Most people have become far more aware of the value of their health during the coronavirus crisis, but there are other things that have come increasingly to the fore too. Since lockdowns and the associated restrictions on contact, they have been spending a lot of time at home, and have noticed that their kitchens, which are now being used much more intensively, are getting old and may be lacking in space, comfort and functionality. Despite or perhaps precisely because of the pandemic, many people have been looking to turn their yearning for a cosy home and new kitchen into a reality over the last year. For BLANCO, the water hub specialist and brains behind the BLANCO UNIT, 2020 was an extremely busy year for the high-quality system solution made for all activities relating to drinking, preparation and cleaning.
The pandemic created unexpected challenges for the international company, which has subsidiaries in Europe, Russia, China, APAC and North America. BLANCO initiated a raft of protective measures at a very early stage: “The health of our workforce remains one of our most important guiding principles,” stresses COO Andreas Ostermann von Roth. This applies to all employees worldwide, whether working in administration or production. Working from home was encouraged from the very outset and is still being successfully practised wherever possible today. For this purpose, the company invested in extra hardware and special telephone management software at short notice, so that the in-house sales teams, to give one example, could also work from home and thus continue to support their customers. The plantsadapted to the situation by implementing a consistent approach to safety, with a clearly defined hygiene concept. The number of meetings in the production halls were reduced to the bare essentials and shifts were carefully organised. At the same time, however, the aim was to continue to provide retailers with a high level of service. “Managing this balancing act was and remains an extraordinary challenge for all of us,” says Ostermann von Roth. Both during the first lockdowns in spring 2020 and now, one year later, "We were struggling with significant supply backlogs. However, we did not shy away from the costs involved in enabling us to supply our customers reliably. We managed to do this in more than 80 percent of cases, which is remarkable given the circumstances. But we strive to do better.” Customers are used to something else from BLANCO, says Ostermann von Roth, adding, “If you bear in mind that our team has so far shown itself to be highly flexible in the crisis and given 150 percent to meet customer requirements as best as it possibly can, I know that with such a great team we can lead the company safely into the future,” says the COO.