In adversity there are opportunities for development

Chronicle · Christer Gerdtman, CEO Motion Control · 2021-01-29

In 1996, Sweden took a real step within information technology with a home PC and large investments in broadband. Around 2007 the smart phones came and accelerated the development of digital services and business models. 2020 was the year when our meetings and meeting places went digital and we learned that teleworking could function really well.

It is now almost a year since the pandemic struck, a very strange experience where the whole world seemed to slow down. Everyone waited and everything stopped. Although our ongoing projects continued, new sales plummeted. Above all, it was our Stockholm customers who reduced their orders when they were affected in the initial stages of the crisis. Restrictions and uncertainties made it tough for our consultants, it was difficult to get in and work with the customers and it was difficult to get material.

When the infection later spread to other parts of the country, the difference in orders received was smaller. People and companies might then have developed a greater understanding of what a pandemic means and the paralysis of action gradually subsided.

While the pandemic has hit the business hard and still affects us negatively, we have learned that crises also create room for development. With such a mindset, we can hopefully look back on 2020 as a time of innovation, where we gained new insights that in the future benefit both ourselves and our customers.

For example, we have received proof that it is a good idea to keep a reasonable intermediate stock of components. It proved to be especially valuable during the spring, when the confusion was great and delivery times skyrocketed.

Increased acceptance of teleworking has meant that the geographical location is put out of play - new companies can be reached where distance has previously been an obstacle. We can work closer to the customers and be more accessible, while it at the same time is possible to reduce travel. The value of a visit will still remain, but business travel will decrease. It saves time, reduces expenses and is also good for the environment.

That we have learned to use technology, and that technology has developed, provides clear advantages in the continued work. Increased acceptance of telework has also meant that we have never had such a healthy workforce as now.

The pandemic has also shown the value of networking and exchanging experiences. Automation Regions' Business Development Group has been a security in this time of uncertainty. When we are faced with new challenges, it is nice to have a network where you can discuss and learn from each other. I feel that we, the members of the Automation Region, have helped each other in a good spirit and generously shared tips and experiences.

Now we look forward to continuing our collaboration in 2021, where the opportunities are perhaps greater than ever. Because it is in adversity that we have the opportunity to develop.

Christer Gerdtman
CEO Motion Control