COVID has already adversely affected majority of the manufacturing units, with the exception of fully automated factories, also referred to as ‘lights off’ manufacturing or dark factories. For rest of the plants keeping up with safety measure with maintaining the efficiency and efficacy of production has proven to be a great challenge.
With a large number of factories still shut, the rest, bear the brunt of COVID-19 creating numerous problems. Optimum level of productivity is achieved by maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships amongst workers, the enormous stress and fear induced due to the virus on top of the obligation of maintaining social distance has been hampering the smooth functioning of manufacturing units. Although, the companies are trying ensure highest safety and security level for the employees, the fear of catching the deadly virus through one source or another creeps in quite easily.
Social responsibility of a company comes into light during such testing times as well. On one hand, shifting towards artificial intelligence for ensuring safe, secure and optimum production value proves to be a step taken by many. On the other hand, it signifies letting go of current employees, which jeopardizes their career and only increases their problems in an already agonizing state of events.
Another impact has been the rapid transformation in producing high demand/ crucial products. Either on demand from the government or by personal choice factories have seen a shift in the products been manufactured. A steep rise in the production of sanitizers, daily essentials, facemasks, toilet paper etc can be seen, Including of large scale production of ventilators, COVID-19 test kits, relief kits as well as medical equipments.
Normalcy may seem like a farfetched dream, but the impact of COVID-19 will inevitably surpass the former. The new normal however would require an improvised course of action for overcoming the drawbacks which manufacturing industries have faced due to the lack of a digitalized production system pre-COVID-19