Hello again! And thank you for spending a few minutes with me so that I can share some updates and thoughts with you.
2021 is proving to be a very difficult and odd time. Due to COVID and other factors, getting enough employees to fully staff our Illinois facilities is proving to be problematic. This is especially true in Flora and Paris. We recognize the strain that understaffing places on each of you and thank you for your continued patience and hard work. Please know we are working diligently to fill all open operator and technician positions.
2021 has also become the year of component shortages. There are currently widespread supply disruptions throughout the auto industry, most notably on integrated circuit chips. This supply constraint, as well as many others, has forced our customers to sporadically suspend vehicle assembly, which in turn idles our own production. These intermittent occurrences have caused our team members to endure unplanned days off only to be followed by long hours upon return. We regret the absence of stable production orders and again thank you for your patience while at the same time I ask for your continued patience as this concern is projected to last until the Fall.
Reduced vehicle production will continue to negatively impact our monthly sales volume. Reacting to this challenge is very difficult for a large manufacturing company with substantial fixed costs. For that reason, it is essential that we do everything possible to reduce the costs we can control. If you are in a position that requests or authorizes expenses, you will be receiving guidelines for managing those costs. Please do your part to curtail expenses where possible so that we can collectively endure yet another one of life’s challenges.
I know that many of you have already been vaccinated. I applaud your decision and Thank You for taking the time and making the effort to do so. Your choice not only protects your individual health, but also the health of all those around you every day. The decision to vaccinate is a personal one and should not be made lightly. I encourage everyone, not yet vaccinated, to study credible data in making your choice. From my personal vantage point and opinion, the long terms effects of COVID, particularly on the heart and lungs, far outweigh any hypothetical fears posed by those against vaccination.
I’m sure many of you have heard the latest CDC guidelines related to masks. Please understand that we must continue to follow state and federal guidelines including OSHA that may not align themselves with this latest information at this time. We will continue to monitor these changes at the state and federal level then make appropriate changes to our policies as necessary. We appreciate your continued cooperation.
Finally, thanks again for spending your time with me. I wish you all continued health and safety.