“As urban environments are being reinvented in real-time, we need to think and act differently and using KONE’s expert knowledge, data, and simulation tools, we can provide an understanding of how physical distancing measures impact people flow”, Catalina Dragomir, Managing Director, KONE Romania.
What type of adaptive measures the company / your project(s) needed? What were the lessons of this period?
The new COVID-19 area made us to see a different perspective, from Health & Safety of our employees to subcontractors challenges into the sites where several subcontractors are working in parallel; our employees H&S is zero priority for KONE so we were monitoring all the authorities communications and recommendations and using the global experience on KONE level for best practices we have been able to protect our employees and to provide them the necessary protective measures; supplementary regular trainings on specific topics have been conducted and working instructions have been adapted to the situation. We are also encouraging remote working and the digital tools we have already implemented in KONE have been a real support in this period. The most important lesson learned is that any crisis is the driver of a new opportunity and in KONE we have use it to increase our employees digital competences creating a new style of work where connectivity is playing a key role; if you are doing a proper communication, regular trainings and continuous contacts with your employees then all will work as a team and will be more efficient, safe and engaged.
What is the status of your current project(s) and investments planned for 2020-2021?
Our projects depend on our customers planned investments and the key ingredient is trust that we will follow the rules, will invest in H&S and will respect our promises. On hold projects are only exceptions and we have supported also high-risk projects like COVID-19 hospitals modernization or maintenance providing full confidence and trust to our customers that will keep our engagements. We have also found solutions for delayed projects as hotels modernization supporting customer’s needs and now we are working together with them to close the projects that will help sustain their business. Another initiative to support our customers is linked with the new solutions answering to COVID-19 challenges, as health and wellbeing trend will stay as a focus area for customers and end users. During this short period of time in KONE we have been able to leverage existing features and solutions and to develop new ones that reduce the need to touch surfaces, help to prevent the spread of disease, contribute to a healthier environment, improve communication. All these solutions have a clear business impact allowing us to differentiate by understanding customer’s needs and advising them on existing solutions that could meet their requirements to continue the business and to fulfill the end users expectations.
Which are the advantages of your business and products, going forward? What are your expectations from the public sector, state projects to support future business?
We have quickly adapt our portfolio and provided for our customers solutions to mitigate COVID-19 effects and the feedback is positive as we have already received orders to implement these solutions. Our new products portfolio with DX build-in connectivity enable remote call solutions and partner solutions to be compatible with our elevators; this advantage will enable also customers to develop their own applications and connect them to our elevators. The new elevators became future proof for similar challenging situations in the future addressing the new reality; also in future new partner solutions are easy to be enabled once the connectivity is there. The public sector and state projects are part of our portfolio and with the new offerings we can address and solve the challenges they are facing due to COVID-19. Don’t forget that the pandemic created a huge pressure on public sector from hospitals to schools, airports or metro stations and new solutions are required to address the needs for health and protection and minimize the people flow disruption.
What transformations you expect in your sector, their effects for the Romanian economy?
After COVID-19 we will face a “new normal” and each part of our life will be transformed, either that we are discussing about personal, social or professional one. In our sector we have already saw an immediate impact on transport prices due to the countries restrictions and regulations. Due to the quick reaction and control implemented in the Group we have been able to keep a functional supply chain with no delivery delays or shortages. For sure all the required protection measures will have an impact on the projects profitability irrespective of sector or user, but even H&S measures are having a financial impact this is minimal compared to employees, customers and end users importance to business. Change of business was not difficult as KONE is already part on digital era with the new technology that we are providing to our customers so the only adaptation had to be done on H&R level and employees interaction. Technology disruption is already part of KONE offering and from this perspective COVID-19 impact speed up our business transformation.
What is your message to clients and partners?
We are living in unprecedented times and with uncertainty looming large, everyone is wondering if this is the new normal. If it is, how will it affect our lives and influence mobility both in the short and long-term and what we can do about it? As the world enters the new normal, safe and clean environments will be a priority and KONE’s health and well-being solutions will help ensure a smooth transition to this changing reality. As urban environments are being reinvented in real-time, we need to think and act differently and using KONE’s expert knowledge, data, and simulation tools, we can provide an understanding of how physical distancing measures impact people flow in a specific building, and what measures could help reduce crowding and bottlenecks. We are a reliable partner and the local organization with the support of Group Centers of Excellence is fully committed to support our customers’ needs providing three tiers of customer deliverables that both deploy our existing People Flow capabilities and help our customers re-open their businesses.
An article published in the exclusive supplement – “Market pulse report, Romania – The new normal” | June 2020
A property market tour, including major cities, with projects status and updated opportunities at the end of the lockdown in Romania – June 2020. | Essential news with the current status of further investments, clients and partners relations, new priorities for the post crisis cycle. | B2B communication report – to help you mark your statements during the changes period.
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