Fontaine Modification Stays Flexible Among COVID-19
Right now, every day is both the same and different. We have the “Groundhog Day” movie syndrome (where every day feels just like the day before), yet each day features changes and issues we have never dealt with before.
“A tremendous amount of effort goes into making sure we have a safe workplace for our employees,” noted Paul Kokalis, president of Fontaine Modification. “This has led to a daily video conference call with the senior staff of the company to assure that we are taking the latest information into account.”
Fontaine is fortunate that none of its 10 locations have experienced a COVID-19 outbreak within its workforce. Some locations are experiencing closures; however, as the OEM the company serves at those sites has closed operations.
“Making sure we have the necessary components to complete the modifications has become more of a challenge as our suppliers are running into their own parts shortages and capacity restraints,” noted Brian Gagnon, Director of Process Improvement, Materials, and IT for Fontaine Modification.
There are also challenges beyond the traditional supply chain related to employee safety.
“A new factor, during this time, is the ordering and scheduling Personal Protective Equipment and the material needed to keep our employees protected,” Kokalis added.
Looking forward, Fontaine is aware of potential demand vs. capacity issues that could impact operations over the next few months.
“Assuming that the worst of this crisis is behind us at that time, many of the issues will be associated with matching our capacity to modify trucks to the OEMs’ build schedule,” said Jamil Young, President of Medium and Heavy Truck Operations for Fontaine Modification.
Honestly, only time will tell the potential impact on upfitting operations.
“Over the next six months to a year, the economic outlook will be a large influence in truck production. That will determine how we schedule and staff going forward,” Young added.
Fontaine Modification's President, Light Duty Truck & EV Solutions, Pat Griffin, added that “While demand for trucks of all types will be driven by the economy, those vocations supporting the changing consumer environment stand to gain the most.”
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