The COVID-19 crisis has caused a swift and severe effect on both large and small businesses that were both forced to adapt themselves to survive these challenging times in order to survive and get back on their feet even stronger than before.
This crisis is another major challenge that a large organization such as SCG had to also go through, however, Mr. Roongrote Rangsiyopash, President and CEO of SCG, has led over 50,000 employees at SCG to combat the crisis by adapting themselves to the changing situation. This resulted in SCG achieving a profit in the second quarter of 2020 that is 33 percent higher than that of the previous year despite the uncertainty of the world economic situation.
“During the period when we faced the spread of the COVID-19 virus, though SCG is not considered to be in the industry that had been directly affected such as the tourism and aviation industry, we closely monitored and evaluated the situation due to the high uncertainty at that time in order to adapt ourselves and to prepare a backup plan in a timely manner. It will not be easy for Thailand to recover quickly – while the worst had passed for many sectors, the crisis is still far from over. Now is the time for us to decide how to proceed in the future, and if the plan that we have is practical or if it needs to be changed. We must still closely assess the situation, and many have expressed concern that there may be a second wave of the disease. If a second wave occurs, the effects will be severe and will last much longer. Thus, many countries are seeking economic activities that will help their nations move forward after this crisis,” said Mr. Roongrote.
Focusing on Business Continuity Management: “Reactive–Proactive” in Any Situation
“Finding the balance between the wellbeing of its people and business” is how SCG has been operating under pressure during this crisis. The company has been focused on moving ahead with Business Continuity Management or BCM while enhancing its management efficiency as well as seeking new demands in the market that have been created as consumers change their behavior such as ordering more food and products through online channels and as they become more aware of hygiene issues.
“The crisis during the last three months has greatly affected the wellbeing of people as the economy worldwide nearly came to a halt. SCG prepared for the worst by setting a plan for sales and transportation in cases cities are locked down, as well as plan for the best by adapting production capacity to match increasing demands from customers while introducing digital transformation in the company. For this initiative, SCG has been implementing various technologies in the organization which allowed us to develop and offer innovative products, services, and solutions to cater to the needs of consumers in a timely manner. We have also realized that our efforts to drive the digital transformation had been a step in the right direction which we will also need to speed up and improve this process in the future.”
Adapting the Strategies of 3 Business Groups in Line with the New Normal Way of Life
During the COVID-19 crisis, e-commerce and online food delivery businesses have seen growth which drove the demand for packaging. Thus, as the company’s Packaging Business is an outstanding business with new opportunities, SCG has created even more opportunities for growth through its merger and partnership with PT Fajar Surya Wisesa Tbk., a leading paper packaging business in Indonesia, and Visy Packaging (Thailand) Limited, while it is also planning to make a huge investment in Bien Hoa Packaging Joint Stock Company or SOVI in Vietnam. These opportunities are the result of the strategy to strengthen the foundation for growth across the ASEAN region.
While many businesses were forced to operate amidst numerous challenges in a market that has been affected by the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Chemicals Business turned the crisis into an opportunity by offering safety against the virus to its employees and customers while controlling the quality and the cleanliness of its materials and products. At the same time, the business focused on adding flexibility to its product management process, resulting in a full production capacity in order to cater to the demand of the market for chemical products required to manufacture medical tools and equipment that had been in shortage around the world as the demand for automobile-related chemicals decreased.
Meanwhile, though the company’s Cement–Building Materials Business faced a slowdown in the real estate industry, SCG adapted its products, services and solutions offering by connecting customers to its network of SCG outlets via the online channel at SCGHOME.COM nationwide in the form of the Active Omni-Channel. The service allowed customers to send in inquiries, ask for advice, and browse products through every channel while also offering a convenient platform for homeowners to source materials even during the COVID-19 crisis. Moreover, SCG provided a solution for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through the “CPAC Smart Structure” service which helped customers lower the cost of construction with a quick and convenient service that allowed them to carry out construction projects with more efficiency.
Mr. Roongrote added that, “The most important thing is to analyze the position of our business, the impact from the crisis on our business and our competitor’s business, as well as the impact on the industry. Each organization will need to react differently: if a crisis is like a storm, we are all on different ships and in different industries. It is not possible to use one solution for another problem, and all businesses must seek their own solution. Therefore, we need to plan about the timing as well as implement the plan quickly in order to react to the changing situation.”
Another proof that SCG has been successful in handling this crisis is the 31 innovations to prevent against the spread of the COVID-19 virus that were developed during this period in order to lower the risk of the virus for medical personnel. The organization has worked with 125 networks to donate and distribute necessary equipment to 847 hospitals and other groups nationwide to answer to the need of the general public during this crisis.
Water: The Foundation for Strong Economy in Thailand
Mr. Roongrote also said, “Water is an important foundation that can help drive the nation’s economy. At the same time, water management is a huge issue in the country that has affected many sectors including the public sector, society, and the business sector. Thailand has faced both droughts and floods, thus, the challenge is how to invest in water management to address the source of the problem. We have asked the government to issue water management measures in three key aspects: water storage, water sourcing, and water distribution as well as effective water usage. SCG has also promoted engagement and cooperation between both the public and private sector in order to solve these issues and prepare to handle possible obstacles in the future.”
The key to overcoming this crisis for this organization that has been established over a hundred years ago is that no matter how severe the storm, the organization must be ready to adapt itself to changes while focusing on business continuity management in order to lessen the impact of the crisis and maintain the stability of the business. At the same time, the organization has always sought for new opportunities to expand its businesses while caring and giving back to society to ensure that both local communities and the company can together survive and thrive sustainably.
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