We have now reached the sixth edition of our voluntarily published Sustainability Report to share how, even in the annus horribilis that was 2020, we gave our best to conduct our business to remain present and solid in the long term thanks to our constant search for the perfect balance between the resources at our disposal and the challenges of the markets where we operate.
The impact of Covid-19 on the Italian and international production system was sudden, with sweeping and destructive force. In Italy, the 2020 downturn was the most severe since industrial production figures were first recorded (1960). At the end of 2020, we are still languishing in the midst of a health crisis that is exerting a dramatic impact on the real economy, not just in Italy. The Italian Prime Minister’s Decree of March 2020 ordered the closure of 57% of industrial activities, equivalent to 48% of production.
The containment and prevention measures introduced to limit the spread of Covid-19 produced a twofold disruption: on the demand side, with deferred consumer spending decisions, closure of a huge number of businesses (in the catering, hospitality, transport, culture and entertainment sectors), and the sudden disappearance of tourists; on the supply side, with the shutdown of a huge number of manufacturing companies, both by decree and to allow sanitisation of the workplaces of those companies that were allowed to remain operational.
This combination of factors resulted in the worst possible scenario, causing the Italian economy to slump into a severe recession, the duration of which will depend on the time required to remove the emergency measures, which will occur only after completion of the vaccination programme.
Marchesini Group, as an essential supplier in the pharmaceutical sector, despite the general difficulties caused by the pandemic, continued to operate thanks also to the fact that we had already been implementing remote assistance tools for some time. In this regard, the limitations imposed by the lockdown hamper the need to access customer's plants to carry out machine maintenance. We have also set up a procedure for remote management of Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT), meaning the tests carried out by a team of technicians in order to ensure the machines comply with specifications and are validated before shipment. Despite the difficulties, the initiative proved a resounding success: we completed the procedure for more than a hundred machines and are committed to proceeding in the same direction.
The Group faced the impact of the pandemic with a resilient spirit, responding to the new requirements imposed by the emergency in a timely and flexible manner.
This difficult moment also allowed us to learn five extremely important lessons: the more open the level of collaboration, the easier it is to reach goals faster; the pre-Covid industry mantra of efficiency must be replaced by adaptability; there is a certain risk implicit in distance; the problems deriving from the previous three “lessons” can be faced more effectively and efficiently only by means of digital evolution and the application of artificial intelligence. To achieve this, we need to restore the central role of people: no technology ever created can possibly allow us to achieve these results without human input.
2020 Report Presentation
by Alec Ross
2019 Sustainability Report
With a new communication concept entitled “Technology to pack a Better World”, the Group’s 2019 Report is based on three fundamental principles: economic, social and environmental responsibility.