- Procter & Gamble’s largest US facility for manufacturing has recently been producing product at record high levels.
- The company’s Mehoopany, Pennsylvania, factory has shifted its process to meet the increased demand for Bounty, Pampers, Luvs, and – most notably -Charmin toilet paper products.
- “Our employees are truly trying to make as much Charmin as they can,” Jose Del Los Rios, the plant’s environmental leader, said. “They know that – it’s a funny topic – but for our consumers, Charmin is incredibly important.”
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Toilet paper is having a moment. And Procter & Gamble factories are ramping up operations to feed demand.
The company’s largest US manufacturing facility in Mehoopany, Pennsylvania, has been producing product at record high levels to cater to the influx of orders from retailers across the country, in part due to the surge of shoppers panic-buying essentials like toilet paper and diapers.
For the plant’s environmental leader Jose Del Los Rios, the level of production has never been this high at any point during his 28 years at the plant.
“We are making more Charmin and Bounty and Pampers and Luvs than we’ve ever made before in the history of this plant,” Del Los Rios said. “To do that, we’ve really had to focus our employees on keeping themselves safe.”
Toilet paper became one of the hottest – and hardest to nab – items of the pandemic as early as March, which prompted some retailers to limit returns and purchases on the product. Del Los Rios said that the demand on his plant, which is measured in the number of orders it gets from retailers, has remained high since the surge began.
Procter & Gamble could not confirm production numbers for the plant but said that the plant was producing and shipping Charmin toilet paper at record high levels.
“Once the orders started to come in, we had to make choices to meet that demand,” Del Los Rios said.
First, the plant optimised its production process to focus on making the items that the customers wanted the most as opposed to also producing a variety of different products per brand. The plant also delayed non-critical planned downtime on equipment and channeled alternate supply systems for raw materials to help increase production.
“Our employees are truly trying to make as much Charmin as they can,” Del Los Rios said. “They know that – it’s a funny topic – but for our consumers, Charmin is incredibly important.”
At the same time, the factory implemented strict social distancing, sanitation, and preventative measures to keep employees safe in the facility that stretches about a full mile from end to end. Overtime work was halted, entrances to the factory were assigned to employees, daily temperature tests started to be administered, and all workers were expected to wear masks at all times.
All of these measures seem to have been working. As of May, 6, there were no positive cases of COVID-19 for any employees at the Mehoopany plant.
Despite these changes at the factory level, Del Los Rios said the difference should be invisible to consumers, who will see the same quality of product they have come to expect.
“Each day, this plant produces product that more than a million consumers use,” Del Los Rios said, adding “So we know we touch a huge population of the United States with the products that we make.”
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