"The world will change, but it won't stop." - stated Omar Papi, head of the Futura company that designs and manufactures machines for sorting and packaging fruit and vegetables, exported all over the world. "Our watchwords are programming and organization. The food supply chain is lucky, because it is still working, but with no organization, we cannot proceed. And yet, without organization, we cannot proceed. It is also wrong to stop investments, but we have continued to invest during this period."
Futura has pioneered the future. It stopped its production earlier than the lockdown to protect its employees and remained closed from 16 March until 5 April. However, the designers, service technicians, sales and administrative office continued to operate in smart working, planning everything down to the smallest detail with an eye to reopening on 6 April. "Our suppliers continued to receive assigned projects and orders, so by the time we reopened all the material was already in place."
Last week, four trucks departed for Russia loaded with material for a new apple processing line. The transports are more laborious than normal as they have to be arranged in advance and are often more expensive. "However, the business abroad is progressing, and fortunately the plants will be operational in autumn, which allows us to postpone the assembling during the summer months and avoid the need to travel for a couple of months."
"We are currently full with orders until the end of November, and the next deliveries will be for Italy, Spain, Greece, Kazakhstan, Iran, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Egypt and Kenya, just to name a few."
"This year we'll be taking very little time off and we'll be standing by our customers. Everything revolves around clear and precise programming, so that no detail is overlooked. Sometimes, however, I see that at the very top, on a political level, the effort in programming and organizing things is not the same that we companies put in place every day, now more than ever before".
Another key factor Papi strongly advocates, is that of making investments. "The Coronavirus has not slowed down our investments, at most it has diverted them in a different way. For example, if we can't participate in trade shows, we invest more in online communication. I think the most important thing is not to complain or cry about it, but to roll up our sleeves and work with a different vision, fully aware that when the world starts again, it will do it stronger than before".