring our suppliers regularly and have also increased the safety stock of certain raw materials. There are challenges with some raw materials availability, like ethanol based solvents. Printing inks suppliers have been forced to make some changes in their products due to lack of certain components, but so far availability has been normal. Also the demand of packaging films we purchase, such as BOPP and CPP, has increased, meaning longer delivery times for these materials. When it comes to polyethylene (PE) resins for extrusion, the situation is quite good. Although the global demand is higher than normal, also the production is on a good level.
“Increased demand in raw materials combined with increased orders from our customers is creating some challenges for us. This is managed through daily communication with our supply partners. We are fortunate that we have well established and good relationships with our partners and good communication connections”, says Ari Olkinuora, Operational Excellence Director.
Amerplast will proactively communicate the changes regarding its production, deliveries or in its policies to our customers. We are also recommending customers to be proactively in contact with us regarding their situation and estimates. In case of any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Amerplast sales and customer service team.