LMAC Insight

Calling all Manufacturers: Switch Production – Save lives

These are unprecedented times that call for urgent and innovative solutions. As I read about the UK government’s plea to manufacturers to switch production to urgently needed ventilators, I wondered what New Zealand manufacturers could do in this chaotic time. 



After 30 years in manufacturing, I know for a fact that the old saying “demand breeds innovation” is true. Take the Christchurch earthquakes, for example, I certainly saw some lateral thinking during that period. But this is a different problem entirely – where our global supply chains will be tested like never before.

It’s pretty safe to say that some, or more likely many established supply chains across a broad range of industries will fail. The impact of the collapse of existing supply chains will range from minor inconveniences for some to major job losses for many.

That doesn’t sound good enough to me so I’m reaching out to the manufacturing community for some ideas.

Could a shampoo manufacturer switch to making hand sanitiser?
Could a filter manufacturer produce face masks?
Is there a company in New Zealand with the potential skills, equipment and expertise to design and build medical respirators?
Can manufacturing companies come together and pool their resources to find solutions to the problems caused by this emergency?

Rather than battening down the hatches, I believe we can all contribute to create something incredible out of this adversity.

Come on New Zealand! Let’s do what we do best – let’s innovate!

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