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From a global pandemic to a new business landscape

Managing COVID-19 – protecting people, maintaining supply chains and supporting customers

Marco MazzuCEO of Hyva, answers questions about the Coronavirus pandemic. We explore how it has affected Hyva’s business, the ways in which the Hyva ‘family’ is responding, and, ask Marco to share some thoughts on the future.

How are you?

Thankfully, I am well and keeping healthy. I appreciate that, as not everyone has been so lucky. From day one of this crisis, the primary focus of our Management Team has been, and will always be, on the safety and well-being of Hyva employees and families, business partners and customers.

 

How has your day-to-day life changed at work?

A major change has been the inability to travel and meet face-to-face with Hyva personnel, dealers and customers. Communication is vitally important. We have had to adapt, combining the traditional with the new. Fortunately, as we are a company exceptionally global for our size, we had already introduced the use of digital platforms for meetings and communication. Now this became a necessity rather than an option, as life moved out of the physical world and into the virtual realm. This experience has served us well and together with other electronic communications we have managed to maintain and, in some instances, increase and improve communications as many of our people have moved to home or remote working.

 

How did you deal with the initial Coronavirus outbreak in China, where Hyva has significant business interests?

The initial outbreak and rapid spread of Coronavirus in China was a shock to everybody. In response, we in Hyva quickly set up special taskforces in critical areas such as Human Resources and Supply Chain to protect the welfare of our people and assure the continuity, as far as was possible, of components and materials to our manufacturing plants. This early and successful response gave us valuable experience which has helped us to be better prepared as the virus spread through Asia, Europe, MEA and Americas.

 

How are you dealing with the ongoing business challenges?

Hyva is a large, international business with global reach. However, we still have a strong ‘family’ culture of pulling together in difficult times, not only to support each other in Hyva, but also to reach out to the wider community. In the early days of the pandemic, several Hyva subsidiaries supported our colleagues in China by sending protective masks, clothes and temperature guns. Now that China is slowly recovering, they are reciprocating with donations of equipment to protect our employees around the world. And, in other countries – including Italy, Brazil and the Netherlands – Hyva staff have supported local health agencies and charities with donations of PPE equipment and financial contributions.

Our business has been challenged and will be tested further in the coming months. However, as I reflect on what we have come through and look ahead, I see lots of encouraging signs. Our supply chains have been adjusted and maintained the required level of support to our factories. Plants in China have re-opened, respecting all safety requirements, and gradually built up to full production. Our plant in Germany has operated throughout the pandemic, even if at reduced capacity. And, our plants in Italy, Brazil and recently also in India are gradually re-opening, initially at reduced capacity, when local conditions and regulations allow.

 

What will the recovery look like?

The timing and speed of the recovery is unknown, but it will certainly come. We have strong relationships with our customers, and I believe that most of them will be in a position to maintain their business flow and will be ready for the recovery.

 

Do you think that the pandemic will make some permanent changes to the way in which Hyva operates in future?

Our approach during this pandemic has shown us several things which may influence or change the way in which we work in the future. Health and welfare regimes will change within all our places of work. We are likely to increase the use of digital platforms – video may become the norm for some communications and could play a bigger role in some areas of education and training. The viability of flexible hours and remote or home working will not cease with the end of the pandemic. International communication will change – airline travel, especially long-haul, will reduce and may be much more expensive in the short to medium term. Supply chains will again come under scrutiny for any vulnerabilities identified during the pandemic.

 

Can you name something positive which has come out of this situation?

Enforced changes have confirmed the value of technology to intensify communication, rather than just alternative use.

 

How has the crisis affected your personal life?

In addition to the practical issues that we have faced, the emotional impact has, I know, been intense for many of us. Some of you will know people who have suffered, and all of us have relatives or friends who continue to be at risk. On a very personal note, my own mother, who is now 91, is in isolation in Turin in northern Italy.  As a family, we are all concerned and doing all that we can for her. My family is not unusual in this respect.

 

What will you do when Coronavirus is no longer an issue?

Visit my mother in Italy.

 

Any closing thoughts?

I am very proud of the response of our Hyva ‘family’, of the way in which we have connected and supported each other on both a personal and a business level. Despite the gravity of the pandemic and its impact on global business, I am feeling positive about the future for Hyva in the new economic landscape.

 

Our people are our strength. Stay safe and stay strong.

 

Marco Mazzu

CEO of Hyva