COVID-19 is definitely placing its strain on the economy and many businesses at this time. There are so many manufacturing companies that are having difficulty maintaining full production and sales due to the current lock down. I was able to have the opportunity to speak with the Senior Research and Development Engineer to learn more about how COVID-19 is impacting an automotive manufacturing plant right here in MA.
Christina: What is the company you work for?
Mikko: I work for Haartz Corporation which is an automotive manufacturing plant. We make coated textiles for most of the auto industry (convertible tops, tonneau covers, car interiors, etc).
Christina: Where is your company located?
Mikko: My company is located in Acton, Massachusetts.
Christina: How long have you been with this company?
Mikko: I’ve been full time with this company for 5 years, but worked here several summers while in college.
Christina: What is your favorite part of your job?
Mikko: The best part of my job is being able to see my projects in real life. Being able to see a convertible top I worked on in a parking lot, or driving past a tonneau cover I helped design adds a sense of pride to my job.
Christina: What is the most challenging part of your job?
Mikko: The most challenging part of my job is dealing with all the requirements of the automotive industry. It’s highly regulated (some government and some not) so sometimes it feels like jumping through 1000 hoops to accomplish a small task.
Christina: How has COVID-19 affected your business?
Mikko: COVID-19 has caused a lot of the automotive industry to shut down, either partially or fully. This obviously hurts our sales.
Christina: What kind of changes have you made to be able to still accommodate your customers or clients needs?
Mikko: Massachusetts has done a good job of recognizing the importance of a supply chain. We have been deemed essential so we are still operational for limited onsite manufacturing and shipping. Everyone who can work from home does. But we’ve been able to meet customer orders at the plant, and handle a lot of the behind the scenes stuff at home.
Manufacturers in the automotive industry, as well as other industries, create products that are essential to our daily lives. However, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of their production has been limited. This has a big strain on their sales, and also has a ripple effect hurting other companies in the supply chain.
**Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect privacy of individuals.**
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