29. March 2021
Update: March 29, 2021
Quick, successful measures since the start of the pandemic
The pandemic affects essential areas of an international company and requires effective measures. There are three aspects that demand special focus here: customer orientation, entrepreneurial strength, and the protection of employees. In order to ensure our ability to deliver and produce, keep communication flowing with our customers, and uphold our social responsibility, we reacted fast at the start of the pandemic. The first step was to immediately set up a crisis committee, rules were put in place and strictly followed to prevent infections in the company, and efforts were made to expand digital collaboration and communication.
Since then, the work of our crisis committee has been successful. For a long time we recorded zero Covid-19 cases. When isolated cases occurred, we were quickly able to identify and stop the chains of infection. As such, we have so far avoided an outbreak of the virus. At the same time, the quality of our work has improved.
Mobile work is an important component
By implementing and expanding mobile working, we have minimized physical contact on the one hand and further optimized our communication resources and channels on the other. The effect is that our external and internal efficiency has increased along with the protection of our employees’ health.
Over the past year, digital meetings have become more and more commonplace throughout the world. We exchange far more information internationally, and speak to and see our customers far more often. The flow of information has become more efficient and we are “closer” to one another in a new sense. Where we would previously have written e-mails, there are now short Zoom calls, for example. Our global management team gets together every two weeks in regular digital meetings, where they would previously have telephoned or met in person as required. Even our annual Group Meeting now takes place digitally.
We have pushed forward many strategic optimizations and further optimized our workflows – from expanding our digital work platform and forming remote teams, to concentrated video conferences. This has given our work a new quality and we have increased our performance.
As a global company, we naturally take an international perspective on things. Our work is globally networked, our customers and our employees are located around the world. Everything is interconnected. This increases our corporate responsibility in all areas. Customers need to be able to rely on us, our services must be available, supply chains, production, and services have to work, our economic strength must be maintained – not least to secure the jobs of our employees.
The last year has shown that our measures have taken effect. We were able to deliver at all times and met our customers’ requirements. We kept any short hours to a minimum for the benefit of our employees.
New findings and future perspectives
We drew new findings from the special worldwide situation and the circumstances and measures associated with it, and put them into practice. After all, as an innovative company, the ability to learn is close to our heart. Thanks to our successful crisis management, our adaptability, and orientation to the future, we are relatively well positioned in these difficult times. We are continuing to work on keeping our company healthy in every respect.
Being a family company is important to us
As a family-run company, we are very well aware that it is only possible to steer the ship that holds everyone through stormy waters if everybody works together. Yes, of course working from home, for instance, is a challenge for all members of the family. But just between us: If a child runs past in a Zoom meeting, it just makes everything more familiar and doesn’t bother anybody. We will continue to pull in the same direction with combined strength and overcome challenges. It’s part of our corporate culture.
For the time being, we hope that the situation will ease again when the time comes. Nationwide vaccinations are a step in the right direction. Our company doctors could provide support in that area. We hope that the federal government makes a wise decision in this respect and gives the green light.
We wish everyone the best of health, inner strength, and the greatest possible success!
Update: May 06, 2020
South Africa and India: National lockdown lifted
After a temporary nationwide lockdown, we are pleased that both our locations in South Africa and India have reopened and that GKD is therefore globally operational again.
Current Status Quo
GKD is highly diversified and supplies to a large number of industrial sectors, which means that we are currently not as badly affected by the corona crisis as others. In sectors currently in greater demand, such as food production and the manufacturing of nonwovens, GKD products continue to play an important role in the supply chain. In other industries, such as the automotive sector, the economic effects are becoming increasingly visible.
Despite the restrictions imposed, we are able to maintain our production and service even in these difficult times and remain fully available to our customers and partners. In addition, strategic projects are being driven forward and processes optimized. We are doing what we can to position ourselves in the best possible way for the future and for you.
Our corona crisis team was set up very early on. Every day, we analyze the situation on the basis of the latest available information, make necessary decisions and implement measures.
COVID-19 diseases at GKD
As early as February, we introduced guidelines and regulations in order to provide our employees with the best possible protection, while at the same time keeping our business running. With the help of our new intranet, the decisions and measures taken by the crisis management team can be communicated very quickly and transparently to all employees.
The health and safety of our employees is always our top priority. At GKD, there are currently only two people infected with COVID-19 – one at our headquarters in Germany and one at our site in the USA. Both are on their way to complete recovery. We can assume that, in both incidents, no further infections have occurred in the company.
Update: March 26, 2020
GKD strictly follows the guidelines set forth by the World Health Organization and the local governmental health bodies in the locations where we operate. We have implemented strict procedures to minimize employee contact, increase social distancing and have implemented disinfection of our facilities on a continuous basis. We appreciate the commitment of all our employees, and we can assure you that we are committed to their health, safety and economic success.
GKD is considered an “essential” business in most of the countries we are operative in, as we provide products that are essential to our customers’ processes. These processes include the Filtration of Food Products, Chemicals, Oil/Gas and meshes for the Defense industry; Process Belts for the Bonding of Nonwovens for Medical Filtration and Hygiene, Food Processing and Filtration and Dewatering by Municipalities; and Architectural Mesh for Safety and Security in Architecture.
GKD will continue our manufacturing and services as long as we meet the official local guidelines. This holds true for our headquarters and primary weaving operation in Germany as well as our subsidiaries around the world. As of today, March 26, we are fully operational in Germany, the US, Chile and China. Our facilities in South Africa and India are currently closed due to temporary nation-wide lockdown. We are doing everything in our power to ensure continued deliveries to all customers around the world.
With regards to our supply, our products are woven from wire sourced from qualified vendors on multiple continents. Again, you can be assured that we understand how important our products are to your process and the continuity of your operations are of our utmost concern.
We thank you for your continued business and we look forward to working with you in partnership to navigate through these unprecedented times. We will continue to monitor all developments and will keep you informed of any changes.
Dr. Stephan Kufferath & Ingo Kufferath