From one moment to the next, everything was different: the Corona crisis posed challenges for everyone worldwide. As an industrial company, Kulzer was challenged in one area in particular: production. Within a very short time, our production sites had to adjust to new conditions, adapt their work and do everything they could to keep the wheels turning – to continue to serve our customers without interruption.
Kerstin Bernhardt, Deputy Head of the Packaging Department, and Muhamet Veli, Production Employee, from our site in Wehrheim, Germany, give an insight how they kept production running safely.
What challenges did you face in Wehrheim due to the pandemic?
Kerstin Bernhardt: In the beginning of spring 2020, it was all about keeping everyone healthy. Over the summer, customers started to replenish their stocks after barely ordering for two months. Despite the given restrictions and the – fortunately – high quantities of orders we wanted to deliver on time – and thanks to our great team we were able to keep our promises.
Remote working is not possible in production. In order to maintain operations, you have to be on site every day and thus inevitably meet colleagues. What steps did you take to work safely?
Muhamet Veli: Kulzer immediately put major safety measures in place and everyone at the production sites had to wear personal protection equipment from the start of the pandemic. In the meantime, the rigorous measures have become part of everyday life: wearing masks all day, cleaning hands regularly, ventilation, keeping distance.
How have the measures changed your work?
Kerstin Bernhardt: This is a significant impact in everyday life for all of us. Personal contact is severely restricted. We have no common breaks and no team meetings to chat. The work has also become more time-consuming due to the additional measures. However, despite all the restrictions, we are glad that there have been no transmitted infections in the production site so far and we were able to ensure that we could reliably supply our customers with products.
What is positive despite the difficult conditions?
Muhamet Veli: Even though it is tough for all of us – emotionally and physically, we are happy that we all have remained healthy and that we haven't had to close down because of a Corona outbreak so far. We are pleased to be able to work and to support our customers – to produce and deliver the orders on time. Our customers work, patients need help – so we are pleased to fulfill our part. After all oral health contributes to overall health and it is a great motivation that we can help.
And you can even find something positive about wearing the mask. Before, I always had to get a dust mask when weighing the powders. Now I wear it automatically.
Having our employees’ and our customers’ safety in mind, from the very beginning Kulzer took major safety precautions that often even exceeded the governmental regulations. In addition to implementing strict hygiene rules, since spring of 2020, almost all administrative staff work remotely if the job allows it. In production and R&D Kulzer took measures to reduce the person-to-person contact and limited the access to the facilities to reduce the risk of infection. Until now, these measures have helped the company to ensure that no SARS-CoV-2 infections are being transmitted in the workplace and that we can produce at full capacity.