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JUNE 2020 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 29 It's always best to have maximum flexibility when sourcing materials to protect the cus- tomer in uncertain economic times. Johnson: It's good to know that things are not necessarily as disruptive as some people might fear. That's great news. Do you have any final thoughts? Badriyeh: This situation makes you realize how vulnerable the whole world is, especially when you look at healthcare providers and compa- nies and the issues they face. It quickly illus- trates just how vulnerable the healthcare sys- tem really is at any time. My biggest concern centers on the manufacturers of safety items and personal protective equipment (PPE). If this global situation continues for a year or more, will they be able to keep up with supply and build enough stock of safety equipment? We have already experienced shortages of basic supplies, along with increased cost and lead time. We successfully refocused on obtaining reusable masks that can be washed and reused to avoid the problems around sourcing dispos- able masks for our employees. Another concern is the food industry and global food supplies. At the beginning of the pandemic, the stores were emptied out quickly. Over the past eight weeks, the producers and distributors have been able to increase sup- plies, and stores are starting to see better over- all supply. With the shelter-in-place orders and restaurant closures, the growers and produc- ers were hit directly, and many food supplies normally routed to these customers were com- pletely cut off. Entire industries were shuttered, and food stocks could not be distributed. Until these channels are reopened, the producers will continue to constrain production, which may result in periodic shortages to the consumer. These are all long-term concerns that we currently see all over the world. Local con- cerns are more pointed as they apply to our business. What will the balance of 2020 look like for our company and our employees? Will there be a vaccine in the foreseeable future? Can we successfully maintain the social dis- tancing rules and, hopefully, decrease the spread of the virus? These are the questions we face going forward. Johnson: We are fortunate to be in an industry that was immediately identified as crucial and not to shut down but instead to ramp up. That has put us in a very different, fortunate place. Najat, thank you for taking the time on a Sat- urday afternoon to have this conversation. Badriyeh: Thank you so much. SMT007

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