When the phone call came on a Friday night in late March, John Saxon and his team didn't waste any time before springing into action.
"It was bourbon down and laptops up," said Saxon, CEO at dlhBowles, an Ohio-based supplier of automotive air and fluid management systems. "The team went to work right away, and many didn't sleep all weekend."
The company had reached an agreement with General Motors to produce parts for essential medical equipment amid the coronavirus pandemic, and its engineering team forged plans to pivot its manufacturing capacity toward making parts for ventilators. Such a transition would normally take months, but dlhBowles condensed the time frame to a matter of days.
"We may be conditioning the industry to think we can move a whole lot faster," Saxon said.
The industry may already be well aware. When a federal rule mandating all new cars have backup cameras went into effect in 2018, demand for dlhBowles' camera-cleaning systems skyrocketed. Interest has only increased as automakers bring driver-assist systems that contain cameras and other sensors to the market.