Information to ensure security of supply and the Karl Knauer pandemic plan

Highest hygiene standards at the Karl Knauer sites

The dramatic development of the global coronavirus crisis present all of us with unprecedented challenges. Protecting the health of our employees and business partners, along with ensuring supply availability, are now our absolute priorities.

We have taken wide-ranging protective measures aimed at keeping the impact of the pandemic to a minimum. During the early stages of the crisis, we established a crisis committee with representatives from all important areas and developed a comprehensive pandemic plan, which will be continually adapted to the ever-changing conditions. Essentially, this is a matter of protecting against possible infection and associated restrictions when it comes to security of supply.

1. An internal information campaign is used to inform our employees on an ongoing basis of behavioural measures for personal protection against infection with the virus, and of what to do in the event of illness. Information boards underpin the daily employee information. There are guidelines relating to holiday returnees, what to do if a coronavirus case is suspected in the home environment and what to do if a coronavirus case is suspected in the company. Employees who have been to crisis areas will work from home for 14 days as a precaution.

2. The hygiene rules have been drastically tightened, the cleaning and disinfection intervals have been significantly increased, and sanitisers have been placed in all areas.

3. Visits, internal/external meetings and all events have been postponed until further notice or have been moved to online communication platforms. The same also applies to trips for our customers and suppliers, and between our sites.

4. We have drastically reduced the number of employees present, especially in administration, and predominantly transferred them to their home office. Within the respective administrative areas and across administrative departments, shift models are in place to further minimise the number of contacts, therefore interrupting potential chains of infection.

5. We have changed our shift model in production to ensure that there is no contact with each other during shift changes. The same applies to the break regulations, where there has been a changeover in canteen break times in each area, including cleaning between cycles and a reduction in canteen seating to maintain a 2m distance between people.

6. Even in the event that individual persons or even groups of persons should be absent due to ordered quarantine, production can be maintained thanks to shift extensions that have already been confirmed. This will ensure Karl Knauer is still able to deliver.

7. Our production capacities at two sites in Germany and Poland are additionally increasing security of delivery.

8. Process-critical suppliers have been identified and corresponding inventories increased. This applies especially to the production of the raw materials, consumables and supplies we require. Alternative materials have always been set out, and will now help us to respond flexibly to any shortages. If individual raw material suppliers should fail, we will switch to alternative raw materials available in consultation with our customers.

9. We are in close communication with our logistics partners in order to secure freight capacities and freight times as far as possible.

You can see from these examples of our wide range of measures that we are able and committed to reducing the risks for our customers, for our employees and their families and friends, for us as a company and for all other business partners to an absolute minimum in a highly responsible, proactive way.

The measures that have been taken and that are planned mean that we are confident that we can all protect ourselves as far as possible against a failure in our production, together with the resulting inability to deliver. However, we would like to ask our business partners once more to support the joint crisis management that is required by engaging in close dialogue. Expanding planning horizons, increasing safety stocks and warehouse ranges, and earlier requests for finished goods are just a few examples of the leverage that is now possible for securing the entire collective supply chain.

Your queries and orders will, of course, continue to be processed in the usual manner. Your contact people will be happy to be of service, as usual.

We will attempt to identify delays that are beyond our control at an early stage, react appropriately to them and keep you informed as a customer. However, possible delays in delivery due to the coronavirus pandemic, or the effects of measures to contain it, cannot be ruled out. We request that these delays are tolerated, and they are exempted from any liability.

We are confident that the closer we work with one another and stick together as partners in these challenging times, the faster and better we will overcome this unprecedented global crisis.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We appreciate your support. We wish you all the best, and please take care.