As a globally active company with subsidiaries in 39 countries, Beckhoff became aware of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic early on. Particularly in China, the local Beckhoff subsidiary was able to gain experience in how the safety of employees can be guaranteed and the company's function can be maintained during the effects of the corona pandemic.
Transfer of approx. 2,000 jobs worldwide to the home office
Building on the Chinese experience, initial measures were introduced in Germany at the end of February. Almost two weeks ago, all suitable workstations were moved to the home office. All employees affected by this measure can be reached by our customers as usual via the familiar e-mail addresses and telephone numbers. In addition, the Microsoft Teams application is available to all employees as a powerful internal and external communication and collaboration platform, enabling them to work together with customers even more effectively than before.
Reorganization of production to increase infection protection
One week ago, production was converted to a two- and three-shift operation separated in time. In addition, all employees in production were divided into occupational safety groups (= potential infection groups), which can work independently of each other and at a safe distance. Employees were urgently advised that they should also apply this protective group principle to their domestic circumstances in order to minimize the risk of infection for themselves and their families. In the event of infection, only a manageable number of colleagues and family members would then have to be sent to quarantine.
No internal infections so far
All these measures have led to the fact that there have been no known infections within the company to date. Two external infections are known, but these have been completely isolated from all company contacts. In addition, about 60 employees from various departments were sent to a protective or precautionary quarantine arranged by Beckhoff. So far, no further infections have resulted from this. The first employees are therefore returning to work.
Security of supply for customers
In order to ensure security of supply for its customers, Beckhoff has significantly increased the minimum stock levels in the Beckhoff raw materials warehouse following the Japanese earthquake in 2011. Beckhoff is currently working with a minimum storage capacity of four average months for raw materials and, in addition, with a target range of six weeks for the finished goods warehouse. Both items together result in a safety buffer of almost six months for all customer demands. Larger fluctuations and problems in the supply chain can thus be easily and safely cushioned.
Beckhoff is currently producing at the usual capacities without restrictions. Due to the continuing good order situation, no reductions in working hours are planned.
Global logistics are currently under heavy pressure. Beckhoff is still able to supply all countries of the world, but time delays in transportation may occur.
Beckhoff Automation is an owner-managed medium-sized family business. In the 40-year history of the company, double-digit growth has been accomplished in almost every year - with a few exceptions. Parallel to this growth, sufficient financial reserves have been built up to survive even the most severe crises. Beckhoff is therefore also a financially sound and reliable partner for its customers.
Research and development
All Beckhoff research and development departments work at full capacity to enhance and improve existing product lines and, of course, to invent fundamentally new and exciting products for automation.
We hope and assume that the "social distancing" measures taken in many countries of the world will push back the coronavirus and allow it to run out. In addition, we believe that modern biotechnology will help to find an active substance or vaccine faster than in earlier times, which will help us to return to a normal free life.
Currently, the company is well prepared for the coronavirus situation, can serve its clients almost as usual and is ready to take on new tasks.