Perspectives Part Three: COVID-19 & manufacturing

April 8, 2020
How are solution providers pitching in?

We are all dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in our own ways, but struggles for members of the manufacturing community share similarities. With that in mind, we solicited insights on a few topics from a broad spectrum of industry stakeholders in order to provide perspectives that can help you navigate this unprecedented period. 

This is Part three of a series. Subsequent features will run in the coming days. 


“Many of GE Digital’s customers operate mission-critical and essential industries, including food & beverage, consumer packaged goods, automotive, and water/wastewater. Workers in these industries are increasingly being asked to work from home to ensure business continuity while mitigating the spread of the coronavirus. This is why we have worked quickly to help our customers adapt to these remote working situations. We just announced free remote and monitoring-control licenses for our iFIX and CIMPLICITY customers, and expect to roll out similar remote offers soon across our other vertical markets. 

Internally, the majority of our employees have shifted to work-from-home as well. The health of our employees and customers is our top priority, and we have been able to find innovative ways to service and support our customers where previously we would have traveled, like using remote diagnostics for our managed services. These adjustments to our processes and teaming have been vital in keeping teams safe while meeting our commitments and delivering for our customers.” Pat Byrne, CEO, GE Digital

“As a software company, MachineMetrics is lucky that most of our employees can easily work from home. Our biggest adjustments have been in how we work with our customers. We have had to switch away from onsite machine connections and support the customer in connecting the machines themselves. Our customers’ strategies are also changing, so we have to work to make sure we are providing value in all the right places.” Eric Fogg, co-founder and chief connectivity officer, MachineMetrics

“In the early period of the virus, we had to cancel planned participation in various conferences around the world, eventually eliminating travel altogether. The silver lining is that this has given us a chance to crystalize internal business-process improvements that were already in progress and to find ways to innovate on our sales and marketing processes. Regarding employee safety, Opto 22 was proactive about responding to the accelerating situation and what we saw as the likely response by local government. Before statewide stay-at-home orders were issued for California, Opto 22 had already begun deploying office staff to work remotely.

Manufacturing processes have certainly been impacted as well, including our entire manufacturing workforce. However, our work is essential to supporting critical infrastructure across several industries as defined by Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. As such, we are implementing the safe practices designated by the CDC that will allow our manufacturing employees to return to full productivity as soon as possible.” Benson Hougland, vice president of marketing and product strategy, Opto 22

“Here at KORE we have taken many steps to ensure the well-being of our employees and some of our customers are feeling a temporary slowdown, while others are seizing opportunities this challenge is bringing. Examples of the areas we have seen an uptick of activity include tablet and other device connectivity for remote workers and remote education. Field and remote services have long been a strength for KORE, and at times like this, when entire parts of the economy are shifting to an online-only model. Our remote patient-monitoring area is seeing more demand, as are our mPERS and other LBS-powered services. We are helping some customers with services we have not provided before, including logistics/fulfillment and IoT managed services. We are delivering on our commitment to provide services and bundles that make it easier for our enterprise customers to adopt and securely scale IoT to meet the demands of their businesses, and for our solution-provider customers to grow by improving how they serve their end customers.” Romil Bahl, president and CEO, KORE 

“At AspenTech, the health and welfare of our employees and customers is always our first priority.  We continue to work with local authorities where we have a presence to comply with their directives and do our part to curtail this unprecedented pandemic. We are also taking multiple steps to help both our customers and employees during this time. We have transitioned customer meetings and trainings from face-to-face discussions to online, virtual interactions, and we’re assisting customers that are working from home to make it easy for them to access AspenTech software for remote access and operation. Finally, we are evaluating ways that we can lend our expertise, software and capabilities to help our customers get through this trying time.” Paul Donnelly, industry marketing director, Aspen Technology

“We’ve had a wave of companies come to us for a gap analysis to pinpoint all the various chokepoints where their current processes are lacking, so they can focus on areas that are most critical to their business. From there, we help them migrate many of their business processes to the cloud to maintain as much agility as possible in such a volatile environment. This can include first identifying their business processes from order reception to fulfillment and delivery.” Frank Kenney, director of market strategy at Cleo

Find Part One and Part Two of our COVID & Manufacturing series.