The Impact of COVID-19 on Packaging

Douglas’ Response & Readiness

What we’re experiencing together is unprecedented. As information and guidelines evolve, Douglas employee owners are adapting and taking steps to protect the continued safety and well-being of our employees, customers and suppliers.

As a supplier to food manufacturing companies, Douglas is deemed to be a critical business within the meaning of the federal guidance on COVID-19 and those states that have issued executive “stay-at-home” orders. As such, in compliance with the applicable federal guidelines and state issue directives, Douglas is continuing to operate and perform its critical and essential services; and our employees are permitted under U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency’s guidance to travel to and from their assigned work locations with exemption from state or local restrictions including closure orders, curfews, shelter-in-place orders and other mobility restrictions.

Employees & Visitors

In an ongoing effort to maintain the health of our employees, customers, vendors, business and our community, Douglas has implemented the practices outlined below. These practices are informed by guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the White House Task Force and the Minnesota Department of Health.

Hygiene and etiquette

Good hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette are recognized as key practical measures in the fight against further spread of COVID-19. Douglas is actively reminding its employee-owners to be mindful of these practices.

​Social distancing

Employees and visitors need to maintain at least 6 feet of distance between one another.

​Meetings and gatherings

​Douglas is discontinuing in-person meetings of 10 or more individuals. For meetings under 10 people, participants are expected to practice smart hand hygiene and safe social distancing. Where possible, web conferencing tools are encouraged in lieu of face-to-face meetings.​​


Douglas maintenance and cleaning personnel have enacted a disinfecting routine where chairs, desks, railings, door knobs, tables, microwaves, refrigerators and common areas are sanitized daily. All common areas and shared work spaces have been stocked with disinfectant wipes.


To maximize social distancing and minimize potential for exposure and transmission, staggered work-from-home schedules have been established for employees who are able to meet work-from-home criteria.

High risk individuals

For individuals identified as high risk by the CDC, a number of options have been created that are designed to create social distancing and minimize chances for exposure.


All visitors are pre-screened prior to arrival and/or entry of a Douglas facility. This screening requires that visitors provide satisfactory responses to key risk-assessment questions. Inbound deliveries are subject to a specific screening protocol that mitigates risk while enabling the successful execution of all deliveries.

Factory Acceptance Tests

While our preference has always been to encourage in-person Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT) for our equipment, current events suggest this may become increasingly difficult and unsafe. With this in mind, we encourage all customers with machines in process to consider a Remote-FAT (R-FAT). We believe this is our best opportunity to limit unnecessary travel, maintain recommended social distancing guidelines, and ensure timely project completion. The employee owners of Douglas are committed to maintaining your project’s schedule, and we are well positioned to follow through on that commitment. In support of safety and schedule integrity, we have implemented, tested, and successfully executed R-FATs. R-FATs are structured into four phases:

  • Pre R-FAT alignment and execution of FAT protocols; protocols can be based on Douglas standards, or your process as agreed upon.
  • Real-time R-FAT engagement utilizing live Zoom web conferencing technology to perform machine walk-through and test runs.
  • Multi-angle high-definition video documentation demonstrating runs of all sizes at contractually agreed upon rates.
  • Post R-FAT Zoom meetings to review documentation and installation, and to address remaining open items.


If air travel is deemed essential, employees are subject to the same screening protocol enacted for visitors prior to returning to the Douglas facilities.

Supply Chain

Daily briefings

Our Director of Contracts & Materials Management is holding daily briefings with his team to continually assess the strength and resiliency of our supply chain.

Current status

At this time, our ongoing evaluation indicates little to no impact on our ability to procure and/or manufacture parts for new machines and replacement orders.

Mitigating measures

To mitigate anticipated disruptions, Douglas has developed and is executing contingency plans in cooperation with its supply chain partners. This is in addition to our already strong position as a vertically integrated company with a full-service, precision machine shop operating across three shifts to ensure our customers continue to get the parts they need, when they need them.

Our commitment

We value the trust you place in Douglas and understand the concerns this pandemic creates. We will remain diligent in our effort to monitor this situation, and we are committed to swift communication as new information becomes available. We intend to remain transparent and accessible as you conduct your own risk assessments. With that in mind, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have additional questions or comments regarding the impact of COVID-19 on Douglas’ supply chain.


Douglas has seven service regions in the United States as well as coverage for Canada and Mexico. All regions are supported by an experienced and talented team of remote and factory-based service technicians. Despite the potential for further travel restrictions, we will do all we can to continue to support any service need you may have within the U.S.

Need to contact Douglas service personnel? Main Service Line: 320.763.5507

​Current status

We are following the US State Department’s level 4 travel advisory which dictates that our Service Technicians remain in the United States. However, we are working on an as-needed basis with members of our Sales team to support customers outside the United States.

Risk mitigation

We are actively discussing these risk scenarios and working through mitigating alternatives. We will update with progress as it becomes available. In the meantime, we encourage customers to communicate proactively with our Service team.


New Projects

Our experienced sales team consisting of Regional and Beverage Sales Managers, Sales Engineers, Application Engineers, Field Modification Application Engineers and Replacement Parts Specialists all stand ready to support you on any new or in-process applications.

​If you have an existing contact within any of our sales teams, don’t hesitate to reach out to them for information and/or support.


Now more than ever, we remember and appreciate that the work we do helps innumerable food, beverage and other CPG companies feed and supply our world. This is such important work in normal circumstances, but even more so in these uncertain times. Rest assured that all of us here at Douglas are both committed and proud to stand with you as we navigate this challenge together.