Canadian Plastics

Moldmakers list their COVID-19 anxieties in new CAMM survey

The survey shows that employee anxiety, project cancellations or delays, employee protection, and declining sales are the biggest concerns about COVID-19 among respondents.

April 3, 2020   Canadian Plastics

A new survey from the Canadian Association of Mold Makers (CAMM) and Automate Canada shows that employee anxiety, project cancellations or delays, employee protection, and declining sales are the biggest concerns about COVID-19 among respondents.

The survey was conducted over a two-week period closing on March 31, with 90 responses in the second week and 183 responses in total to date.

“In week two, the biggest impacts reported were from employee anxiety, employee protection, and declining sales,” CAMM said. “In other words, the mental and physical health of their workforces are having a significant impact on their businesses, as is the rapid decline in sales as it becomes increasingly difficult to fulfill current orders and obtain new work.”

When asked what the biggest impact of the pandemic was on their operations to date, respondents listed employee anxiety as the number one problem. “Financial concerns and declining sales were a close second to anxiety and protection of employees,” CAMM said.

The impact of COVID-19 has still not been felt at some workplaces, the survey showed. “Twenty-four manufacturing workplaces reported having no employees on quarantine, down from 30 in the first week of the survey,” CAMM said. “During the past seven days, 540 employees were out of the workplace on either isolation or quarantine at 66 workplaces, compared to 410 employees last week.”

Some of the respondents reported no layoffs in their workplaces with no layoffs. “Thirty-one workplaces, or 33 per cent of our respondents, have not laid anyone off,” CAMM said. “According to the respondents on the week two survey, a total of 1,045 employees have been laid off temporarily, compared to 711 in week one.” Most workplaces are not letting employees go permanently, the survey showed. “Twenty-six employees were reported as permanently laid off in week two, compared to eight in week one,” CAMM said.

And some manufacturers are even hiring, the survey showed. “Fourteen employees were hired in the past seven days by 12 per cent of our respondents, and 16 employees were reported hired last week,” CAMM said.

Based on the results from week two, CAMM said, it looks like the initial burst of project cancellations has slowed, with temporary postponements happening more frequently. “We’re also still seeing the award of new programs,” CAMM said.

According to answers from the second week of the survey, the main concern among respondents is still cash flow. “Looking into the future, our respondents also are worried about employee morale, the state of the economy, demand reducing further and the long term impact on the health and safety of their workforces,” CAMM said.

Last week, 75 per cent of respondents said they were willing and able to supply products or services for medical equipment or devices. “Within the past week, 26 per cent of our respondents have been able to answer the call for their services or products, mostly in the production of tooling for medical equipment manufacturing,” CAMM said.

Respondents were also asked to indicate the percentage of operations they are currently at, with 100 per cent meaning they have had no reduction in operations and zero per cent  meaning they’re closed completely. “The good news is that 13 per cent of our respondents are at over 90 per cent of full operations,” CAMM said. “The bad news is that eight per cent have almost completely shut down. In the middle, 87 per cent of our respondents have had some reduction in operations.”

CAMM and Automate Canada have an additional survey set to go out on April 5.


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