"During this challenging time, Agilent's focus is on supporting our customers, our employees and the local communities in which we operate.
We have successfully worked to avoid disruptions caused by COVID-19 coronavirus, while at the same time acting responsibly to do what we can to prevent further spread of the virus.
We will continue to closely monitor and assess the evolving situation and will be diligent about communicating on important issues"
- Mike McMullen, President and CEO
Agilent has an established Enterprise Risk Management Program that incorporates Business Continuity Plans (BCPs) for all our critical activities, risk assessments, and crisis-management protocols. We activated this structure since the initial outbreak in China, with teams meeting at the country, function, and enterprise levels. Our executive staff are meeting regularly to monitor activities.
The ERM program provides a framework for identifying material risks. The program supports the businesses and functions in the documentation of the risk, how the risks are managed, and the update/creation of business continuity plans (BCPs) where appropriate. Oversight is provided by the Executive Risk Committee, which comprises CEO staff.
The ERM program has identified material risks, including supply-chain disruption, loss of strategic suppliers, logistics disruptions, and site closures. BCPs exist to mitigate and manage these risks, and we regularly assess and update them. We've successfully activated these BCPs—proactively in many cases—for surety of supply purposes and have been successful in ensuring we can continue to support our customers during the evolving situation with COVID-19.
Agilent is committed to providing a safe environment for our employees, their families, and the communities in which we operate. Initially we asked our 16,000 employees to work at home where possible to reduce transmission risks and to keep them safe. Some employees have now returned to the office based on local conditions and in line with global approvals under our return to office process. For those employees still working at home, we want our employees to work from home safely and comfortably, and they are authorized to purchase additional equipment if needed.
Agilent has restricted all international travel by air and rail to business-critical purposes only, with prior executive approval. Domestic travel is also restricted to critical activities, with no travel permitted for internal Agilent meetings. A detailed protocol exists for employees wishing to attend or participate in exhibitions, trade shows and similar events. These restrictions are in place to reduce transmission risks and protect our workforce from a dynamic environment of government-imposed restrictions and quarantine. When employees do need to travel, extensive support networks are in place.
Our Human Resources and Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) teams have detailed processes in place to support our employees, including loosening of sickness and time off policies for those who need to self-isolate, fall ill, or need to make other work-life adjustments for childcare and elder care.
Employees have been provided with an “employee care kit” comprising masks, sanitizer, a digital thermometer and other items to keep them safe while at work and at home.
All our sites remain open for key onsite activities such as manufacturing, training and customer demo. We have taken extensive precautions to protect our on-site workforce, including increased cleaning and disinfection, signage, restricted conference room usage, closure of amenities, screening and restricted access for visitors, and the availability of personal protective equipment. Internal and external events have been rescheduled virtually, postponed or canceled.
We have comprehensive plans to temporarily close part or all of a site to perform deep cleaning in the event an employee is considered a risk, shows symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19.
At our manufacturing sites, we have introduced split shifts where possible to minimize transmission risks.
Agilent has developed an extensive Return to Office Protocol to manage employees returning to site once local authorities begin to allow non-essential workers to return to the workplace. Our priority is the health and safety of our workforce and the broader implications a return to work locations will have on their lives and families. Our evaluation of site readiness includes a broad set of important issues such as if the number of cases of COVID-19 are on a clear downward trend, the availability of critical infrastructure such as public transport and parking, the availability of social infrastructure such as doctors and schools, and the readiness of our sites. Sites have been adapted to provide appropriate screening and social distancing, and employees will return to the site in carefully managed phases. Phases are prioritized to those that need to use on-site infrastructure and in customer-facing roles. Many of our employees will continue to work from home until well into 2021.
Agilent has a diversified manufacturing strategy with more than 20 locations globally. All our manufacturing sites are operating at normal capacity. Our teams are hard at work to minimize the risk of potential disruption by identifying diversified second- and third-tier direct material suppliers and securing additional logistics uplift. All Agilent manufacturing sites have established BCPs that cover the physical infrastructure of the site, supply-chain disruptions, and logistics/distribution. Our parts and components come from a complex and diversified supply chain, and we regularly meet with our strategic suppliers to assess the robustness of their model and their own BCPs. We have proactively initiated these plans to help guarantee surety of supply.
We do not believe our products or packaging pose any transmission risk of COVID-19. Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 in this manner; the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and other authorities have confirmed there is very short survivability of the COVID-19 virus on hard surfaces. Over the days or weeks of shipping at ambient temperatures, the risk of spreading the virus is very low.
Enterprise Risk Management
Executive Staff Engagement
Majority are working from home
Supporting programs and processes in place
Only business-critical activities are conducted on-site
All travel is strictly managed
All 20 manufacturing sites are operating
Increased cleaning and disinfection
Regular communications with strategic suppliers
Back-up plans with 2nd and 3rd tier suppliers
Products and packaging do not pose transmission risk
Meeting regularly to take action where needed.
Extensive use of virtual tools
Employees are using PPE
Employees required to follow local safety protocols