Just a brief update from Lucite International’s EMEA business to let you all know how we’re tackling the COVID-19 crisis…

This is first and foremost a public health crisis, so I really hope all your employees and their families are staying safe. Sadly, too many of us are now starting to hear of people close to us being impacted and that really brings it home how serious this is.

As will certainly be the case in many businesses, we now have a lot of people working from home and I’m pleased to have had direct feedback from our customers that our service has been maintained, even with our commercial and supply chain teams working in their own quickly established home set ups.

Pictured: my own quickly established home set up.

As a manufacturing organisation, many of our on-site teams aren’t able to work from home and so they are continuing to operate and support our production plants. We’re hugely appreciative of the work they’ve done to adapt working practices and ensure we can continue to safely operate our plants in a way that also allows safe distancing to be achieved. The efforts of our suppliers and service providers haven’t gone unnoticed either. Both are vital for production to continue.

Our products get used by our customers in a huge range of applications and many of those are relevant to current needs – some are more obvious than others. Examples include resins used in adhesives for medical dressings and PPE; polymers used in blood testing equipment and incubators; monomers used in latex gloves as well as coatings, inks and adhesives used in a whole range of medical and food applications.

A new application area which has emerged is for ‘sneeze screens’ in pharmacies and retail locations to protect staff and customers from possible infection – pMMA is one of the preferred materials for this. While obviously all the credit in fighting this crisis must go to the health services, and others directly in the front line, it is nice to know that we have a small role to play in supplying products which our customers use in vital contributions to the medical and food sectors.

Clearly, business is tough for many customers across our industry and others. While many have been impacted by the downturn in automotive, construction and retail sectors, we are seeing increased demand from customers linked to the application areas described earlier and we are doing everything possible to ensure that we supply the product that they require.

To end on a personal note – while I’m very used to working while travelling, in normal circumstances I wouldn’t spend long periods working from home. So, like many others, I’ve had to adapt. After being ‘empty-nesters’ for two years, we now have three daughters back home from university and we are all having to find our personal work areas. My working spot is in one of my daughter’s bedrooms so I can plug directly into the internet router – that’s after 10am when she’s dragged herself out of bed – I’m in the kitchen before then. Spot her half-unpacked bag and pile of dirty clothes. DSE assessment and posture improvement still required!

 

Phil Bailey, EMEA General Manager