The crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has unbalanced our economic system and is currently having a huge effect on all of us. One bit of positive news is that PMS Elektro- und Automationstechnik GmbH has been classified by the authorities as “critical” for the maintenance of key infrastructure. While on the one hand this is a challenge, on the other it represents an opportunity to enable many staff to continue working.
As things progressed rapidly, an in-house team consisting of PMS business management and all heads of departments was set up. Since the pandemic began, daily meetings have been held over Skype to make decisions and introduce measures appropriate to the situation, which are being reviewed and adapted on an ongoing basis. Managing Directors Alfred Krobath and Franz Grünwald made clear how PMS would handle the crisis: “Maintaining the health and wellbeing of our staff, securing jobs and ensuring the continued existence of our business are our top priorities.” An internal contact point (a Covid email address) has also been established to enable immediate gathering and communication of all relevant information.
At the moment one of the main priorities is to ensure the liquidity of the business, and all possible steps have been taken following consultation with customers, suppliers and the banks. We have taken advantage of the schemes offered immediately by the Austrian government for enrolling all staff in the “Covid short-time working model” and for tax deferrals.
In particular, PMS is focusing on close communication with its customers and suppliers in order to make quick and informed decisions about future steps to take during and after the crisis. Weekly project management meetings are being held to share information with customers and suppliers and to work on viable solutions for order processing and delivery dates. To avoid supply shortages, alternative providers are being sought and we are stocking up on the materials we need. Quick, informed decision-making and flexible plans which can be adapted to the situation are extremely important, and that’s something PMS has been known for ever since the company was founded. Now more than ever, it’s clear that customers set great store by being able to trust PMS and know they can rely on our services.
The health and wellbeing of our staff is our top priority, so when the pandemic began we recalled all staff working at sites abroad to Austria. At sites within Austria, work continued (provided permission was given by customers) with all the necessary safety precautions in place, including social distancing, mask wearing, provision of disinfectants etc. Staff from the Administration and Engineering departments immediately began working from home, and the size of the production site at our headquarters in St. Stefan means we can continue production without any interruptions and implement the required safety precautions, which will continue to be updated as the situation develops.
Ever since PMS was founded, we have delivered solutions for our customers – and during the pandemic all our efforts will be focused on continuing to do so. In this unprecedented situation, it’s extremely important that we stick together and maintain a positive outlook without losing sight of the seriousness of the position we find ourselves in. “Being a solid and reliable employer and giving our staff secure jobs with a range of opportunities for professional development have always been very important for us”, said PMS Managing Directors Alfred Krobath and Franz Grünwald. Although none of us know how long the current situation will last and the real-world effects it will have, “our close relationship with our staff and the shared belief we have in our business goals have made everything we’ve achieved so far possible, and we’re confident that the team spirit, togetherness and high levels of motivation at PMS will help us overcome this crisis”.