IoT/Smart Lighting, News

Concern mounts over impact of coronavirus on supplies

Chinese workers in blue boiler suits at a lighting factory
Major lighting manufacturers and suppliers who source in China appear to be beginning to take active steps to mitigate an impact to product availability.

CONCERN is mounting along the lighting industry supply chain over possible disruption to product supplies if Chinese health authorities don’t manage to contain the outbreak of the highly infectious coronavirus. 

Major lighting manufacturers and suppliers who source in China appear to be beginning to take active steps to mitigate an impact to product availability. 

Signify, Cooper and US brand Satco are among the big firms preparing for possible supply issues.

Signify says it is ‘closely monitoring’ its inventories. 

‘We’re looking at the supply chain in many different ways,’ Rondolat said in a conference call with analysts, reported by LEDs Magazine.

‘We’re looking at the possibility of supplying not exactly the product which is needed, but an equivalent that we would have in our inventory.

‘We’re looking at all the possibilities to find alternative sourcing if ever we were not able to get the products coming from our own factories, or our suppliers’ factories in China’.

However, the company’s ‘first priority’, he said, was the health of its employees and it had supplied all staff with face masks, hand soap and antiseptic gel to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Signify, Cooper and US brand Satco are among the big firms preparing for possible supply issues.

In a statement to customers, Cooper said its delivery performance could be extended to account for the time lost due to the restrictions in place as a result of the coronavirus.

‘We’re working diligently with each of our suppliers to prioritise the production scheduling with the return of personnel to ensure that our customers are supported to the best of our ability. 

‘We will actively be managing any impacted products lines and offering substitutions where available.

‘We’re working closely with key suppliers and partners as this will impact logistics including container availability, driver availability, and port congestion’.

Additionally the company revealed the it would be increasing the capabilities of its manufacturing facilities with locally sourced materials and components.

Speculation is also growing that next month’s Light + Building exhibition in Frankfurt – the industry’s biennial global showcase of the latest innovations – could be impacted. 

The show features some 400 Chinese companies, many of which supply key components for Western brands. 

Some lighting industry executives have been affected more directly. Stephen Zhou of IoT lighting and controls maker McWong self-quarantined for a fortnight after returning from the Wuhan district according to the Edison Report.