Time to read: 3 min

Last month, we were busy advising customers about the predictable supply chain disruption related to the celebration of the Lunar New Year in China and helping ensure that everyone’s parts could be delivered on time. This week we have seen something unpredictable that will pile on additional disruption at the worst possible time.

The WHO (World Health Organization) met today to reconsider last week’s decision and has now declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. There have been more than 7,800 confirmed cases (which is more than SARS in 2002-2003), and thousands more will likely be identified in the coming days. Schools have been closed and airlines have cancelled flights to China. Foreign nationals, including Americans, have been evacuated from Wuhan, where the outbreak likely began. The death toll has tragically risen to more than 170. A relatively small number of cases, around 70, have been recorded outside China, but they are spread across Asia, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Australia.

Our thoughts are with all those affected by the outbreak, and our first reaction has been to make sure all those in the Fictiv community are safe and well. The Fictiv community is made up of our customers, partners, and people, and it’s our mission to protect them all from any risk or disruption that occurs, whether predictable, like Chinese New Year, or not. 

This current situation is a serious and unpredictable disruption. We already know that Wuhan is in shut down and we are seeing effects elsewhere in China, with factories in Shanghai and Shenzhen remaining closed after the Lunar New Year for an additional 7-10 days. That could easily turn into a longer period. 

What is Fictiv Doing?

Agility is at the core of what we do, so shifting production capacity from one geography to another is not new to us. We have built a robust platform that allows us to control the way parts are made regardless of where they are made. This platform allows us to ramp production in a new location very quickly. We have also developed a network of manufacturing partners around the world that can lean in and help when needed.

During this challenging time, we are able to focus and ramp work we load to geographies unaffected by the virus, thanks to that agility. This will ensure we deliver on our promise to our customers with the same consistency, reliability, transparency, and quality they associate with Fictiv.

Radical transparency is a cornerstone of our philosophy. Keeping our customers informed as things change in the region is essential. We are providing regular updates on all in-flight orders and making sure we do everything we can to work with those customers to make sure they get their parts when they need them. Order lead times on the Fictiv platform will reflect the new dynamic that exists, with most shorter lead time orders being routed through the US.

By our nature, we have a dynamic manufacturing footprint with elastic capacity. This means we can both shift production quickly and add manufacturing capacity when needed. The result is, unlike traditional manufacturing models, Fictiv will not lose capacity in the manufacturing network.

Fictiv is a global manufacturing ecosystem. The people in China that work with us and for us are our people and we are committed to them. We will continue to do everything we can to help them through this difficult period and to ensure their safety. China provides our customers with excellent manufacturing partners who are real craftspeople and do excellent work. They are an important part of the Fictiv ecosystem and will remain so. We hope that this outbreak is contained quickly so we can continue to build our global manufacturing family both in China and elsewhere. 

Our task remains the same. We must be agile and dynamic, transparent and open, and true to our goals. That way, we will continue to deliver for our customers through our platform, our partners, and our people. 

The coronavirus is a fast-moving virus and a rapidly developing challenge, and we are committed to staying on top of it and to keeping our people safe and our customers informed while minimizing any impact on their supply chain.

Great resources:

FORBES Everything You Need To Know About The Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak