Global teamwork procures masks for Cummins employees in China

Cummins employees in Shanghai stand in front of one of the shipments of masks.
Cummins employees in Shanghai stand in front of one of the shipments of masks.

Putting their job skills to work, Cummins employees from Johannesburg to Columbus, Ind., sprang into action last month and procured more than 500,000 protective masks for their fellow employees in China.

China residents must wear respiratory masks when in public as the first line of defense to the spread of the novel coronavirus. More than 90,000 people in over 65 countries have been infected by the virus, and more than 3,000 have died.

“A lot of colleagues across the world have provided great support in helping us source masks and relentlessly driving to the final resolution of this urgent request.” said Steve Chapman, Cummins’ Group Vice President, China and Russia.

“The procurement of the 500,000 FFP2 masks not only ensures the protection of our employees’ health and safety, but also helps us remove one of the major obstacles for the business continuity of our operations in China,” Chapman added.

Groups within Cummins, including Indirect Purchasing and Manufacturing teams within the company’s Supply Chain organization, as well as the Distribution Business’ Global Operations, aggressively reached out to potential suppliers and identified other resources to address the issue for their colleagues in China.

Although the team successfully secured some orders from the U.S., U.K. and a few other countries, there was still a huge gap between the demand and supply needed to reopen operations and protect the more than 12,000 Cummins employees in China.

Annie Chu and Yueqian Zhang played key roles in procuring the masks.
Annie Chu (left) and Yueqian Zhang (right) played key roles in procuring the masks.

THE TURNING POINT

The turning point came in South Africa. After receiving urgent requests from their colleagues in China, the Africa and Middle East Area Business Organization immediately mobilized. Annie Chu and Yueqian Zhang in Johannesburg spent a weekend searching for a supplier. On Feb. 2, they successfully secured 500,000 FFP2 masks.

The supplier, however, asked for immediate payment, which made the process even more urgent. Company officials in China and Africa worked with Corporate Supply Chain, Finance and other functions around the clock to resolve the business issues while abiding by all regulations and requirements.

The first batch of 160,000 masks arrived in Shanghai on Feb. 8, and by Feb. 14, all the remaining masks had arrived. The masks played a critical role in the resumption of business for many Cummins’ China operations. The cross-border teamwork is continuing as another set of masks is readied to ship to China.

“It has been a privilege for us to be in a position where we could do something to help, and I am very proud of the dedication and selflessness of our Africa and Middle East employees and the great collaboration between them and our colleagues in China,” said Thierry Pimi, Executive Managing Director of the Africa and Middle East Area Business Organization.

TEAMWORK IS EVER PRESENT

The teamwork didn’t stop there. Many Cummins employee groups have also mobilized to secure donations for individuals in impacted regions. For example, the Columbus Chinese Association, Cummins East Asia Employee Resource Group and many others explored various opportunities to source and donate masks and other items. Those efforts alone resulted in 10,000 masks successfully sent to Cummins employees and local communities in Wuhan and Xiangyang.

The campaign to procure masks demonstrated once again that teamwork isn’t just talked about at Cummins. It’s put into action everyday to build a stronger company and stronger communities around-the-world.

 


 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

A plant that’s ahead of its time

The Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Company is using technology to improve a host of issues from quality to customer satisfaction. The plant’s leadership, left to right, includes Zhao He, Manufacturing Engineering Leader; Miguel Kindler, Plant Manager; Chen Hua, General Manager; and Silence Chen, IT Leader.
The Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Company is using technology to improve a host of issues from quality to customer satisfaction. The plant’s leadership, left to right, includes Zhao He, Manufacturing Engineering Leader; Miguel Kindler, Plant Manager; Chen Hua, General Manager; and Silence Chen, IT Leader.

The Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Company (BFCEC) is so wired with high-tech tools it can almost identify defects in certain tasks and bottlenecks in production before they happen.

A network of sensors linked to the Internet, artificial intelligence, advanced analytics and much more are changing the way the plant operates. Production is up. Quality is up. And customers are happier, too. 

So, it’s perhaps no surprise that the plant was named last month to the World Economic Forum’s Global Lighthouse Network, an elite list of leaders in applying the technologies of what some call the 4th Industrial Revolution.

