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The Mechelen, Belgium, plant has experienced declining volumes. How difficult has that been?

We’re dealing with the current slowdown in the automotive industry. Of course, we’ve implemented some of our agility measures and we’re very closely managing our variables and fixed costs.

How do you keep staff motivated?

We’ve started an internal campaign so everybody understands just how important their work is. On-site screens show our products and how we’re contributing to safer roadways. We’re basically saving people’s lives. The staff know we’re making a significant and worthwhile product.

What’s the biggest challenge been?

Employees are concerned when we talk to them about lower customer orders, as you’d expect. But nobody is letting the negative volume trend affect the quality of their work. That shows how meaningful our product is, and the level of dedication to our company.

What lessons have you learned?

The level of dedication and productivity here is really special, even when customer orders aren’t quite going our way. It’s important for us to keep celebrating whenever we’re successful. But we may have to find more cost-effective ways to celebrate.

How’s the mood at the plant?

The level of dedication and commitment here really stands out, even when business conditions aren’t favorable. It’s impressive to see.

What further developments and challenges do you expect? And how do you intend to deal with them?

We understand that it’s a turbulent time in the automotive industry.  That means we need to communicate clearly, and more frequently.  We must work to quickly make any new information available to everyone in our facility. The core message, however, will remain the same: “Our daily work is important.  We make a product that saves lives.”

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