Got It Covered: Employees Work with Suppliers to Aid N95 Mask Material Shortage

April 09, 2020 in Community

N95 mask

Photo courtesy: Getty Images

When Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Operations (MSC&O) employee, Cory Cress, heard that a raw material needed to produce tools essential in the fight against COVID-19 was in shortage, he immediately knew Boeing’s supply chain could do something about it.

In a call with an N95 mask manufacturer, Cress learned that they were running out of aluminum strips used to form the mask over the nose. He had an idea: Connect them with other Boeing suppliers who could help.

“I knew that Boeing teams use similar masks in many manufacturing operations,” said Cress. “After discussing the manufacturer’s raw material specifications with other employees, we were confident that a Boeing supplier could help mitigate their raw material bottleneck.”

Supply Chain team members called suppliers in their network. Two companies, Kaiser Aluminum and Arconic, referred customers that had the capacity to provide raw material in the size and format needed to keep the manufacturer’s mask production on track

As a result of Boeing’s facilitation, the in-demand N95 mask manufacturer gained an additional partner to create critical supply needs for health workers. The Boeing team continues to help them evaluate other possible needs, including engineering assistance while they ramp up production. Boeing also connected the manufacturer with the National Institute for Aviation Research, who offered to assist with equipment engineering at their facility

“Boeing’s support of health workers extends past our company as we continue to draw on expertise across our global supply chain to get health providers everywhere the materials they need,” said MSC&O Senior Vice President Jenette Ramos. “The actions of our teammates are making a difference as we all work together to combat COVID-19.”