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FGIA Virtual Panel Discusses Manufacturing During Pandemic

The Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance hosted a panel discussion titled, “Managing Manufacturing Operations and Customer Connections Through the COVID-19 Crisis” during the FGIA Virtual Summer Conference. The panel, moderated by Danny Smith, vice president, principal and industry advisory at Ceridian, featured five U.S. and Canadian members who discussed ideas implemented by their companies to protect their workforce and manage day-to-day operations under various COVID-19 restrictions, including what they learned along the way.

Panelists included:

  • Lisa Bergeron, director of business development and regulatory affairs at Jeld-Wen
  • Richard Braunstein, vice president, research and development at Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope
  • Jeff Jackson, president and CEO at PGT Innovations
  • Greg Lambas, senior director of window and casework development at Katerra
  • Matt Nuss, vice president of operations at Vitrum Glass Group

Smith started out with some opening thoughts, noting that a staggered government response has led to a staggered recovery on all levels. He encouraged businesses to work with their local governments on getting themselves designated as “essential” businesses if they had not already done so and suggested making concrete, yet flexible, plans for the future.

“We must pivot from continuity to agility,” said Smith. “Our actions now will make or break us.”

The discussion was broken into two parts: Part One asked panelists about current operations, posing questions such as what the status of their workforces is in terms of morale, health and recruitment or furloughs. Smith also asked about lessons learned, best practices and what panelists’ biggest challenges have been. Part Two asked panelists about the future and what they saw for their operations and the industry down the road. Questions included: What are expected long term impacts for the workforce? What changes have you made that you expect to be permanent? Where are opportunities down the road?

Read the full panel recap