Episode 109: Transcript
Adjusting Your Manufacturing Business to a Post COVID-19 World
— Speaker 0 00:04 Make It Right. The manufacturing podcast
Speaker 1 00:09 Philosopher Heraclitus said change is the only constant, whether it’s small changes that take place on a daily basis or sudden big change that gets thrust upon us. There is no escaping change and we’ve all been adjusting to sudden change in the last number of months. But as we get back to our new normal its impact will go with us. Welcome to the makeup ride podcast. I’m Janet Eastman. And last week on episode one Oh eight, my guest was supply chain expert Filippo Mauri, and he discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic has been a game changer for business. He joins me again this week with a European perspective on how the shifting business landscape is impacting developing countries and how social distancing has flattened the hierarchal playing field. And that’s where we pick up the conversation. Speaker 2 01:03 I was amazed to see, you know, if you work on, let’s say in zoom or whatever on teams or Skype, whatever, whatever your name is, um, actually you can see in the background or the speaker, let’s say a piece of, uh, of their home. And, uh, and, uh, actually there are some, uh, let’s say signs into the core into the corporate let’s say environment, which are very important. And, you know, um, how, if you go on a certain floor where you have, uh, all the executive, there is a certain, the spacious offices sort of rarefied hair. I mean, you can feel it, this is a way to communicate that this is the executive floor, for instance, right? And, and, and you know that when you get there it’s like that. So there are signs in the, in the companies that actually tells you more or less how important somebody is, or, you know, even the tie or whatever, you know, that there are no, let’s say non verbal, let’s say signs that actually are transmitted. Speaker 2 02:18 Let’s say to, to, to tell them how powerful somebody is. And, uh, that is over on zoom where everybody is very well. It’s very under, let’s say under dressed, compared to the dress code to NOLA business dress code, um, very casual. Um, in the back, you can see part of the kitchen or part of, uh, you know, maybe the living room or the basement. And so, uh, independently of the seniority actually people do look the same. And, uh, this is flat. This is a raising, let’s say completely all the science of differentiation the, the year she and actually flattens down and everybody. And this helps to me the sense of belonging to a group. You’re not speaking of an organization anymore. You’re speaking of a group of people that actually work together. So it’s that, that is the, I believe also an aspect that, that is really defining the future. It’s like to you with zoom, you’re entering somebody’s home and actually discover a little bit more of his humanity. And that is, that is a big change to me. Speaker 1 03:35 There’s a, I mean, that levelling out of the hierarchy has been kind of a positive thing from gear perspective through all of this. What has been lost though? What’s not likely to return post pandemic, whether it’s good or bad. Speaker 2 03:51 Well, I, I believe that, uh, the, uh, the situation actually demonstrated that we can do business, uh, uh, for instance, uh, maybe working two or three days for home that, uh, we, we spent maybe two hours in the commuting, okay. Two hours that are completely lost. They’re actually two now. So we are at 10 or 12, which is a big percentage. And those two hours that we lose everyday commuting, actually, you can see that coming back and are coming back in terms of productivity, in terms of quality of life, in terms of a work life balance. I mean, um, this is, this is something that is here to stay. You really don’t want to go back to, to the previous situation, because that is probably, you know, Coby left us a lot of bad things and, and a lot of charges, but on the other hand actually copied the demonstrated that, uh, uh, certain things can be done, uh, even better and even more efficiently with a better, uh, uh, life for the people, um, even, uh, working from home and the technology is there, let’s say to make it happen. So, um, well, it’s a big learning. We should not come back on, uh, on the 40 hours a week, uh, with very fixed timetables. Uh, this is, this is something that is over, I think. Speaker 2 05:31 And then, uh, I believe that, uh, the other, uh, on the other hand, what we, what we should not lose i — — s this, um, let’s say is the, the kind of, uh, uh, interaction that is, uh, that is, uh, that is happening. And, uh, and, uh, you know, suddenly, and we, we were briefly discussing about that, for instance, the fact of being into the headquarters. Okay. I actually allows you to create a network. Okay. So if you work in the headquarters in the Capitol, so whatever this gives you are within the organization, a sort of competitive advantage. Okay. Because you are aware that decision are taken in a word that is completely delocalized where everybody’s working more or less from home. Okay. Being in the office, India, the