Leaders of Nufarm’s U.S. business say they have been working toward a balanced supply chain for redundant and reliable supply of crop protection. When asked about how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their business, Tom Lyons, vice president of supply chain and Ken Barham, vice president of customer & brand marketing, explain the company started making adjustments in their global business months ago.
“We started shifting supplies from one country to another and from one plant to another,” Lyons explains. “From a supply chain standpoint, we are ready to go for the 2020 growing season.”
Nufarm has manufacturing and formulation facilities in Asia, Europe, Australia and the U.S.
Notably, the company just opened its new formulation facility in Greenville, Mississippi, and they invested in upgrading its formulation facility outside of Chicago. It’s third US plant, also in Illinois, is presently expanding. At those facilities, the company has instituted policies to enable social distancing and team separation, and added more hand-washing stations, cleaning protocols and PPE.
“We are working to keep our team members safe and healthy,” says Lyons.
Barham explains the policies have extended into the sales team, which is currently operating “virtually.” They are working in conjunction with the technical support line, which was already conducting business virtually.
“There’s been good acceptance of the virtual way of doing business,” Barham says. “It’s been enlightening how we can work in this way, however, it will never replace face-to-face.”
However, if the current restrictive protocol is recommended to extend into June or July, Barham shares some concern for how the company and its retail partners will be able service the necessary acres in-season.
For now, Lyons says the company is poised and ready to respond to farmer needs.
“We understand the need to have inventory ready at a moment’s notice,” he says. “We understand ag supply chains are complex, and everything we’re investing in is to be more responsive to farmer needs.”
Presently truckload and less than truckload orders are running on-time with several alternatives.