African manufacturer, merchandiser and distributor of steel and value-added products Macsteel is planning to leverage on technology to sustain its business growth as part of its post-Covid-19 business continuity plan.
This after the spread of Covid-19 created business disruption around the world, leaving many large and small businesses struggling, the company notes.
Macsteel operations executive Nival Porun says Covid-19 has made businesses realise the importance of technology, further relying on digital technology to drive their business operations and communication.
“Before the pandemic, face-to-face meetings were the norm; however; through the technological infrastructure now implemented, we have assisted some areas of the Macsteel business to operate. This provided the comfort and necessity of physical distancing without having to put ourselves and others at risk.”
Porun says the new landscape post-pandemic is such that every business will have to embrace the new way of operating, through technology and digital communications, while face-to-face meetings will only be done when it is critical to do so.
The information technology sector will be an area of opportunity, especially for businesses that need the technological advances to streamline their operational processes and align their businesses with the new norm.
“Macsteel is heading in the right direction and has made major inroads in terms of using first-world practices in manufacturing. We've taken steps to get to that level of applying advanced manufacturing practices aligned to Fourth Industrial Revolution practises. There are a lot of learnings and opportunities and, in terms of capabilities, I believe we will align our operations based on what has happened in recent months," Porun says.
He indicates that all businesses were caught off guard by the pandemic and, while they may have continuity plans in place from a risk perspective, not all plans are developed for a disruption of this magnitude.
“If during this time, you’re negligent when it comes to the management of people or your processes regarding health and safety protocols, you run the risk of losing highly skilled staff and specialised employees and this could be detrimental to the operations of the business in the long-term,” the company says.
It emphasises that all organisations should comply with the World Health Organisation standards in terms of process as well as health and safety procedures such as the wearing of personal protective equipment for the health and safety of people working in the business.
“People are key stakeholders to the business and, without them, the business cannot run or exist. So, looking after your people and ensuring that they are healthy and able to work is another key factor that businesses will need to focus on in the future,” highlights the company.