Sharing is mandatory more than caring, - stressed Mr Paolo Bazzoni, Chairman of the China-Italy Chamber of Commerce. Unity and sharing of experiences and best practices, strategic decisions should be everyone's priority, in order to better manage together this difficult moment. The common purpose is to restart in a good way and better organized.
On May 12th, the Mechanical Engineering Working Group (MEWG) of the China-Italy Chamber of Commerce (CICC) launched the first webtalk of the webinar series called "Sharing is caring: Issues for the MEWG in China", moderated by Alberto Fochesato, APAC Sales Director of Würth Industry Service China. The event is aimed at providing useful tools to overcome the current market difficulties due to the recent COVID restrictions.
Itema Weaving Machinery (China) Co., Ltd., Gefran and Würth Industry China are the three companies taking center stage, heard by more than 80 participants online. 3 different approaches in dealing with the current period, but all three in a different way of success.
Both Itema and Gefran have adopted closed-loop management in order not to block production and for both the readiness to react to difficulties and being solution oriented has been fatal. This is how Itema was the second company in the Songjiang industrial area to reactivate production, and Gefran playing in advance, anticipated the closed-loop management at the beginning of March.
Würth is instead managing to continue business operations thanks to the home office, having a warehouse located in an area not subject to lockdown in Zhejiang.
Another strategy that emerged during the round table was the importance of reading the narrative of what is happening in other cities, both to anticipate strategies and to identify other "safe" cities to try to solve the problem related to the supply chain.
"Thanks to CICC MEWG for the opportunity to share our practices across the actual status of lockdown for Shanghai. We are a small-medium company specialised in textile machines and related services, our site in China is in Songjiang district, Shanghai. Before lockdown, we were coming out from our best year ever, year 2021, for turnover and profitability, and we just completed Q1 2022 with +25% turnover vs same period 2021. Shanghai lockdown has temporarily forced us to stop our operations, but order intake in April remained outstanding, lead by exceptional export sales, mainly to India. With a makeshift organization, we got authorization to resume operations starting from April 27th and we are actually ensuring 70% of our standard production capacity with 40 employees in closed loop inside the company. An important part of the company is then providing support with smart work from home. We have no plans for further increase of employees in closed loop and we are waiting for standardization of working conditions in Shanghai. Flexibility of our organization gave us some advantages since 90% of our sales area managers and our customer service technicians are resident out of Shanghai and never stopped operating."
—Lorenzo Maffioli, Managing Director of Itema Weaving Machinery (China) Co., Ltd.
"Never take long term decisions over short term concerns. Sensemaking and flexibility are the advantages we should foster. Our strategy was based on an anticipated closed-loop management to facilitate the reopening and a multipoint logistic service within China to serve our customers."
—Fabrizio Merz, General Manager of Gefran
"It was my pleasure to be a panelist on the first “Sharing is Caring” webinar on May 12th. During the call I heard once again that strong processes and systems within our companies allow for the greatest flexibility during these difficult times. Flexibility allows us to manage the fear of the unknown, manage our supply chain, and provide for the health & well-being of our employees. In doing this we are able to keep our company, customers and suppliers running during these difficult time. I am looking forward to the next webinar to learn more how we can all work together as partners to support the success of all of our companies."
—Larry B. Stevens, CEO of Würth Industry China
Uncertainty is the greatest difficulty that our speakers see on the horizon, especially uncertainty linked to a still very fragmented picture of the regulations.
Despite the uncertainty, the companies protagonists of this first webtalk appear after all optimistic: the Chinese market is very responsive, and it is possible to find opportunities even in a moment of crisis like this. How? Reorganizing, with flexibility and adapting to the new needs of the market.
Don’t miss the next webtalk on May 19th, focused on Machinery and Supply chain.