“This recognition demonstrates the robustness of Cummins’ advanced manufacturing and management concept,” said Chen Hua, General Manager of Foton-Cummins, which produces more than 250,000 engines a year. “Our efforts on supply chain digitalization and smart manufacturing not only help improve our own business performance, but also ensure that we deliver optimal value to our stakeholders.”

The Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Plant
The Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Company is a massive, two-building facility on the outskirts of China's capital and largest city. It's a joint venture between Cummins and Foton Motor. A solar array on one building generates about 15% of its power needs.

A RARE HONOR

BFCEC was one of 18 companies added to the lighthouse network in January, joining 26 sites previously named to the list. More than 1,000 companies from different sectors across the globe have been assessed for the lighthouse designation, which is managed for the forum by McKinsey & Company, the global management consulting firm.

“Manufacturing is often the starting point for innovating a new, company-wide operating system powered by the latest technology to achieve new levels of sustainability, agility, speed-to-market, and productivity,” said Enno de Boer, Partner and the leader of McKinsey’s Global Manufacturing Practice. “The value doesn’t stop at the factory door; instead, lighthouses find impact across the entire end-to-end value chain, from suppliers through to customers.”

The forum says the Global Lighthouse Network, established in 2018, serves as “a platform to develop, replicate and scale up innovations, creating opportunities for cross-company learning and collaboration and for setting new benchmarks for the global manufacturing community.”

Network members reflect the awesome potential of the 4th Industrial Revolution, also sometimes referred to as Industry 4.0, which includes everything from collaborative robots to artificial intelligence, augmented reality, advanced analytics and enhanced integration between information technologies and manufacturing operations.  

THE POWER OF TECHNOLOGY

BFCEC, a joint venture between Cummins and China’s major commercial vehicle company, Foton Motor, literally offers a glimpse into manufacturing’s future. And its impact extends far beyond the massive two-building campus on the outskirts of China’s capital and largest city.

Here’s one small example of what’s happening at BFCEC. Oil leaks caused by the faulty sealing of metal pans can be a major headache for manufacturers and customers, alike. By bringing together artificial intelligence, special cameras and information technology, a system at the Foton-Cummins plant automatically determines the quality of a pan’s sealing and can reject it for further use if it doesn’t pass inspection. Claims regarding the faulty sealing of pans have been reduced to zero.

Overall, monthly quality claims at BFCEC are down 40% compared to 2017 and the identification of false claims is up 300%. The average number of claims per engine is down almost 70%. Productivity is up more than 40%.

Outside the plant, customers are seeing their fuel consumption rates improved by about 5% and up-time, the amount of time an engine stays in service, has increased by about 10%.

WHAT’S NEXT 

Perhaps the most exciting thing about the changes at BFCEC is that there’s room for improvement. The amount of data collected is ever increasing, which can help with the analyses necessary to find greater efficiencies. Plant officials also believe another third of the plant could still be digitized.

As part of a robust strategy, Cummins officials are investing in similar technological advances in plants around the world, as Industry 4.0 takes shape at the company. Cummins, for example, expected to end 2019 with about 30 collaborative robots sharing space with human employees at more than a dozen locations. They often perform the most repetitive tasks, improving employee health and safety in addition to efficiency. 

Chen Hua says he is excited to share what’s been learned at BFCEC as the 4th Industrial Revolution expands. He says it has the potential to increase production, improve quality, enhance safety and reduce waste.

“We hope that our success marching together with Industry 4.0 will encourage the industry to embrace the future of manufacturing,” he said.

Includes reporting by Diana Zhao.


 

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. [email protected]

 

Cummins joins The Valuable 500 to promote disability inclusion

Cummins has long believed diversity is core to business success.
Cummins has long believed diversity is core to business success.

Cummins is taking its diversity and inclusion agenda to the next level by joining The Valuable 500 alongside some of the world’s most influential businesses.

Launched by social entrepreneur and activist Caroline Casey, The Valuable 500 aims to put disability on the global business leadership agenda.

Business leaders around the world are making firm and tangible commitments to eradicating disability exclusion in business. Members span 24 countries, reaching more than 9.3 million employees.

