The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forced Clorox, one of the country’s largest manufacturers of cleaning products, to go into “catch-up mode.”
With cleaning and disinfecting items flying off store shelves during the pandemic, Clorox has reportedly produced 40 million more items in the first quarter of 2020 than it did in the same time frame last year, leaving it scrambling to meet the demand.
According to an NBC News report, the company has seen a 500 percent increase in demand since the outbreak began in March, and has sold as much in a week as it typically would in a month.
Clorox CEO Benno Dorer told NBC that “we are in completely uncharted territory. We’re in catch-up mode.”
According to Dorer, it could be until the summer when the company is able to restock shelves with its popular disinfectant wipes that help curtail the spread of COVID-19. Clorox has had factories working around the clock to try and meet the demand, he noted.
Clorox’s five plants that produce the wipes for home use, along with a new product — 55-gallon bleach drums that clean hospital rooms — now operate around the clock. The company has added 263 new employees to its workforce of 8,800. It has boosted base pay for employees and given $1,000 bonuses to lower-level workers.
"We know that right now we cannot make enough products for everybody to find products at the store all the time," Dorer said. "But we're making tremendous progress. We think we will be in substantially better shape by the summer.”
Carleton Mitchell, who spoke with NBC News, has worked for Clorox for 22 years and is a department crew leader in Atlanta.
“When I came to work, it was a job,” Mitchell said. “I clocked out, and I went home. Just entirely different now. Now when I come in, it's not just a normal 9-to-5 job anymore. It's a mission now.”
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