How do we deal with the rising COVID-19 numbers and the immediate effects on employees, supply chain and turnover calculations? At this year’s German Logistics Congress, Günther Jocher, Managing Director of GROUP7, presented his company’s 5-point strategy. The first point of the strategy is to quickly adapt to the changed needs of the market. “We recognized the increasing demand for medical protective equipment early on and supported our customers with the initially difficult import process. By transporting a total of 31 million pieces of equipment, we were able to compensate the reduced volumes in other sectors such as automotive and textiles”, Jocher explained.
Surprise customers with new services such as Skype inventory
Point 2 of the GROUP7 strategy is the development of new products and services, adapted to the new Corona restrictions. “An important stock-taking of a customer gave us the idea to handle the process digitally. Our customers and the auditors were able to view the inventory virtually via Skype, and our employees could take samples on site”, Günther Jocher explains. This environmentally friendly and time-saving process will also be used by the logistics service provider after Corona.
Use the crisis to strengthen cohesion in the company
GROUP7 Managing Director Jocher’s point 3 was very important: “I deliberately avoided short-time working – we used the time to reduce vacation and strengthened our sales department”. According to him, this had already proven itself in the past: Thanks to the strong sales activities in the 2008/09 crisis, GROUP7 was able to generate a 64 percent increase in sales in the following year.
Continue to drive investments such as the Hamburg construction project
The 4th point in GROUP7’s pandemic package is aimed at investments in future business areas. Despite the difficult situation, the company was certified according to the GDP guidelines (Good Distribution Practice) in order to further advance the Pharma & Healthcare sector. “Our new construction project – a logistics center in Hamburg-Billbrook will also start on schedule in 2021,” said Jocher on the subject of investments.
Using the pandemic as a driver of the digitalisation process
The final point of the GROUP7 strategy is to use the pandemic as a driver of the digitalization. “Our further developed, digital security net has proven itself useful for our customers in the current crisis,” says Jocher. GROUP7 also tested agile working earlier than planned and will in future use it in the forwarding departments where it brings added value. “With our 5-point strategy for dealing with Corona, we are planning to be even more innovative in the future,” concludes Jocher.