#Designgoeson: Designdiffusion.com talks with Alberto Lualdi, CEO Lualdi Porte, about how to overcome the emergency thanks to new technologies
How have you arranged the production and work in the offices to overcome the Covid-19 health emergency?
As early as a week before the government decree imposing the closure of nonessential activities, we decided to close the production department to safeguard our employees’ health. Although we had already implemented all the safety measures, i.e. social distancing, masks, fever screening at the entrance, staggering entrances to avoid large crowds, suspending production made us feel more serene. Then, the decree imposed it, and we did nothing but prolong the closure. In the meantime, we also sanitized the environments, especially the areas where there was more contact between people, such as the coffee area, the canteen, the changing rooms.
Moreover, we enabled the staff of our offices to work remotely so that administration, sales and marketing functions could be regularly performed. Thanks to technology, we can keep in contact with the sales department, which needs real-time situation updates. In times like these, it is important to keep the relationship with employees alive; they must not feel abandoned and know what their company is doing.
In this situation, we are also realizing that new technologies allow us to streamline work and to organize meetings without the need to move. In fact, we are considering integrating new ways of working with more traditional ones, even after the end of the emergency.
The health emergency and the Salone del Mobile di Milano
What measures are you going to take to replace the Salone del Mobile in Milan, postponed until 2021?
Considering the current situation, I think that the cancellation of the Salone del Mobile 2020 was the only possible choice. Now we must move forward and find out how to replace this key appointment for this year. Of course, it is not possible to replace the Salone del Mobile di Milano – not so much for the fair itself, but for all the related activities. However, virtual communication will help us somehow. At Lualdi, we are exploring different possibilities to stay in contact with clients and the public, making the best use of new technologies. We will also need to invent new forms of communication, not only to keep in contact, but also to present products.
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On the other hand, as to selling online products like ours, I have more doubts. I know that several product sectors, such as clothing, accessories, jewelry, now achieve considerable turnovers from online sales, but I doubt if it can be immediately applied to products connected with architecture or furniture. It will certainly be a support for communication – I firmly believe this. However, I do not think that the value of Milan’s Salone del Mobile and the physical relationship can be replaced so easily. Nevertheless, I would like to conclude with a note of optimism: I believe that, after this forced stop, we will be able to get off on the right foot again and that Italian creativity, our competitive edge, will help us.
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