LIMA — Faced with a nationwide shortage of goods deemed essential to the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 virus, President Donald Trump challenged U.S. businesses to step up and fill the void.
Procter & Gamble Co. stepped up to the plate and is now producing hand sanitizer by the barrel at five locations — including Lima — to serve the growing need around the world. The company’s chief executive officer said in a prepared statement that the company’s production of masks also should begin soon.
An email from a corporate spokesperson said no one at the Lima plant was available to discuss the company’s new product line Friday because “right now as we’re focused on meeting the needs of our consumers, customers and employees.” The email did provide links that further explained the company’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The company in January mobilized teams to provide the capability to manufacture and distribute hand sanitizer. Perfumers in Europe used their chemical management expertise to develop and create their own surface sanitizer and within three days a multi-functional team assembled to develop, test and produce hand sanitizer with great agility. “These experts shared their learnings with manufacturing facilities leaders to scale our production capabilities,” according to the company’s blog.
After obtaining an approved World Health Organization formula and recommendation for production, the team in Europe jumped into action to identify and obtain the raw materials they needed — the majority of which were already available on site.
Within 24 hours, the first bottle of WHO Hand Sanitizer was produced at a plant in Europe. “Following the learning from Europe, our team in Lima, Ohio, brought production online in three days,” according to the blog post. “Currently, we’re producing surface sanitizer in 55-gallon utility drums for distribution to relief organizations and hand sanitizer as a consumer-sized product for hospitals, health authorities and for use at our own facilities.”
According to a statement issued by David Taylor, P&G chairman, president and CEO, “Work is under way to produce critically needed face masks at nearly a dozen P&G manufacturing sites around the world. We’re up and running already in China. We have teams working to install capacity in North America, Europe … and will quickly begin production in the coming weeks.”