March 23, 2020
Dear Valued Customers,
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last week the states of California and Illinois, several counties in New York and, most recently, St. Louis City and County, Missouri, have implemented stay-at-home (also known as “shelter-in-place”) orders. More regions are preparing to do the same. The intent of these orders is to limit the operation of all “non-essential” business and related travel. The orders also strongly encourage all essential businesses to continue operating. Additionally, federal guidelines created by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, classify 16 sectors as critical infrastructure sectors.
Based upon our review of the CISA guidelines, consultation with local government authorities and many customers and outside experts, Watlow’s business operations are considered essential because they support critical infrastructure sectors such as healthcare, transportation, information technology, energy, defense and food production. Therefore, to help support our nation’s critical infrastructure all our production facilities remain open currently.
We recognize the hardships the COVID-19 situation is causing to the global economy and to business worldwide. Watlow remains vigilant in safeguarding the health of our team members, supplier personnel and the general public as well as the continuity of our business to ensure our customers’ businesses are not disrupted. While we do not anticipate any production delays at this time, we are prioritizing our efforts towards customers operating within the critical infrastructure sectors referenced above. If any priority decisions are required that may affect our ability to serve customers in non-essential sectors we will inform you immediately.
We are committed doing everything possible to enable our valued customers to continue operating uninterrupted during this time as we comply with all COVID-19 directives and orders. We will continue to provide the most current information available.
We will get through this together.
March 18, 2020
Dear Valued Customers,
The global impact of COVID-19 on people and the economy is significant, and Watlow has taken a comprehensive approach to deal with the current crisis. Although the conditions are changing rapidly, we would like to share how the current situation is affecting Watlow, how we are protecting our team members, customers and partners, our business continuity plans and how we are maintaining the continuity of supply.
We want to emphasize that Watlow remains open for business and committed to designing and manufacturing thermal solutions during this challenging time.
Health and Safety of our Team Members
The health and safety of our team members, customers and partners, while continuing to meet your needs, is of utmost priority to Watlow. As a result, we have implemented several policy changes including:
- No visitors will be allowed to enter a Watlow facility without the approval of Watlow’s executive team.
- Anyone entering our facilities globally will need to answer three screening questions before being allowed access. The questionnaire assures that anyone entering the facility has not been to any high-risk areas, has not been in contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 and is not experiencing any flu-like symptoms.
- For Watlow team members, air travel for business outside of the country of residence is not permitted at this time. Essential travel to and from Mexico is the only exception. Also, essential business travel within all countries (by air or car) must be approved by Watlow’s executive team.
- Watlow team members traveling for personal reasons are asked to take health precautions as indicated by the CDC and are being asked to inform team leaders of any trips.
- A mandated 14-day quarantine is required for anyone who has traveled on a cruise ship or traveled to / from Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
- We are encouraging team members to work from home if possible, and for those who are not able, we are staggering breaks and lunches to reduce the number of people in an area at a time.
- We have discouraged large in-person meetings and have encouraged team members to avoid large concentrations of people.
- We have installed hand sanitizing stations, are cleaning our facilities on a more frequent basis and have cleaning wipes in all conference rooms and common areas for team members to use.
Bay Area Shelter in Place Order
As you all have probably heard, on Monday, March 16 seven Bay Area California counties announced “shelter in place” orders for all residents for the next three weeks. Watlow’s San Jose, CA facility is located in the affected area, and we are currently working our business continuity plan to minimize the disruption to our customers and team members. While we are compliant with the order, we are exploring several options to maintain, at a minimum, basic operations to keep our facility secure and safe and retain the value of our inventory. We will communicate more details as they become available.
Business Continuity Plans
Watlow has business continuity plans in place for all facilities globally, and every facility is working those plans to minimize any disruptions to team members, customers and partners. This is an evolving situation, and everyone is doing what they can to stay healthy and safe while continuing to run the business and meet our customer’s needs.
Continuity of Supply
Watlow’s supply chain global optimization team is assessing the current supply chain risks on a daily basis and the team is actively working specific actions to minimize the impact of supply chain disruptions. We have increased our working capital and inventory investment as required and are maintaining increased inventory levels when possible. Please look for additional supply chain updates soon.
Watlow’s COVID-19 response team and Watlow’s executive team are also reviewing many other actions including pay policies, facilities cleaning, more social distancing, etc. We will continue to provide information as it becomes available. Watlow is committed to do what is right to keep everyone healthy and safe, and we are confident that we will get through this situation together.