Travel Restrictions Affecting Manufacturing & Quality Worldwide

2020-06-11

As COVID-19 spreads throughout the world, dozens of travel bans have been implemented as countries have closed their borders to non-citizens. An April poll from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) found that 98 percent of its member companies had cancelled international business trips, and 92 percent eliminated all or most domestic travel. For perspective, Certify, a corporate expense report and travel software provider, estimates that around 445 million business trips take place each year, valued at $251 billion (the GBTA puts that number closer to $345 billion annually for travel and meeting expenditures). An Oxford Economics study found that each dollar invested in business travel can result in as much as $12.50 in revenue, so there is a clear justification for being on-site. In previous economic crises, the travel industry has recovered in around two to three years, according to analysis conducted at Phocuswright. But, the uncertain conditions related to the COVID pandemic make speculating a challenge. So, what does this mean for manufacturing and quality? Over the years, Pro QC has assisted clients with travel itineraries during their trips to visit suppliers abroad. We often accompany clients during supplier visits as well. Clients visit suppliers for a number of reasons, including: * Evaluate potential new suppliers * Performance review - audit * First-article inspection * Issue investigation and corrective actions * Witness testing * Negotiations While there are benefits to sending internal resources for these visits, the benefits of leveraging a local partner outweigh the associated risk and cost. * Reduced travel costs * Reduced travel risk * Local, specialized expertise * Language consistency * Flexible timing * Utilization of limited internal resources avoided With Pro QC as a partner, we add value and reduce cost. We can be on-site when you can't, representing your interests and helping ensure suppliers produce product that meets or exceeds expectations. Eventually, travel will resume without the restrictions, but it's suggested that organizations will require "duty-of-care" policies that would ensure workers' welfare while conducting company business. Where costs and compliance were key metrics before, travelers' safety will be the priority in the new economy. Corporations are also going to have to factor the costs of new health policies into their travel budgets and planning, says Dale Buckner, CEO of Global Guardian, a firm that offers security, emergency, and medical response services. "Businesses will reevaluate whether travel is fundamentally required," he says. "In cases where it is, a firm will have to sponsor an employee or executive to travel knowing the risks, like that they might be burning money having to put them up at a luxury hotel during a 14-day quarantine." Talk to us about your needs on-site, and we can discuss quality solutions that keep your supply chain going.

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