Originally posted February 11th, 2020 – Updated February 15th, 2020
February 25th Update
A quick Jade Molds update on the manufacturing situation in China.
- Jade has been back to work for several days. We were given permission by the government to get back into our factory last week.
- The first couple of days back was focused on Jade managers assessing the situation in the factory as well as communicating and coordinating with supply chain partners.
- We are now back to production, ramping up to full speed, and we are currently in the middle of updating customers on the status of their projects.
- We are not back to full strength, but we are not bad compared to others with about 65% of our workforce back in the factory right now.
- While many suppliers in China are getting back to work, not all factories are back and almost no one is at full strength.
- There are still supply chain issues throughout China that Jade and all suppliers are currently working to resolve.
- There are still some travel restrictions and logistical travel issues in China and there are mandatory self quarantine issues for some workers upon returning to their work city before they can be cleared to return to work. The quarantine condition depends where in China the workers are returning from. This is slowing down many factories getting full workforce’s back and getting full manufacturing up to speed. However, it is a sensible precaution due to the circumstances.
- The good news is that Jade Molds should see minimal impact on any quarantine measures and we should be back to a full workforce soon.
- The good news is that new Coronavirus cases inside Hubei are trending towards leveling off in recent days.
- The good news is that new Coronavirus cases in China. outside of Hubei, continue to be quite low.
- The good news is that no one in our Jade Molds family is afflicted with the virus. Plus the number of cases in Zhongshan (Jade Molds location) and Guangdong Province continues to be quite low.
- The good news is that new Coronavirus cases in China seem to be trending in the right direction.
Those are the facts on the ground right now for Jade and the majority of factories in China. The situation on a manufacturing level has improved dramatically over the past few days but there is still a lot of work to do until China as a whole is up to full speed.
For Jade Molds we are getting back on track quickly and will continue to make every possible effort to get up to speed and back to full strength as fast as possible so we can continue to deliver for our customers.
Thank You for your continued support during these difficult times. If you would like to talk to a project manager regarding your project please feel free to reach out directly to [email protected] and we will be in touch as soon as possible.
For updates on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in China and around the world the best sources of fact based information (based on the numbers and an attempt to educate on what those numbers mean) continues to be Worldometer and WHO.
Please keep those afflicted with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) inside China and around the world in your thoughts and prayers.
Sincerely – Jade Molds
February 14th Update
There was a big spike in the number or Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases reported on February 12th, specifically coming out of Hubei province (not near or affecting Jade). On the day, the numbers seemed alarming but recent information coming from China, WHO, and others is helping to qualify the spike in numbers as more of a statistics/reporting issue and seemingly not a dramatic increase as was first thought.
Worldmeter (shared in the previous email update), takes on the numbers and helps to explain what they really mean based on the most recent available data and reporting. Two recent relevant links on the Worldmeter website are:
Link 1 – Talks about the spike number, clinical diagnosis vs confirmed diagnosis, and why specifically only the province of Hubei has taken on reporting this way. Plus how a backlog of cases were reclassified and reported on this one day. This quick summary is not enough, click the link and read for yourself.
Link 2 – Very quick reference that talks about number of cases and deaths being corrected due to misreporting. It is a small but important update. All we have right now are numbers so corrections in numbers (up or down) are important. These numbers are still being vetted. Don’t take our summary at face value, click the link and read for yourself.
We are not making conclusions, we are not “picking sides”, and we are not saying that the reporting in these links is perfect. This is still a very fluid situation and we are simply trying to inform ourselves and you with the best possible information in a timely manner so we can all make better informed business decisions. We will continue to provide on the ground information in the coming days as relevant updates are available.
Original February 11th, 2020 blog
During the Coronavirus outbreak, China has taken unprecedented measures in an effort to stop the spread of the virus and to contain it as much as possible to the original epicenter of Hubei Province and Wuhan City. During the past few weeks…as Western manufacturers on the ground in China…we have been living through it and taking action to see what we can do to protect our Jade family. While we have been looking internally to protect our families, coworkers, and friends we have also been fully cognizant that we have a duty to our customers to get back to Jade’s normal manufacturing life as soon as possible so that we can continue to help you achieve your business goals.
