None of us could have imagined that the news we heard at the beginning of 2020 would changes our lives, health, households and economy this dramatically.
The automotive sector was paralyzed, mainly due to the lack of both parts and manpower. In Slovakia, all OEM‘s were forced to temporarily close their factories and much of the supplier base had to shutdown their facilities or worked in a very limited way.
As companies reduced the staff needed for all quality control activities during these limited production times and suspended all kind of tenders for new and exciting projects, at Aktrion Slovakia, we focused on improving our internal processes and trained our team so that we would be best prepared for whatever came next after this situation. We would be ready for new projects with current and new customers and we would have gained a competitive advantage in tenders.
In addition to this company’s internal development, we focused on providing quality resident engineering services to our customers when possible, as this area was not as affected as other areas within the industry. We wanted to keep giving our customers the support and assistance they are used to receive from us.
The main areas we focused on during the pandemic:
- Arrow – online reporting
Training in Arrow’s usage was given to all coordinators on individual projects taking place throughout Slovakia. This specific training would allow us to be able to inmediately respond in the event of a request from customers and be able to implement an online reporting anywhere under the watch of our trained supervisors.
- Internal audits
Our workplaces have seen the frequency of performing internal audits of the inspection processes with a detailed focus on fault prevention increased.
As part of the audits, we identified a number of improvement opportunities, tested and implemented them across the whole bsuiness. The net effect was an improve our process control leading to improvements to our customers‘ efficiency.
- Staff re-training
During the limited production period, we focused on re-training our inspectors.
- International cooperation
Sharing contacts and expanding cooperation within the group in order to maximize future development opportunities in each of the countries we provide support.
This has led us to a much better feeling of unity and has given us the chance to ease communications not only with ourselves, but with the clients we work with in several countries as well.
- Resident Engineering area
Despite the unfavorable situation in the automotive industry, we managed to develop cooperation in the field of RE directly with 2 OEMs in Slovakia: Volkswagen, in Bratislava; and Jaguar Land Rover, in Nitra.
This cooperation has an impact on us as it brings opportunities for companies‘ cooperation development in the future.
Althought the Covid-19 pandemic has hit us hard and slowed our development, we have made full use of this time and we are ready and looking forward to new challenges and opportunities for the future.