Sagar Bhosale, Managing Director Schmersal India
One of the major learnings from the ongoing coronavirus crisis is that digitization will be key in the future, asserts Sagar Jeevan Bhosale, MD, Schmersal India. In this interview, he talks about how Schmersal India has restarted production to support essential manufacturing companies from food and pharma sectors, while ensuring the safety and well-being of employees. Excerpts:
In addition to developing and manufacturing products for a safe workplace, at Schmersal we also give top priority to the safety of each and every individual. This principle is relevant in the current situation with the global spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. In view of this, we have introduced a range of precautionary measures to protect our employees as best as we can from infection and to guarantee our delivery reliability as far as possible.
All employees of various support teams such as Administration, HR, Accounts & Finance, IT, R&D, Global Engineering & IT centre all are working from their home office. The entire sales team already is equipped with WFH and hence except the shop floor operators each and every employee is able to Work from home.
In addition, we are organizing various activities for team engagement and team building activities for each and every employee to connect through online so that the personal touch remains intact.
Earlier, we had declared the complete shutdown of our production plant in Pune until the 14th of April. However, on demands of various essential manufacturing companies from food and pharma sectors, we have restarted the production as of the second week of April. But very limitedly with just 10% of the production workforce working at a time with the necessary precautions of hygiene and sanitization in place. Schmersal India has taken all the necessary permissions from the government authorities to manufacture safety products to serve the essential critical manufacturing sector like the food and pharma industries and original equipment manufacturer (OEM).
On an international level, our delivery capacity is safeguarded based on the current situation. We remain in regular contact with our customers and suppliers should this situation change at short notice. Due to the speed at which COVID-19 is spreading worldwide and the associated border closures, we cannot rule out disruptions to the supply chain may occur as a result. We are therefore continuously reassessing the delivery situation and will do all we can to limit any possible knock-on effects to our customers and business partners due to a bottleneck in the supply chain.
The health and safety of our employees is our top priority – this has been shown once again in this crisis. Because without our workforce we couldn’t maintain our production and delivery capacity. Luckily, we have very motivated employees who are willing and able to adapt to challenging and stressful conditions. In this situation, we feel that it is an advantage that Schmersal is a family run business. There is a strong feeling of togetherness and belonging among our employees that helps us to cope with this difficult situation. Another lesson is that the digitization is key in the future. We have to proactively expand digitization and take advantage of the numerous opportunities that digitization offers. Working from home office is an impressive example: How could we have continued to work together without Skype meetings and the digital exchange of data?
It is expected that the economies worldwide will suffer from the effects of the corona crisis for a long time to come. Industrial production, sales and investment will drop and we may face a recession. However, our company is well positioned. We have a diversified customer base, so we are not overly dependent on any one industry. Also, Schmersal has a global footprint and is a financially stable company. This year Schmersal looks back on 75 years of corporate history – and we are optimistic that we will remain in place for the next decades to come.
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