To: Our Valued Customers
From: Patrick O’Brien, VPGM ITW EAE
EAE is concerned for everyone directly and indirectly impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak. We remain committed to providing a safe working environment for our entire team, particularly those located in China.
As we reported earlier, the Chinese Government had originally ordered the closure of many factories located throughout China through February 10th, this was later extended with other measures put in place limiting our ability to re-open our business.
Although we passed the re-open date, the city of Suzhou has now ordered factories to complete a health inspection before they are allowed to re-open for business. Today, February 12th we successfully passed our re-opening inspection. We anticipate receiving the formal re-opening certificate within the coming days. EAE is expected to re-open for business no later than Monday, February 17th. Our staff is still subject to the 14-day mandatory quarantine period when returning to the City of Suzhou post Chinese New Year. However, many of our staff have already returned to Suzhou and completed the quarantine period. We still have some folks, roughly 40%, that have not been able to return to the city yet for lack of public transportation between cities. We will re-open with a limited team in place and ramp our production as staffing allows. This situation remains very fluid at best, but if all goes as expected, EAE will return to full capacity no later than early March and we should return to our delivery standards by mid-March.
Although our China based business supports a meaningful portion of our business, we also maintain two separate production facilities for Equipment within the US. Some of our spare parts for our Service business are sourced from our China location; since our global parts hub is located in the US (where we stock most of our inventory), we believe impact of the Coronavirus will be minimal to parts customers.
Please be patient with EAE as we all navigate through this situation. We will continue to provide updates as decisions around the coronavirus impact our business. This plan is based on what we know at this point in time.
If you should have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to your local Sales Partner.