In 3 days, GM developed a plan to help save lives

The wide-ranging plan that was developed in just a few days will result in at least 30,000 GM-Ventec produced ventilators.

In early April, the Trump administration ordered GM to supply 30,000 ventilators to the national stockpile by the end of August as part of a nearly $490 million contract under the Defense Production Act. That was more than double the number of ventilators in the Strategic National Stockpile as of early April.

Ventec and GM said they had the sourcing plans and parts needed to build up to 200,000.

Since launching the project, Barra has emphasized that many ideas and calls to action came from her employees. All she had to do was say yes, she’s said.

After Amin’s call with Barra, he rushed to get his team together and notify suppliers that GM would need support over the weekend.

Amin admits he didn’t know much about ventilators but said he was probably better for it.

“That was some of the benefit … since we didn’t know that we couldn’t do it and we knew we had to do it, we went ahead and did it,” he said.

His team expanded a photo of a ventilator Ventec had on its website and examined each part.

“We knew we have suppliers that are capable of making circuit boards and making hoses and plastic casings and stampings,” Amin said. “We quickly tried to guess how these components are made and engage the suppliers that are capable of making those components.”

GM received overwhelming support from its supplier network, with supplier CEOs offering all their resources.

“It was easy to convince everyone the country needed us and that it was our time to step up as an industry and demonstrate how we can support,” said Amin.

In the end, GM worked with a total of four ventilator companies and had more GM teams volunteer to make critical personal protective equipment.

In addition to the ventilators, GM’s coronavirus response has led to donations of 4 million face masks and 230,000 face shields. This month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention certified GM to produce N95 masks.

GM’s commitment and urgency to help save lives was clear even in the early days of the pandemic. On the flight from Seattle back to Detroit in mid-March, Kienle urged his team to make this effort personal. He recalled telling them: “Go with the mindset that your parents or your wife or one of your kids, somebody in your family, has COVID and needs a ventilator, and this partnership with Ventec is the only way they are going to get it.”

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