Even after more than 12 months, the CORONA pandemic continues to occupy us heavily and, unfortunately, with increasing intensity. Due to the successful work of our COVID19 crisis team and the responsible behaviour of our staff, all our departments remain operational. Where possible, we are working from home office. We also conduct numerous internal meetings via video conference.
What measures have been taken Rheintacho-inside for protection?
The RHEINTACHO Group has taken a variety of measures to protect both employees and business partners to ensure business operations. It is important for us to provide our employees, customers and business partners with as much information as possible. By setting up an interdisciplinary working group, we aim to achieve rapid communication and implementation of adopted measures.
We maintain strict hygiene measures at a consistently high level. We provide comprehensive, continuously updated information on measures to prevent infections. These include strict hygiene and behavioural guidelines, general travel bans and the almost complete abandonment of face-to-face meetings.
At the end of March, we issued rapid antigen tests to all our employees in order to detect any infections as quickly as possible and to interrupt the chains of infection immediately. Our staff are encouraged to test themselves independently 2x per week.
Will RHEINTACHO employees continue to visit customers?
In principle NO. In view of the reduction of personal contacts, all our employees are only required to attend face-to-face meetings in absolutely necessary exceptional cases. Thus, we will not attend any trade fairs in 2021, neither as exhibitors nor as visitors.
We have switched almost all direct contacts with customers, suppliers and other external partners to digital media and have been extremely positively surprised by the technical availability and acceptance. This aspect is among the very few positive points of this global crisis.
Do we receive visitors?
We do not receive unannounced visitors. Until further notice, we generally receive visitors only in absolutely exceptional cases that cannot be postponed. These appointments must be explicitly agreed upon and approved in advance with the contact persons. In these cases, we ask visitors to present a negative COVID test that is not older than 24 hours. All direct contacts should be switched to alternative, digital options (telephone, video conference, etc.) or postponed to later times. In addition, physical contact (e.g. shaking hands) should be avoided.
Current economic situation
After an extreme slump in turnover and incoming orders, we saw a recovery in Q3/2020 and quite an extreme one in Q4/2020. As a result, we were able to close 2020 with a moderate decline in turnover in comparison to the previous year. We consider this circumstance, taking into account the entire year, to be successful. The year 2021 then continued in the same way. We ended the first quarter with record sales and the order book is also exceptionally high. As this strong recovery is taking place globally in certain industries, the impact is not all good news. We have extremely tight supply chains and building capacity both at our end and with key suppliers is proving challenging. The adherence to COVID distance rules in workplace design and the restrictions on border traffic for commuters are absolutely understandable and we accept or support these as well. However, these are aggravating in terms of increasing capacity. Our sales staff keep in close contact with our customers, and similarly our purchasing colleagues with suppliers.
Due to the particular dynamics (both in business development and, unfortunately, in infection), we are monitoring all developments and possible consequences for our business very closely. Should the situation change, we will contact the affected customers directly.