The World Health Organization declared a global pandemic on 11th March. With this, a reality check hit us with a magnitude that nobody had foreseen. From that moment on, events began to take place at enormous speed and so many setbacks, reactions and changes piled up over two months that they felt like years. Here at COMPAC, we committed to tackling the situation actively and effectively. A crisis can be an opportunity and this is precisely the action strategy of the man at the top, COMPAC CEO Paco Sanchis.
Everyone is an expert when the cards are face up. But not everyone is able to humbly recognise that they failed to see what was coming. How was it for you?
I remember perfectly watching in shock at the images from China in February and, honestly, like most people, they seemed so distant and even overstated. The, in the second week of March I was in the US and people were murmuring about social distancing—at least in terms of greetings—with physical contact being limited to elbow bumps. Though I also recall the joking about it. Nobody, not even the world’s top health experts, were able to predict that a virus would bring the world to a halt. None of us. Myself included.
How has it affected the company? Are we able to now speak of the consequences with some types of indicators?
As with the rest of the sector and manufacturing in general, here at COMPAC we have had to deal with a completely new scenario in a matter of days that is so different to what we had planned based on the economic outlook from the start of the year. Sales dropped by 50% in April compared to the same month from last year. I understand that this is a hard-hitting figure but if we compare ourselves to our competitors, it is actually a positive one: sales declines in the sector are running at nearly 100%.
How has COMPAC managed to keep sales volumes up?
In recent years, the company has made major efforts to internationalise. Right now, our firm has a presence and is highly regarded in many international markets. The pandemic may be global, but its impact has varied, as too has the recovery. COMPAC has strong positions in Europe, the UK, Asia-Pacific and the US. Each of these areas has seen different patterns and this has helped us compensate and offset from one to another. Our commitment to market diversification has shown that this is one of the best ways to ensure continuity and a quick recovery.
Will finding a balance between different markets be enough?
Obviously, we cannot wait for things to happen, we have to be the masters of our own destiny and that means immediate, ongoing and creative action. Looking at all the economic indicators so far, we have designed a new scenario for the coming months that specifically takes into account the decline in our initial forecasts. And this has forced us to adapt in all ways.
Expected expenses have been cut or even eliminated. We have focused on optimising resources to the maximum and we are seeing improvements in production and processes that were pending and which we hadn’t been able to deal with up to now due to the daily turmoil.
In a situation such as the one we are currently living through, sitting back and waiting for things to change is not an option for us. Here at COMPAC, we have committed to adapting and moving forwards. The entire team has taken up this challenge with more gusto than ever before. There is no better motivation than seeing this huge commitment from the whole COMPAC family. It is our greatest inspiration to seize the reins on a new path. Our journey has begun.