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16 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2020 Johnson: That's a lesson learned for those of us elsewhere in the supply chain. You're using their finished good as a sub-assembly in your finished good, so do you know? Is your cus- tomer in a place where you need to stay oper- ational or not? Not every manufacturer could say that about every one of their customers. They don't know well enough. Engle: Right. For instance, our sales of spray fluxes have not changed through all of this, and we're a little bit surprised by that. But then we realized that even though we had heard of some electronics manufacturing companies closing, for the most part, their closures were only temporary; eventually, they also real- ized that some of their manufacturing is going toward essential services. They reopened, and we've seen a steady flow of orders coming in for spray fluxes for the electronics manufactur- ing business. Johnson: From your perspective, how much has the COVID-19 outbreak affected our indus- try? Engle: I think everybody has been absolutely turned upside down if you're talking about the industry and the places that I operate and in California. But in the places that I'm closest to, everybody is still managing, almost with- out exception. I'm not hearing anybody say, "I'm going to declare myself as non-essential," "I'm going to shut down for the safety of my employees," or "We're going to take the PPP money, shut down, and pay our employees anyway." Without exception, everybody's sit- uation in this business in the U.S. is severely affected right now, but they're all managing. Johnson: It seems like the business has shifted around a lot. Some facilities are able to reas- sign manufacturing to ventilator manufactur- ing and support tasks, and the other work that otherwise would have been at those shops is shunted over to shops that aren't certified for ventilators. Everything's shifting around a little bit. It does seem like it has turned everybody upside down, and yet the funnel for work has machine that's going to do a medical project. I'm not at liberty to tell you what that medi- cal project is, but I want you to rethink what you're doing. I want you to reconsider the fact that you won't let any employee go into the warehouse and put the stuff that I'm buying from you into a box and ship it to me." He called us back a day later, and we had changed their minds; they were going to start allowing for shipments that were considered for essen- tial projects. Johnson: It's interesting that your supplier didn't understand what applications were downstream from them. As soon as they knew that you were an essential customer, then they made the appropriate decisions and responded to the situation appropriately. They probably would have responded appropriately had they already understood what you do. Engle: Or eventually, they would have realized that they could have some level of operations. Hand wiring Sono-Tek subassemblies.

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