The situation is still very fluid at the moment…in terms of freedom of movement and what businesses can and can’t do…this has been the case for the past several weeks but we are starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel so we feel that the time is right to start updating our customers, plus all Western companies with a stake in China manufacturing, about the facts on the ground. We are going to stick mainly to facts, try to keep speculation out of it completely, and try to keep our opinions to a minimum.
NOTE: This will be a running update blog with relevant information updated here when available. Please feel free to share this blog.
Section 1 – Trusted Coronavirus Links
During the past several weeks we have been monitoring the situation closely to make sure we are on top of the facts on the ground (as known at any given point). With that we have come across some good links to share, to help keep you informed.
- WHO – Just the facts here. Straight forward information about the Coronavirus with timely updates…reports of the facts on the ground as known daily and as reported by various governments around the world to WHO. Also a good source for myth busting and solid prevention measures that any company or family can adopt.
- John Hopkins Map – A really good tool that takes real time stats and turns them into good visuals to help clearly show the reach of the virus. Take a moment to zoom in on maps to see what areas are affected.
- Worldmeter – A statistics website that pulls their data from trusted sources like WHO. The numbers are close but not perfect. What is best about this site is how they explain stats and break down math formulas to help the average person better understand numbers and what they truly mean.
Section 2 – Extended Factory Shut Down Period
- Coronavirus hit just before Chinese New Year (CNY). If you are in manufacturing you will likely be aware that this period is the biggest annual migration of people on the planet as the majority of the China workforce travels to their home towns, from their work cities, for this annual holiday.
- During the CNY break Coronavirus became an outbreak in Wuhan City.
- It was quickly realized that very serious steps were needed to contain the virus. Here are a few of the key steps the China government took.
- Step 1 – extend the CNY break by a week, keeping factories shut down until at the very minimum February 10th. This was to restrict movement of workers traveling from their home towns, back to their workplace cities.
- Step 2 – mandatory quarantines were put in place in the epicenter.
- Step 3 – strict self-quarantine rules followed quickly for any large city in China with minimal local travel approved. Only 1 designated family member could venture out to get food and water supplies.
- Step 4 – severe travel restrictions throughout the country.
- All these steps and more were implemented to limit person to person contact, to help minimize the possible spread of the virus.
- During this time many make shift policies were also put in place, reviewed, revised, and redistributed in anticipation of workers traveling back and returning to their manufacturing jobs. This has kept the situation and reliable information very fluid.
Section 3 – Factory Back To Work Dates
- Official dates for factory start ups in China (currently posted) is ranging anywhere from February 10th to March 1st. In Dongsheng district, where Jade is located, the official start up date is February 20th. However, as mentioned, the situation on the ground is very fluid. For Jade, we are working with local officials to see if an earlier start up is possible.
- All original dates for nonessential factory start ups were originally scheduled for February 10th but that changed on February 7th, 8th, and 9th as new government directives were introduced throughout various regions and districts in China.
- It is important to note that start up dates don’t necessarily mean a factory just starts up. It first means that they can get into their factory. There are several conditions that each and every factory across China must meet before they can truly start up. Plus they need to be inspected by the local government officials before they can start up to ensure all conditions are verified as met.
- All conditions are aimed at ensuring there are no further outbreaks of the Coronavirus, some key conditions include:
- Condition 1 – any employee returning from a Coronavirus epicenter must register and self quarantine for 14 days before they can report to work.
- Condition 2 – all companies must create a disaster plan
- Condition 3 – all companies must assign personnel to regularly check and log staff temperatures at the factory on a daily ongoing basis
- Condition 4 – all companies must create isolation rooms within the factory in case an employee shows any symptoms of Coronavirus
- Condition 5 – all companies must have a large enough stock of disposable preventative items such as face masks, alcohol, and the like
- It is also important to note realities on the ground. Such as, factories who are able to open earlier in certain districts face a massively depleted workforce as there are still considerable travel limitations and restrictions in place. We know of many factories in Shenzhen, for example (many Shenzhen districts fall under an official February 10th start up date) that hope to really be open for business around the 17th after inspection, but in reality they will only have about a 30% work force.
