Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Brilliant Polymers expects to grow at over 15% in the current financial year (April 2020 to March 2021). In this update we are sharing our views and experience with regard to the pandemic and its impact on our industry, supply of laminating adhesives to the flexible packaging industry.
Businesses today are faced with unprecedented challenges as they continue to navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic is changing the way we live, work and use technology. As the world adjusts to its new normal, business leaders need to rethink strategies to drive resilience and emerge from this crisis stronger. We need to turn this massive challenge into meaningful change so we can survive and thrive.
At Brilliant Polymers we have adapted to the on-going crisis by focusing on the following key areas.
Safety First: Our Team and our Community
Employee and customer safety is a priority. We immediately implemented a work- from -home policy for all non-essential team members. In the first week of April, the government listed packaging and its ancillary raw materials as ‘essential service’ sectors; with this, we were able to restart our operations to meet the demands of the flexible packaging industry. Our laminating adhesives form an integral part of flexible packaging which in turn is essential for the packaging of food, consumer goods and pharmaceuticals.
Only key members of our Operations Team and front-line plant workers have been permitted to be physically present at our site and various measures have been implemented to safeguard the health and safety of those present. Regular Toolbox Training sessions are held in accordance with the latest Ministry of Health guidelines and personal protective equipment such as masks and sanitizers are available to all staff. Clear and unambiguous rules to ensure health and safety have been put in place and are supplemented with daily e-reminders. Further, in addition to best in class health benefits, special COVID-19 health insurance has been put in place for all employees.
In addition to our employees, we believe that we have a responsibility to the community in which we operate. In the days after the pandemic struck, members of our team ventured into the local community and made donations of food staples and hygiene products to the most vulnerable. Our CSR team continues to evaluate and pursue initiatives to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of those most affected in our community.
Embracing A Digital Future
The future of work, defined by the use of more automation and technology, was always coming; COVID-19 has hastened the pace. Brilliant employees across all functions have learned how to complete tasks remotely using digital communication and collaboration tools. Communication has been ramped up significantly with daily updates and interactions and amongst team members. Customer service and technical support has also shifted to a digital platform to ensure uninterrupted and clear communication with our customers and to facilitate an understanding of their shifting needs. In the initial stages of the lockdown, product trials were run through virtual support; now, as we move into the unlock phase, in some states we are able to offer local support as well, backed up with virtual support from team leaders. Frequent and clear communication ensures that our Promise of Technology, Quality and Service with every supply is upheld.
Building Operational Resilience
Our business model encompasses geographical diversification in the form of countrywide and international depots and stock points to mitigate regional risks. This has enabled us to maintain steady and timely supplies of our adhesives to customers throughout the lockdown despite localised restrictions.
Brilliant Polymers is reassessing supply chains to protect against a wider and more acute range of potential shocks. We have acted quickly to rebalance our global supply chain as new technologies and consumer-demand patterns encourage regionalization of supply. We expect this trend to accelerate.
Agile Operating Model
At Brilliant we pride ourselves on our ability to move quickly to respond to customer needs. The pandemic has strengthened our commitment to maintaining an efficient feedback loop whereby new information is used to drive strategic decision-making and quick response times. We believe that future business success will depend on the ability to adapt to the unexpected or improbable.
In the days after the pandemic struck, we focussed on our product range to ensure that all products were in stock, all the time, in order to meet customer demand. In the first few months, there was an unprecedented demand for laminating adhesives due to high demand from the flexible packaging sector; most food, consumer goods and other FMCG item supply chains had been de-stocked, plus with the population at home, there was large scale demand. We increased our manufacturing capacity to meet this demand and saw record levels of production and sales in July 2020. Thereafter the trend has somewhat stabilised, though we see similar cycles playing out in many of our exports markets, leading to a continuous flow of orders.
It is clear that the pandemic is transforming our social and economic lives, paving the way for a new normal. It has demonstrated the importance of digital collaboration in a period of global selfisolation. While the priority remains to ensure everyone is safe, a crisis of this scale reveals not just vulnerabilities, but also opportunities to learn and adapt. It has forced us to reimagine our business models, not just for short-term survival, but for long-term resilience. At Brilliant Polymers our teams are fast adapting to the new normal and ensuring that we support the increased demand with our Promise of Technology, Quality and Service with each supply. We believe that this ability to pivot & adapt to the new normal will enable us to continue to be the market leader in our industry.