Q) How is the company responding to the COVID-19 pandemic?
A) At Agilent, supporting our customers is a key priority. Our global teams are hard at work to avoid disruptions from the COVID-19 virus while at the same time acting responsibly to do what we can to prevent further spread. We continue to closely monitor and assess the evolving situation and will be diligent about communicating with affected customers regarding shipment timing or other issues resulting from this situation.
Q) Do you expect any issues with your supply chain that could affect your ability to supply the products and services you currently provide?
A) After customers place an order for needed products, we will confirm your order within 24 hours to meet the need. This is a fluid situation and things can change quickly. That said, we are in an excellent stocking position and have no known material or process constraints for most products.
Q) What are you doing to minimize disruption to your own operations and ensure business continuity?
A) 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 Business Continuity Plans (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.
Q) What about operations in areas where there are local quarantines, "shelter-in-place" orders and other restrictions? Will you be able to continue to operate?
A) Some Agilent employees might be unable to perform work from their homes. All our sites remain open, and we have taken additional precautions to protect our workforce. This includes increased cleaning and disinfection, 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.
Q) Has your company instituted business travel restrictions due to COVID-19? If so, what are your mitigation measures?
A) Agilent has restricted all international travel by air and rail to business-critical purposes only, with prior executive approval. This is 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. There are also specific restrictions on domestic travel within China and the U.S., per evolving regional guidelines.
Q) Is Agilent still conducting customer site visits?
A) Some of our employees must visit customer sites for installations, service, and repairs. Where possible, we are resolving customer issues remotely using virtual tools and technologies to minimize visits for our employees and our customers. Where a site visit is required, we have obtained additional personal protective equipment to equip our employees, and we require them to follow any additional protocols our customers have implemented.
Q) Can I request a delay in payment in the wake of the pandemic?
A) We will handle requests from customers for delayed payments on a case-by-case basis. Each individual customer situation is different and will be evaluated on its own merits.
Q) What if I've got an existing order, but my site has shut down and can no longer accept shipments due to COVID-19?
A) We have created a process to address this issue. Please contact us to let us know if you need help.