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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.