• 5 questions to Roland Sichart on the current situation

    Director Operations

1. In which ways have you adapted production to the current situation?

The first and most important measure was to ensure that minimum distances between people were observed. This was not too difficult in the production department, since most of the work stations are more than 1.5 metres apart anyway. In order to avoid close contact in the recreation areas, such as the cafeteria, we have introduced different break times, made more areas available and put appropriate notices on maintaining a safe distance on the tables. In order to avoid our entire production having to come to a standstill in the worst-case scenario, we have completely suspended all movement and exchange of employees between our sites.

2. How busy is our production department currently and is it fully capable of supplying all orders?

Our production department is very busy at the moment. Since our suppliers have been and also continue to be capable of production throughout, we have no bottlenecks with regard to capacity or material and are fully capable of supplying all orders.

3. How do we protect our employees and visitors from possible risks of contagion, e.g. while delivering the goods?

In addition to the numerous instructions for compliance with the rules regarding hygiene and personal distancing, we have placed disinfectant dispensers at all entrances and exits. External service providers and suppliers are advised not to enter our factories. If this is absolutely necessary, they must wear mouth and nose protection. Our employees are also encouraged to wear mouth and nose protection if distancing rules cannot be observed.

4. Are there any difficulties along the shipping route?

With overland transport, there were long traffic jams when the borders were first closed and the associated border controls were carried out, and this led to delays in deliveries of around one to two days. The situation has in the meantime eased up again. No noteworthy price-related changes have been recorded to date.

5. What is the situation with sea and air freight shipments?

As a result of the decline in goods deliveries from Asia, empty containers have become scarce in Europe and sea freight capacities have thus become scarcer, which in turn leads to higher prices and longer waiting times and thus longer delays in deliveries.

The situation with air traffic is much more dramatic. Since most planes are grounded, cargo capacity has been drastically reduced. Air freight prices have shot up three to fivefold.

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