Oliver Voßhenrich talks about the current situation at POS TUNING regarding Corona.
Interview with Oliver Voßhenrich about Corona
Germany, Bad Salzuflen, 18 March 2020
What are the challenges POS TUNING faces with Corona?
In order to prevent an infection as far as possible, it is right and important to have as few personal contacts as possible in the near future. This of course massively limits our sales activities. Furthermore, the retail trade is currently under extreme pressure to maintain the supply situation in the country. The situation could be described as follows: Easter and Christmas currently fall on the same day in the retail trade.
The Corona crisis is also causing considerable difficulties for our partners in the consumer goods sector. As a result of the cancellation of many events (e.g. the European Football Championship), during which special promotions were to be placed, food manufacturers currently have to act extremely flexibly. This has of course also an impact on current placement projects.
Which measures have been taken by POS TUNING?
The protection of our employees and business partners is our top priority. We have implemented extensive preventive measures. Among other things, all of us who are able to do so work from home office. This was already possible for many employees before the crisis. For all others, we have created the appropriate conditions — virtually over the last weekend.
Meetings now take place only via video conferencing and we have created isolated areas within the company so that employees from the various departments do not meet in person. In production, we have formed 2 groups in each area, which work without overlapping.
In addition, we have installed disinfectant dispensers in all areas and trained our team in hygiene guidelines.
Despite — or rather thanks to — all the measures we have taken, we are fully capable of supplying and producing. All orders are currently dispatched on schedule. Should an infection be detected in an area and the employees have to be quarantined, we can position the “replacement team” due to the establishment of separate groups and would still be able to continue production and delivery.
At this point, I would also like to thank all our employees once again for switching flexibly and professionally to the “crisis mode”. Many of them actively participated in the development and implementation of the measures. This was essential for the success and a smooth procedure.
What are the opportunities and risks for retail due to the special situation?
As can be seen from the news tickers, the current situation is strengthening not only stationary but also online business. For example, the delivery service PICNIC reports high growth rates during the crisis, as many people prefer to stay at home at the moment. On the other hand, it must also be realized that in this situation, food retailers and food manufacturers are some of the few companies that are able to maintain their business activities to the full extent – no, in fact, they “must”. The CEO of REWE, Lionel Soque, for example, is pragmatically promoting his intention to hire students and other temporary staff in order to be able to replenish and dispose the increased demand for food in the stores in a timely manner. All in all, I expect food retailing — in contrast to many other industries — to achieve excellent business results this year.
How can POS TUNING contribute to this?
As already mentioned: to avoid infection, personal contacts should be reduced to a minimum. The automation and digitalisation of retail shelves by means of push feeds and sensors can make a good contribution here, as the unnecessary presence of employees at the shelf – for example to bring goods forward — is eliminated. This also minimizes the contact of employees with the goods, which is welcome from a hygienic point of view.
Our sensor elements on the shelf also help to ensure the availability of goods. As soon as the goods on the shelf are running out, the sensors send signals to the employees or to the planning systems. In this way, retailers can prevent gaps in the shelves.