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The supply chain behind the pivot to make coronavirus relief supplies

April 02, 2020 / Jen A. Miller
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Manufacturers across the world are changing how they do business to make products and devices to help with the fight against COVID-19. The companies that have been able to do so, and quickly, are those that have strong supply chains and aren’t straying too far from their current mission. "When you have these core competencies already in place, a supply chain that supports you with core commodities, then it’s just about scaling," John Impellizzeri, assistant professor of professional practice in supply chain management at Rutgers Business School, told Supply Chain Dive in an interview. LCR Hallcrest makes thermometers, for things like dishwashers to show they’ve reached sanitizing water temperatures, and self-sticking, easy read thermometers. In response to COVID-19, the company has quickly pivoted to making disposable forehead thermometers. It now makes one million a week, to be used in local hospitals. Rocky Sapienza, vice president of operations at LCR Hallcrest, told Supply Chain Dive in an interview that the company did the same thing during the SARS outbreak in 2003. At the time, the company had recently acquired another firm, so it had double the machines and double the staff, which made ramping up production easy.