As manufacturers work to reopen their facilities and begin production, New York state has issued the Reopen NY Master Guidance for Manufacturing Activities. The following is an excerpt from that document regarding workplace activity.

Responsible Parties must take measures to reduce interpersonal contact and congregation, through methods such as:

  • Limiting in-person presence to only those staff who are necessary
  • Adjusting workplace hours;
  • Reducing on-site workforce to accommodate social distancing guidelines;
  • Shifting design (e.g. A/B teams, staggered arrival/departure times);
  • Prioritizing tasks that allow for social distancing (e.g. machine drilling, forging) over those that do not (e.g. processing lines); and/or
  • Avoiding multiple crews and/or teams working in one area by staggering scheduled tasks and using signs to indicate occupied areas.

As your company adjusts to these guidelines and their return to production efforts, you should:

  • Ensure the new work protocols are standardized and understood. Engage employees in defining the new protocols specific to your organization. Use visuals to relay information as much as possible.

Example: Use simple dots on the floor or basic sketches as shown in the layout below to help ensure social distancing.

  • Contact customers and confirm order due dates and priorities and determine what has changed on their side. If your capacity has been reduced, re-prioritize your deliveries based on customer margin, lead times and criticality. Perform an 80/20 analysis, do 20% of your products represent 80% of your profits. This is not to say you drop the 80% that are less profitable, but the analysis can help you focus efforts and determine priorities.
  • Identify your constraining operation and maximize its ability to produce through cross-training, split shifts and focusing on production to meet the short term needs of the customer. Consider use of office personnel for operations if the need arises.

Keep in mind the constraining operation may shift if you change the product mix.

  • Verify the availability of material and components with your supply base. Be flexible with your schedule based on the ability of your supply chain.
  • Review standard workforce practices. Will you need to spread work to multiple shifts? Do you need to stagger shifts and breaks?

We are all in this together; if any of our clients or partners have successfully implemented changes regarding these concepts and are willing to share with the WNY manufacturing community, we are asking you to submit them to us and we can share these best practices with all the manufacturers in our community. Descriptions, photos, examples, etc. would be beneficial and we can give you credit for any submissions that would be published.

Please submit any ideas to:  


Read more of Insyte’s #ReopenWNY blog series:

Reopen WNY: Getting Started Within New Guidelines – Recently we received the long awaited announcement that manufacturers within WNY are now allowed to reopen. Along with this good news, there are some required constraints to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

Reopen WNY: Covid-19 Visual Controls – As your employees start coming back and settling into their existing or new jobs, the time is right to think about enhancing your visual controls.

Reopen WNY: The New Office Environment – With an estimated 60+% of employed Americans working from home during the pandemic, the latest wave of change surrounds getting these people safely back to the office.

Reopen WNY: Touchless Visitor Sign In – If you are considering a visitor management system, this blog highlights those that offer touchless options & are compliant with NYS COVID-19 guidelines.





Insyte Consulting