“We are excited to showcase our commitment to disability inclusion by joining The Valuable 500,” said Dennis Heathfield, Cummins’ Executive Director - Inclusion, People with Disabilities and Veterans. “This is one of many steps we are taking to create more inclusive workplaces and communities for people with disabilities. Being part of The Valuable 500 provides a unique platform for Cummins to learn from and contribute to a global collaboration that knits together other multi-nationals with an aligned mission to make the world a more inclusive place for people with disabilities.”

Logo for The Valuable 500 website
The Valuable 500 campaign is supported by business leaders across the globe.

Unveiled at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in January 2019, The Valuable 500 campaign was the first time disability was discussed on the main stage of the meeting with the support of global business leaders.

The campaign is supported by several global business leaders and partners, including Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever and Chairman of The Valuable 500; Virgin Founder Sir Richard Branson; Virgin Media Chief Operating Officer Jeff Dodds; Bloomberg Chairman Peter Grauer; EY Global Chairman & CEO Carmine di Sibio, and strategic partners Omnicom and Virgin Media.

“We need 500 national and multinational, private sector corporations to be the tipping-point for change and to unlock the business, social and economic value of people living with disabilities across the world,” The Valuable 500 states on its website. “Because the potential of 1.3 billion should not be ignored.”

In addition to Cummins, other companies joining the initiative include Procter & Gamble, IBM, BAE, Total, Herbert Smith, Specsavers, Eli Lilly and Company, Deutsche Bank UK, ARP, Adobe, PVH, Hilton, and Perrigo. 
 

Lauren O'Dell Sidler - Cummins Inc.

Lauren O'Dell Sidler

As a senior communications specialist with Cummins Inc., Lauren O’Dell Sidler works with Cummins leaders to develop and implement communications strategies that reach Cummins’ global audience. 

Cummins named a best place to work for LGBTQ employees

Cummins employees show their support for the LGBTQ community at the 2019 Pride parade in Indianapolis.
Cummins employees show their support for the LGBTQ community at the 2019 Pride parade in Indianapolis.

Cummins received two recent honors for its support of LGBTQ employees and for diversity in general.

The company received a perfect score of 100% on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2020 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), designating the company a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.” Additionally, Cummins has been named to Forbes magazine’s Best Employers for Diversity list. 

HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN

Cummins has received a perfect score of 100% on the Corporate Equality Index every year since 2005. The Human Rights Campaign is the largest U.S. civil rights organization for LGBTQ employees. Cummins joins the ranks of more than 680 major U.S. businesses also receiving top marks this year.

Cummins’ perfect score qualified the company for the campaign's new designation as a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.”

“We are proud to be included on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index and designated a ‘Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality,’” said Kelley Creveling, Executive Director - Global Diversity & Right Environment at Cummins. “We work each day to create a diverse and inclusive work environment for all of our employees.”

The campaign says the results of this year’s CEI showcase how U.S.-based companies are not only promoting LGBTQ-friendly workplace policies in the United States but also helping advance the cause of LGBTQ inclusion in workplaces abroad.

“The impact of the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index over its 18-year history is profound,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “In this time, the corporate community has worked with us to adopt LGBTQ-inclusive policies, practices and benefits, establishing the Corporate Equality Index as a primary driving force for LGBTQ workplace inclusion in America and across the globe. These companies know that protecting their LGBTQ employees and customers from discrimination is not just the right thing to do -- it is also the best business decision." 

FORBES 

Cummins has also once again been recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Best Employers for Diversity for 2020. 

The magazine's Best Employers for Diversity are chosen based on an independent survey from a representative sample of 60,000 employees working for companies employing at least 1,000 people in their U.S. operations. Respondents are asked questions regarding the topics of age, gender equality, ethnicity, disability, LGBTQA+ and general diversity concerning their own employer .
 

Lauren O'Dell Sidler - Cummins Inc.

Lauren O'Dell Sidler

As a senior communications specialist with Cummins Inc., Lauren O’Dell Sidler works with Cummins leaders to develop and implement communications strategies that reach Cummins’ global audience. 

How businesses can be a force for good

Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger announces PLANET 2050, the company’s environmental sustainability strategy, at a forum last month. The strategy is consistent with the company's efforts to do good in the communities where it does business.
Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger announces PLANET 2050, the company’s environmental sustainability strategy, at a forum last month. The strategy is consistent with the company's efforts to do good in the communities where it does business.