court is no longer a competitive advantage. So the, the employee who works in, uh, New York or the employee works in a, you know, Hawaii. Speaker 2 06:38 Okay. Um, yeah. On the same level in terms of access and the participation to the business. Okay. And this is a great chance because this also flattens your organization. It does not allow you anymore. Some of features, advantages, like for instance, the fact of being close to your, uh, to, to, to the, to where the decisions are taking, um, well, it just flattened and you are as close as anybody else, uh, with the same, uh, let’s say, uh, yeah. Electronic distance. Um, and so there’s no difference among the, among the employees in the, in the, in the parish, Cheryl, I’d say offices have a subsidiary maybe in West Africa and the ones that are staying in Paris. And, uh, that’s, that’s amazing. And this, this is a great chance also for countries that are, that do not host a center of decisions. Let’s say, Speaker 1 07:40 I wanted to ask you about that. Like these less developed countries, like those that would be in Africa, they aren’t, as you said in the headquarters, but that doesn’t matter anymore. So what is the opportunity for some of these countries and in Asia and Africa that are smaller? Speaker 2 07:59 Yeah. Um, I believe that there are some, you know, it’s very difficult to generalize of course, but, uh, clearly first, if we look at the developed the developing world and the developing countries, and, uh, of course there is a level of resilience okay. There, bigger problems compared to, let’s say U S traditional us and Europe. But, um, um, but those countries that are actually more in general, more resilience. Okay. More, uh, let’s say, uh, use to handle a difficult situation or unexpected events. Okay. So, and , everyone was for instance, a worker in general, in Africa, you see, or in certain countries, Latin America in Asia, you learn very fast and you’re really at the Meyer, uh, by how people can adapt rapidly to a complex environment where things do not go normally how, uh, you, you may expect to, to work. So that is, that is, uh, an incredible opportunity because suddenly we found ourselves in the same, uh, in the same situation. Speaker 2 09:18 So what’s, you may, right. For instance, if you think about the pandemic, okay. You don’t necessarily think that that dynamic may happen in Switzerland one day, however, okay. You, you are, you’re not surprised if, uh, if an epitome or a, another disease, there is an outbreak somewhere in, uh, as, as you have seen, for instance, in Nigeria or, uh, or in, uh, Sierra Leone today, we have the demonstration that, that Sierra Leone, or are, you know, have, are the same level at Switzerland because pandemic or outbreaks can happen in both sides. So the one that is more equipped to, and more resilient is the one actually who can take advantage, take more space. So for the countries, of course, there are less, let’s say, uh, structures and less means, but, uh, in general, the locally, they’re more prepared to handle this kind of situation and react very fast. Speaker 2 10:23 So I believe that, uh, this big resetting that is happening across the world, uh, actually it’s going to spread tragedies. Okay. But also is going to level up and offer new opportunities on the market to maybe start ops or, uh, uh, new businesses or, uh, that, that actually taking place in what is called the developing, developing countries. There is one thing is that firstly, if you see the evolution of technology, the evolution of, uh, for instance of the eCommerce and the incredible growth, actually, you can see that those kind of activities are actually very strong for instance, in countries like Nigeria. If you think about the new developing technologies, like for instance, block cha — — ins, or actually e-commerce okay, you can see them happening in having a center of excellence, also in countries that unsuspected countries. And, uh, and, uh, this is, this is fabulous. Uh, we knew that that was happening and, uh, this, uh, this pandemic is actually make it so visible. That probably is a great opportunity. I’m so happy for that. What kind of risks or unexpected opportunities do you think companies actually should be taking right now, once as we’re through this Speaker 1 11:54 And countries are opening up, what are the risks or opportunities Speaker 2 11:57 People should be grabbing onto? Uh, there is, uh, uh, to me, the bigger risk is to, to try to go back to normalcy and to go back to the business as usual as I was mentioning before, um, the consumer habits, at least in the short term, and let’s say, uh, okay, this year pinky Twain tea is going to be probably our a nine and comparable year compared to the previous, let’s say the previous years or the previous. So the concept of, for instance, how good or bad I’m going to do in this quarter is this is a little bit strange in this period, right? So you you’re probably need to, to look at, uh, the, uh, the longer period in terms of, uh, the performance of the company. You need to see how good your company was able to react and change quickly. Okay. And the risk is a to do, and