Changing Operations to Meet Coronavirus Demands

Apr 3, 2020 4:15 PM ET

With every day bringing new and more complex coronavirus challenges, we are all still determining the best way to move forward. And while there is no clear roadmap to successful navigation, there are things business can do now to help, when our community and the world need it most. Here, we’ve rounded up examples of how companies are changing their business operations to provide products and services to help during this growing crisis:

  • Feeding Hospital Workers on the Front Lines: While restaurants may be empty, many have shifted operations to provide warm and nourishing food to those individuals on the front lines of the pandemic: hospital workers. Sweetgreen Outpost operations in Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Boston, New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston will be delivering free salads and bowls to hospitals in those cities. Local restaurants in Seattle and San Diego are following suit, keeping staff employed while providing an invaluable service.
  • Shifting Gears to Create Respirators: The shortage of N95 respirators in hospitals is of top concern to hospitals and health workers – without which could endanger health workers and weaken the coronavirus response in the U.S. Now, there is a call for companies to shift operations to heed the demand. General Motors CEO Mary Barra is offering the automaker’s closed factories for the production of ventilators as the crisis persists and 3M is already increasing production of its current respirator manufacturing facilities – and has announced it is shifting production so “more of our production capacity [is] dedicated to supplying healthcare and government/emergency response.”
  • Changing Over Operations to Make Sanitizer: A number of diverse brands are stepping up to completely shift their production facilities over to address the shortage in critical items like hand sanitizer. Luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, the parent company of Christian Dior, Guerlain and Givenchy, has announced it will shift all perfumes and cosmetics production facilities to produce hand sanitizer, and provide the final product for free. While local Portland, Oregon company Shine Distillery has started offering a house-made sanitizer free to customers and neighbors. Other distilleries from across the nation are joining in – including companies in Washington, D.C., Durham, NC and Atlanta, GA.

While the term “business as usual” may no longer be relevant, this is a time when business can still provide critical products and services. Companies must contemplate how they can be innovative, think fast and most importantly, bring humanity into decision-making. Businesses that take a community-first approach to fighting this crisis can provide life-saving solutions and step up in a way that will earn high marks from stakeholders across the globe.