Manufacturing through the COVID-19 lens

Australian Manufacturing has been thrown into the spotlight, now more than ever, in the wake of COVID-19. Traditionally at the mercy of market forces and cheaper imports, Australian Manufacturing has had to fight to stay in the game. So what has changed?

Travel restrictions and serious risk of infection has consumers housebound and a plethora of businesses closing their doors. However, it has also placed pressure, or rather provided an opportunity, for Australian manufacturers to expand, diversity and think outside the square. Some key changes have come from those manufacturers who have had to step up to meet demand, including employing additional people to help breach that gap. However the really interesting stories come from those who have adapted to supply product not within their usual sphere of manufacture such as Adelaide company Detmold Group, which provided packaging for businesses such as Subway and now will also look at manufacturing face masks.[1] Or what about those manufacturers who have expanded in providing additional products that have traditionally been a niche manufacturing area.

Andrew Liveris, recent Appointee to the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission

The Australian Government’s announcement of a National COVID-19 Coordination Commission on 25 March 2020 will provide the support that many businesses and particularly those in the manufacturing sector are looking for. The focus will be on minimising the effect of COVID-19 on businesses and employment and moving towards recovery from the effects of this pandemic in the quickest time feasible.[2] One appointee to this taskforce, Andrew Liveris, brings with him a wealth of experience in the manufacturing sector, being the former Chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company and director of director of DowDuPont.

Australian Manufacturers have a unique opportunity to demonstrate their resilience, even more so in the current climate but the Australian Government has also buoyed manufacturers with a renewed impetus to compete more strongly in what will become a new stage for all businesses in the Australian economy post COVID-19.

by Rebecca Hegarty