Mueller Refrigeration News Center
Essential Business Notification March 25, 2020
Several state and local governments have issued proclamations that prohibit gatherings of people, order non-essential businesses to close, and residents to remain in their homes due to concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Essential businesses, as defined by executive orders and other relevant guidelines are exempt from these restrictions, and have been encouraged to continue operating in order to avoid any interruption to those critical infrastructure industries that are necessary to remain in place during this crisis. The Critical Manufacturing Sector is “crucial to the economic prosperity and continuity of the United States.” This sector includes workers who are necessary for the manufacturing and products needed for medical supply chains, transportation, energy and several other critical areas that are essential to the viability of our nation’s infrastructure. Mueller Refrigeration meets this definition as being included in the Critical Manufacturing Sector and will continue to operate.
At Mueller Refrigeration the health and safety of our employees, customers, and suppliers is of paramount importance. We continue to monitor the situation regarding COVID-19 closely. The situation today is very fluid and hard to predict, however, we are confident that we are doing everything possible to minimize the effect of the virus on our employees and maintain our ability to service our customers. As the virus started to spread outside of China, Mueller Industries took a very proactive approach implementing new policies including limitations on travel as early as February 26. We have also implemented the following to keep our employees as safe as possible:
• Ceased all airline travel and attendance at group business meetings outside the office
• Ensured all employees returning from commercial air travel remain at home for 14 days
• Added additional screening measures for employees returning to work after sickness
• Increased social distancing measures throughout our facilities including at shift change and breaks
• Reduced or eliminated group meetings within the office
• Added significant amounts of additional hand sanitizer and stronger anti-bacterial soaps at our facilities and increased the frequency of cleaning services
• Developed contingency plans at the individual locations in the event of mandatory and/or voluntary quarantines
• Invested in additional IT hardware and network support to assist with the potential needs of facilities that may require some employees to work remotely in the event of mandatory and/or voluntary quarantines
• Added screening measures for visitors ensuring they had not travelled by commercial airline or outside the US and had no symptoms of COVID-19
• Provided additional supports to employees who are placed in quarantine or unable to work due to sickness
Although we are proud of the work we are doing with our employees, like many others we anticipate the situation with COVID-19 to get worse before it gets better. We expect further community cases and contact with our employees outside of work to increase the number of our employees whom are affected. We expect this to be the case with our customers as well. This will likely result in limitations in both our customers and Mueller Refrigeration’s ability to fully staff our Hartsville facility. As such, it is our expectation that we will see a significant increase in the volatility of demand from our customers. We want to assure you that we are able to service all of the orders we have today; however, we ask that each of you do the following to help ensure we can service all of our customers properly through this very fluid situation:
1) Communicate changes in demand as quickly as possible allowing us to utilize our resources best to service customer’s needs.
2) Ensure you are current on all payables to any division of Mueller Industries. Unfortunately, Mueller will be unable to provide additional product to customers with past due balances.
3) If you are currently manufacturing components for medical devices, we would appreciate that you notify us including details on what you order from us to support this manufacturing. This will allow us to proactively plan for increased future demand.
4) As we are prioritizing your orders during this time, please be aware that we will not allow any product returns due to overstock situations for the next 12 months on any items ordered during this period.
5) Due to various supply challenges, we may request minimum order quantities or non-cancellable blanket orders on some specific items.
With uncertainty and order volatility, it is more important than ever to understand potential risks to our businesses and mitigate them to the greatest extent possible.
At Mueller, we value our relationships with our customer partners and are committed to work through this challenging time with you. If you have any questions regarding our action plans or simply want to discuss the situation further, please contact your local Mueller Refrigeration Sales Representative.