Raised by a single mother caring for two boys, Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger says he probably would not be leading a Fortune 500 company today without the government help his family received to lift them out of poverty.

“I’m a beneficiary,” he told an audience earlier this month, recalling his mother's struggle after her divorce, as she cared for her family, worked and went back to school.  “I stand here before you because of a social safety net.”

Linebarger said the free enterprise system in the United States has produced the “most vibrant and successful economic system in the history of the world.” But it cannot provide everything needed for a successful society, like the programs that helped his family. Speaking at Engage Indiana, a forum on "Business as a Force for Good," the Cummins CEO urged business leaders to help fill the gap.

It’s an approach consistent with the Stakeholder Model, long embraced at Cummins, which calls for businesses to consider the needs of all of their stakeholders – employees, suppliers, communities, shareholders and more. It means engaging to help address their challenges, and supporting institutions that protect the air, water and land and that educate and safeguard the public.

“If you can serve all of these stakeholders well, over the long run you will serve each best,” Linebarger said. “And it’s the ‘long run’ that is the key.” 

HOW BUSINESS BENEFITS

The Cummins CEO said at the Dec. 6 forum he believes in the free enterprise system to his core, and job creation is the most important thing a business can do to strengthen the social fabric. Linebarger, however, thinks businesses can and should do more, and he’s concerned about what he sees in society today.

 “What is clear in our country is that people have been left behind,” he said. “And enough people that we just can’t carry on and say, ‘it’s all fine.’ It’s not right.”

Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger visits a Cummins Power Women program in India
Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger (left) visits a Cummins Powers Women program in India. The program works to advance equity for women and girls around the world.

Linebarger said the country needs strong institutions to address these and other concerns, which is ultimately in the best interest of  businesses and shareholders, too.

He maintains a key point was missed by many observers earlier this year when the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers in the U.S., issued a revised Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation. Previous versions endorsed shareholder primacy. Many commentators believed the new version committed corporations to consider all stakeholders instead.

“We never thought we were giving up on shareholders to help other stakeholders,” said Linebarger, who leads the Roundtable’s International Engagement Committee.  “We are not apologizing for serving shareholders, nor are we saying we think it’s a trade-off. In fact, our basic view is that we serve each of these stakeholders best by serving all. That’s the fundamental truth in the statement.”

It’s a key tenet of the Stakeholder Model, which has been embraced at Cummins for nearly 50 years, going back to the leadership of J. Irwin Miller. Miller openly challenged those at the time who maintained a business should only focus on its bottom line.

Cummins celebrated its 100th anniversary this year, which Linebarger says is evidence that the model works.

“When you are planning for long term sustainability, to be a prosperous part of your community for 100 years, at one time in your history one of those stakeholders is going to be the key to your survival,” he said at the forum sponsored by the Indianapolis Business Journal and the state of Indiana..

“In our case, each of those stakeholders has been the key to our survival many, many times,” Linebarger told the business leaders at the forum. “But I promise you that one of them will be the difference between you making it and not making it.”

THEORY INTO ACTION

Cummins has put the Stakeholder Model to work throughout its history. Here are just a few recent initiatives:

  • Cummins Powers Women, the company’s $11 million program started in 2018 to advance equity for women and girls around the world.
  • PLANET 2050, Cummins’ recently announced environmental sustainability strategy to address environmental challenges like climate change.
  • Cummins TEC: Technical Education for Communities, the company’s initiative to train disadvantaged youth in employable technical skills and connect them to good jobs in their communities.

Not all actions, however, are easy or fun. Cummins recently announced it would be reducing its workforce by 2,000 positions – about 3% of its workforce – to address challenging economic times. 

Linebarger said workforce reductions are “the toughest decision I have to make.” They run counter to the most basic way business can be a force for good: create jobs.  

“But I want to be clear with you that I do that, I make those tough decisions, because I believe I have an obligation to my stakeholders to provide a  sustainable, growing institution for another 100 years.”

Linebarger is hopeful that eventually, once the company is on firm financial footing, Cummins will be able to create more jobs, create power technologies that won’t impact the world’s carbon footprint, and help more people.

“We have some important problems to solve,” he said. 

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. [email protected]

 

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