I guess many of us had a quite different year and summer than planned this year. However, different is sometimes also good. When we are forced to change our habits, as now with Covid19 pandemic, this often give us new insight and we sometimes find out that breaking a pattern is better. This summer has, at least for me, been characterised by slower speed, spending more time with family and friends as well as being tourist in my own country. Many of these changes will probably stick also after Covid19 has disappeared, simply because it’s a better solution for us as individuals, the environment and the society as such.
Probably this will also be the case in business life in general and especially in the building industry. We will experience changes in the ways of working and interact, new solutions and changes in the market environment going forward.
As for all of you 2020 has been a very special year for WICONA. As always, but especially now, the health and wellbeing of our employees and partners has been our priority. After a period with no external visits allowed and all office employees working from home we see a gradually opening of some offices as the situation in the different countries allows. As the situation rapidly changes from area to area we are monitoring the situation closely to act quickly on any development of the pandemic.
Regarding customer contact we are still using remote solutions extensively and try to keep physical meetings to strict business essential.
Operationally we started very early to prepare for home office, implement precautions in our production areas and ensure supplies. Luckily, we have by that managed to be fully operational during the pandemic and even lifted our delivery performance to a higher level than ever before. Great achievement from our team in a difficult time!
As mentioned previously the pandemic will change the market environment and this will probably result in big variation between segments in the business. Until now we have been surprised by a rather high activity in all market segments due to finalisation of ongoing projects, however looking forward the visibility is quite low. Looking at the prognosis going forward they are rather pessimistic with high uncertainty and mixed signals from the market. The curves of new Covid cases locally and around the world are probably better predictors for the time being
Let’s all contribute to keep the pandemic under control and let’s explore the new opportunities that might occur together.
Take care, stay safe!
Gøte Johannes Nordh
Vice President North Region
Hydro Building Systems