8. Critical projects
Companies have formed COVID-19 response teams to address the needs of employees and communities, coordinating support at global and local levels. Many manufacturers have repurposed assets to launch or increase production of key pandemic supplies. Capex reductions have put many facility and IT systems projects on hold, but defense contracts and deliveries of military equipment and services are continuing as planned in most countries.
9. Changes in production rates
In the areas of facilities and production line management, plant shutdowns, either under local governmental orders or in response to COVID-19 outbreaks at individual facilities, have disrupted supply chains and order deliveries worldwide. Automotive production lines, which have seen sharp declines in activity, are being idled to control operating costs and inventory. At the same time, production of pandemic supplies is operating at full capacity to meet overwhelming demand.
10. Geographic developments – growth markets
Leaders discussed market conditions in Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. Revenue declines in major Asia-Pacific economies, especially China, in 1Q20 are expected to reverse in 2Q as businesses reopen. The strategic importance of supply chain operations in China, India and other Asia-Pacific countries was recognized by many manufacturers. Growth in Latin America in segments such as crop protection chemicals was robust in 1Q.