While nobody predicted the global coronavirus pandemic, now it's here we can make sure to learn lessons that support and strengthen our businesses from now on. Part of the 'new normal' will be to ensure that heightened best practice is maintained across manufacturing, helping to protect our people and our profits.
Global plastic packaging solutions provider RETAL has cleverly adapted its cross-factory quality management protocol to allow all its 17 facilities to stay effective and operational throughout the crisis, with no known cases of coronavirus in its over-1500 employees.
Instigated by RETAL's European & US Quality Director Renata Smataviciene, the QM protocol document was already in place for RETAL's largest Lithuanian factory, offering a detailed risk management for the active promotion of a healthy and efficient workplace. Working in cooperation with general managers, Renata quickly adapted this risk management document for each of the RETAL factories, allowing the specific circumstances of the different factories to combine with the Quality Management Best Practice she created.
The protocol includes strict documentation, keeping shifts totally separate, implementation of extra hygiene practices, a dedicated isolation room at each factory, a plan for potential infection of an employee either while at work or at home, and guidance for staying connected to colleagues and the wider company using appropriate technology platforms.
Renata says, “It will be very important to agree on what did and did not work. We will be able to create a detailed document that delivers clear protocol on how we can handle such unusual circumstances so that what we have learned is not wasted. We will also discuss and plan for what happens when everything goes back to normal, which is not as easy as it sounds! By having crisis management protocol in place with each facility documenting their own experiences, we can transpose this to other situations if needed.”