When the coronavirus outbreak was announced at the beginning of this year, at first sight it appeared like a distant event. It was immediately clear it might upset the global balance. Still, no one was anticipating such far-reaching consequences. And yet here we are: with a powerful display of the so-called ripple effect, the COVID-19 pandemic took over the world, exposing the vulnerabilities of countries to unexpected threats, and basically affecting every aspect of our life.
As damages to markets and economies begin to be outlined, many are wondering how long it will take to recover, if things could have been handled differently, and where we are heading next.
We (virtually) flew to France to meet Isis SAS, top-class tungsten carbide and alloy steel tools supplier, and learn its opinion on these subjects. Despite being forced to temporarily shut down production from March 17 to April 6, the French-based firm never gave up in front of these daunting times and instead took this opportunity as a challenge to improve.
“Getting back to work in the time of pandemic was not an easy task. Why was it so difficult for the Government to provide masks? Why haven’t we been able to test the population quickly? Anyways, I’m glad we managed to sort things out. It required some restructuring of the work environment, of course, but overall I think we have done a great job so far" - commented Ms. Véronique Greusset, General Director of Isis SAS.
“Following the strictest safety protocols, we provided all our employees with face masks, gloves, disinfectant gel, and antibacterial soap. We also handed over sanitizing spray and paper wipes to each individual, to disinfect every hand tool and workstation, both in the workshop and in the office. Social distancing also played a huge role in preventing the spread of the virus. We hired a professional company to sanitize the whole factory while setting precise rules to access the dining hall and changing rooms.
When learning we were about to reopen, some of us were demotivated and scared, while others were glad to come back to work. However, we are now back up and running and ready to satisfy all of our customers’ requests.”
When talking about market outlooks and prospects, Isis SAS shares the concerns voiced by many that COVID-19 will leave a deep mark on the economy. “Nearly all companies are now striving to keep their head above the water. I think unemployment and bankruptcy will be an increasingly common issue, possibly even inflation? The trade show industry was also hit quite hard, as many fairs and events had to be cancelled. Considering how difficult it is now to meet other people in person, I believe it will be even harder for companies to do business and set the economy in motion again."