- It is also important to point out that manufacturing in China, just like elsewhere, does not happen in a vacuum, it relies on supply chain and it will take the local supply chains time to get up to speed and time for workforce’s to return to full. I mention this because we are already seeing reports of companies telling customers everything is 100% just because they are in their factory. The reality on the ground is that this is not true. It will take time for everyone.
Section 4 – Jade Molds Response
- As mentioned above, right now our earliest official start date, in our district, is set as February 20th, but, we are in daily contact with local officials to see if an earlier date is possible. Again, the situation is very fluid
- All start up conditions, set forth by the government in the last 72 hours (as outlined above), have been initially put in place by Jade as we were preparing for a previously understood start up date of February 10th. There are some new issues we need to solve but we forge ahead and we will solve as we go.
- Crucially, our paperwork is in order and we are waiting on a factory inspection date.
- Local suppliers are not back yet (they are also officially scheduled for February 20th) but we are presently on the phones with our supply chain network to get a grip on how they are handling the same inspection process we are going through and to fully understand any shortfalls they may see.
- Wherever we see potential supply chain issues we are seeking out short term alternatives.
- We are in touch with all staff members who have returned and who have not returned yet (due to multiple travel issues). Through our communication with staff we have a good understanding of when they can return and we expect to have a good percentage of staff back, healthy, cleared, and ready to work by the time we are officially back.
- While we are waiting for inspection, our management teams that have returned are training up on preventative measures to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus and they in turn will train up other staff members as soon as our factory is open.
- Outside of all the government measures it is important to have a healthy staff, a staff that feels confident that the measures put in place by Jade can keep them safe and healthy. Staff moral and communication is a big priority for us right now during this waiting/planning period.
- Our engineers in the USA and China continue to work on projects and update customers on engineering matters. Please feel free to reach out to us if you would like a project review or update on engineering matters – [email protected]
- All Jade staff are fully committed to getting past the factory inspection phase so we can resume manufacturing and continue to serve our valued customers to the best of our ability.
On a personal note – we feel very fortunate that no one in our Jade family have been directly afflicted by the Coronavirus and our deepest sympathies and thoughts are with those in and out of China who are affected in any way by the Coronavirus.
For Jade customers – we now turn our full attention on getting up and running at capacity so we can first get caught up and finish existing mold builds that are on the books. The situation on the ground is still very fluid and we are reacting to the situation as needed, proactively anticipating potential stumbling blocks for getting up to speed, and project planning accordingly.
Jade management teams are currently evaluating each mold build project on a case by case basis and putting action plans together over the next few days in anticipation of hitting the ground running as much as possible once we are back. Jade management will be in touch with you this week if you have an existing mold build with Jade to discuss your ongoing project. If you would like to reach out ahead of time to schedule a call please feel free to email [email protected] at anytime.
For anyone manufacturing in China – As mentioned you will see some suppliers who may start earlier if they are in a different city as start dates are a bit staggered in different regions and districts. More importantly, for anyone who is not on the ground in China, is the spread of misinformation we are already seeing on social media. Posts from many China suppliers saying they are back working and everything is great. The situation on the ground is not that simple as outlined above. Start up is hard for everyone during this time.
If we may, just a bit friendly advise to ask questions and qualify answers as best as possible. Particularly when it comes to delivery times so you don’t get caught out with false promises.
Bookmark this blog and check back periodically for updates as Jade and all of China gets back up to full manufacturing speed.
Thank You all for your continued support during these trying times. Please keep those affected by the Coronavirus anywhere in the world in your thoughts.
Sincerely – Jade Molds
To discuss your next injection molding production or injection mold build project review email [email protected] today.