How are you coping during this pandemic?
I am worrying greatly, just as any good mother would, but I am still looking towards the future. As far as my family is concerned, we immediately tried to keep the elderly and the children safe, while as far as the company is concerned, I immediately started sanitising every department and office and I looked into the related protocol. We set up a company protocol and a Committee to keep up with the ongoing government measures and regional decrees.
What about the company?
With us being chain supplier, we’ve never stopped. We initially set up shifts, especially because finding individual protection systems to ensure employers’ safety was challenging. Once we obtained our PPE supplies, we started getting ready for work, because prolonging such a situation was getting really hard on everybody.
We work in safe conditions: our plant is big enough to ensure distance is kept, while the administration and marketing departments can work from home. Therefore, we have been able to provide our clients with essential services, such as customer service and sale of spare parts.
Which measures have you implemented to assist your clients during this time?
Every channel allowing us to communicate with our clients has remained open (phone, website, e-mail); our customer service support activities continued through smart working.
As far as the market is concerned, how do you think your company will perform over the next 6 months?
Making predictions is hard, especially if we consider that what we sell is a component installed on extrusion, printing and coating lines and that it requires between one and two months to be shipped out, on average; however, we expect investments in new great lines to slow down. Market operators are trying to figure out whether the current situation is going to impact spending and therefore, packaging. I keep a positive attitude and think that some sectors, like food and pharmaceutical will be able to balance out, at least partly, any decrease in the most affected sectors.
What will we learn from all of this?
Given that this pandemic has affected our whole world, we have to take into account that market globalisation equals our entire life’s globalisation; we are interconnected in every possible way. It is of the utmost importance to analyse and evaluate data during a pandemic crisis and Coronavirus has caught us unprepared. Moreover, we should get rid of the most outdated procedures and focus on digitalisation and Industry 4.0.
What are you going to do once you can leave your region, Lombardia?
I think I’ll finally go the beach and start socialising again, not just with my family and friends, but with my clients and suppliers as well. Maybe we’ll go back to giving value to face-to-face relationships over digital ones.