to try to reimplement the same format, because this is not going to work anymore, maybe in the end, for sure. Speaker 2 13:12 It’s going to be a four said, uh, let’s say structure. So we need really, the risk is, is to, to two, to obey, to the need, to, let’s say, to deliver the core, to deliver the year like anything had happened. Well, something had happened. And, uh, uh, w we may use this year to learn as much as we can from what had happened and, or restart as soon as possible. Maybe, you know, you can measure your performance from September to September or whatever, but trying to apply all the models to this, to this world, um, already was a, probably not the right thing to do before the pandemic, but as the pandemic has accelerated, everything probably is going to be like a pudding, you know, the wrong size of, uh, of, uh, of, uh, of a suit, uh, and yourself and where and where it, and, uh, you, you may not feel comfortable in the years to come Speaker 1 14:23 Filippo. What, what would be your key takeaways that you think that manufacturers and business leaders should be thinking about right now? Speaker 2 14:33 Oh, right now. Right, right now, I think that the problem is that the how to, uh, okay. How to, um, bring people, to allow, allow people to create the conditions for people to, to deliver. Okay. Uh, refocus. So, and, and this is a major undertaking and, uh, also try to refocus on, uh, how should I, um, should everybody start, um, working in a, in a safe way and, uh, and try to remeasure, let’s say the performance of the companies or the manufacturing activities in a way that we do, not that we, we actually understand how the machine actually starts back, uh, during the, after the pandemic, after this force at the stop, I mean, restarting a machine that has been stopped for three or four months. Okay. Is we know that a is something that may not happen as we, we expect. Okay. And then the same is to restart the factory free after Fremont. Speaker 2 15:48 So the third term, the activity. So we need to be extremely careful that in this transitionary phase where we actually wake up again and start back and we bring people safety safely to work, we do not take risk in terms of safety, uh, because, uh, probably, you know, equipment has been stopped for awhile. Uh, and, uh, also we continue, you listen. And we, we, we improve the connection and the synchronization with the, with the business, in order to restart with the right food and start, the selective will produce what is really breeziness and dancing. So I believe that we need, the, the key thing is to restart from the fundamentals and, uh, and, uh, get the machine turning, um, safely, I guess, I guess the whole key is don’t try to rush and make everything happen at once because, you know, everything could go wrong. Speaker 2 16:52 So you just have to take it slow and steady and make sure you can get it. Yeah, absolutely. And, uh, you know, for me, the dimension that we’re talking about right now. Okay. But the, the dimension of being prepared. Okay. — — And keep being prepared is fundamental. It’s not that right now, because we actually don’t know what, uh, God, for beats, I mean, we don’t want to have a second wave, but the, everybody is speaking about the second wave. So if nothing happens fine. Okay. And we’re all happy, but we need to be prepared if in October or November, something happens, we will have to take advantage of this hard earned experience to be prepared by then. And we know that we know already that probably something is going to happen. And, uh, and, uh, we should, we should look at that. We should that restarting now, but restarting in a more robust way in order to face the future in a more reliable, with a more reliable supply chain. Speaker 1 17:59 Filippo. I always love talking to you because you bring a great perspective and I really appreciate you joining us on make it right this week. It’s a, it’s been an interesting conversation and you brought some things to light. I hadn’t even thought about. So thank you very much. Speaker 2 18:15 No, it’s my pleasure. And, uh, it’s, it’s really fantastic to, to, to speak to you as usual. Speaker 1 18:22 So I hope we can chat again. Yeah. We might, uh, we may just check in with you sometime in, uh, you know, October, November to just see how things are, but I really appreciate your time right now. Thank you. Speaker 2 18:35 Yeah. Thank you so much, indeed. It’s my pleasure. Speaker 1 18:37 Filippo Mauri is a supply chain expert. He’s a senior advisor as well, who works for global manufacturers. His company is IMUNDO Global. That’s our show this week. So please check out our Twitter and LinkedIn feeds that are on our podcast page. And you can subscribe and share this podcast with your friends and colleagues through iTunes, Google play, Stitcher, Spotify, and YouTube, and the maker bright podcast is brought to you by Kevin Snook. He’s a leadership advisor and author of the bestselling book, Make It Right. Five Steps to Align Your Manufacturing Business from the Front Line to the Bottomline until next time I’m Janet Eastman. Stay safe. Thanks for listening to Make It Right.