German fabricators revert to local production in crisis

Numerous German steel and metal working companies have coped with the Coronavirus pandemic challenge in constructive ways, since the virus started dictating the rules of business, Kallanish notes.

Companies interviewed by fabricators federation WSM cited the relocation of input material sourcing closer to home and the restriction of international traffic among the adjustments they were forced to make.

“The lockdown did not only hit our suppliers but also the transport companies involved,” says EJOT Holding, a manufacturer of fasteners. “Looming closures of borders made us transfer transports to rail. Also, one of our tool suppliers in Italy stopped production, so we returned to making parts in-house,” Kallanish hears from the company.

A similar issue is described by Wilhelm Schumacher, another maker of fasteners. “With the exception of one Austrian firm, we have no suppliers in other countries, so our supply chains remained intact,” it reports.

The relocation to in-house production was highlighted also by traditional hardware maker Gust Alberts. “The production sites in Germany and Europe will reconquer their role; it has become clear now that supply safety must not be put at risk,” the company states.

Gust Alberts managing director Dietrich Albers emphasises the importance of open communication among staff within the company. “We met with our employees each day to keep them updated about measures in the context of the crisis,” he says, adding that “…information creates confidence.”