In this delicate period, many companies are struggling with the consequences of the COVID-19 emergency; some are licking their wounds, the luckiest ones have only been barely touched by the results of the pandemic, depending on the country they live in, their specific business activity, the customers they are dealing with.
We are collecting the opinions and views of several companies on the current situation, how they dealt with the lockdown in their country, and their future views.
We also asked these questions to Neil Spencer, Managing Director of PWT Ltd, the New Zealand-based wire mill solutions provider specializing in industrial wire process technologies for the galvanized wire industry.
How did you experience the pandemic? Did you shut down the company completely, or were you able to keep some departments up and running?
We had to close operations as required by our government but were able to operate remotely for basic customer support. We could also continue design work for some projects, maintaining a relationship and dialogue with several of our customers.
What measures did you have to implement in order to comply with the safety standards of your country?
As our government reduced the country alert level, businesses were able to start limited operations. At level 3 we were allowed to operate with two people in our workshop but everyone else had to work from home. No customer or supplier visits were allowed. A contact tracing system had to be adopted to make sure we knew who was where. Any equipment or handles touched had to be wiped clean at the end of each day, when operators were in the factory and when they left. At level 2 we had to implement full contact tracing records of people coming in and out of the building, restricting access to one door. Hand sanitizers were stationed at key points. People were allowed to be within 1m of each other but for a limited time.
Did you have to re-evaluate your goals and priorities in the short/medium term?
We have had to look at medium to long term operations in terms of how to complete projects in the event this kind of scenario happens again. We have already fast-tracked some of our medium-term plans.
How do you think the industry will react? What will the consequences be in the short to long term?
I think the industry will continue. Some companies may disappear depending on their financial position, for instance. Short term may see some customer expenditure delayed whilst others will fast track projects to get ahead of competitors. We saw a similar scenario during the global financial crisis.
Fairs and events are an important business opportunity: do you think that the virus will affect their organization and the way they are carried out? Are you planning to participate in some events in the near future?
We are scheduled to attend wire Düsseldorf in December but it will depend on if there is a second round of pandemic. I know of some trade fairs which have gone online with virtual booths.
We are currently working on 4 projects with a couple being special. Once operational we'll make them public.
For more information about PWT Ltd's range of products and services addressed to the wire industries, please visit the online stand and contact the company using the details on the left.