The Impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic on the Working of an Organization and How It Has Resulted In Strategic Level Changes.
Ismail industries owns number of brands which are Candyland, Bisconni and SnackCity. They are great producers of snacks and confectionery products. Ismail industries was founded in 1988, since that they have been working successfully with their all operations till date. Apart from food industry, they are also producing the plastic products for packaging and film products with the brand name of Astro Plastics.
Maintaining the quality at higher level is the basic target of the company. To achieve this target, they have set the quality standards of their products and keep working on research and development to produce higher quality and taste to satisfy customer’s need. They are certified of ISO-22000 and SANHA which shows the authority to produce food products and supply Halaal products in Pakistan as well as throughout the world.
Their higher quality products are the great attraction for international customers and help the company to increase their market share through customer loyalty.
Their main objective is to achieve the highest market share in products category of snacks and confectionery by making the best quality products for their targeted customers in Pakistan and all over the world.
There are number of products which are manufactured by the company like Rite, Flo, Yums, and ChilliMilli, etc. Production is in huge numbers and stocks are being so high to keep the inventory level high to supply all over the Pakistan and also for export purpose as well. But due to initial impact of COVID-19, the demand have certainly get fall due to lock-down around the world. Due to that, company minimized their budget to the production for some period as government provided the discounts on different consumer products but not on the products which are being produced generally by Ismail industries. But company’s production is now being normalized as the situation is very much better now.
Ismail industries contains quality human resource in their different departments like Sales, Marketing, HR, Finance, IT, Production and Supply Chain. They are really good at giving increments, bonuses, allowances, training on job and keep the employees attracted towards growth and learning to grow their careers in relevant field.
Due to COVID-19, company is focused on health of employees and providing them safety measures through giving them training on pandemic situation like to work with social distancing, using the mask and hand sanitizers, providing medical checkups of corona virus tests, paid leaves in case of any indication of symptoms with strong monitoring through HR department.
Major Use of Information Technology in Communication and Integration:
Company’s system of work is integrated through software channels to get updated at every side of each department and to avoid any mishap in integration and communication between different departments.
This is why company has successfully managed to cope up the current situation of COVID-19 and work from home as employees are technologically sound and very well trained for software to be used for communicate and getting their set of data updated on time.
Ismail industries have very strong and efficient supply chain network as it owns number of brands and categories of products. They have distribution centers, some are owned by them and some are not under their ownership in between or near city centers in Pakistan, which helps them to meet their demand and supply on time to their retailers and wholesalers.
Due to COVID-19, the sudden lock-down in Pakistan and specifically in Sindh including Karachi, the fall of demand and supply has faced by the company, but their distribution centers in cities helped them to defend this situation and supply their products and make them available to the stores.
This company usually makes marketing campaigns at the time of launching the products or redesigning the products (changing wrappers, packaging, and flavors) but they do not create marketing and advertising tactics at any event, season or festival. But at this moment, they are working to create marketing campaign of social responsibilities of young generation and children who are basic target market of the company.
Due to COVID-19, they are working to change their marketing strategy from promoting their products through only TV commercials to multiple channels of marketing like social media campaign as the use of technology has increased due to pandemic and making advertising campaign in a way to give an emotional and social responsibility touch to get in to the heart of young generation.
Ismail industries heavily invest on producing quality products, taking care human resource, huge quantity of raw material and finished goods to keep continue supply chain without shortage of supply and interdepartmental communication system through software and information technology.
Although, annual budgets for 2020 were shaken due to COVID-19 epidemic, for a short period of time. But top management of Ismail industries spontaneously came up with perfect strategy to counter this epidemic. First of all they cut of their profit and invested on health safety measures for all employees of Ismail industries. Secondly, they increase financial budget for IT sector and training & development to enhance the skills of their employees according to global standards specially to work from home and virtual. Ismail industries did not cut salary of their employees at any level even they paid extra bonus and participated in charity, CSR and social responsibility more than ever.
Every year from last decade, Ismail industries have been breaking their all past sale records. High quality, variety in taste, well managed product distribution channels and commitment to deliver high standards are key factors to grow their sale better than last year.
As other industries, Ismail industries also suffered and faced sharp decline in sale due to lock-down announced by Government. However, the impact could not stand for very long period of time due to right strategic moves at right time by top management of Ismail industries. Export orders took slightly long period of time to recover because all fights and shipments were closed and majority of orders were cancelled. It takes almost two months to catch the original pace of their sales.
Ismail Industries Limited has launched an online store namely “munchmart.pk”. It is an online e-commerce website where customers can select their desire products from any brand i.e. Bisconni, CandyLand, and Snackcity with simple few clicks. Orders will be delivered at the doorstep of customer which is great initiative to counter the side effects of COVID-19 and boost sales.
The whole world has some negative impact of current situation and this company has faced number of problems due to COVID-19, as it is the multinational company who supply their products all over the Pakistan and internationally. They are very sound in their technology which gives them great support in the crises and lock-down situation. They trained their employees to keep up to date with their tasks and overall working positions of their respective departments.
Currently, Ismail industries are working with full capacity. In starting of this epidemic, staffs were attending office on alternate basis with full salaries. But now situation is very normal there because of the right strategic decisions of top management, willingness to adopt and learn new technology by employees and highly motivational culture of Ismail industries.
They have changed their number of strategies which majorly includes their marketing strategy to move towards the emotional human interactive level. They are also working on to make their staff more trained towards work from home strategy and the use of technology to ease their employees and take work from them in this pandemic situation. Production is getting done in very neat and safe environment through use of proper safety costumes, hand sanitizers, face masks, hand gloves etc. They put huge amount of finances in training of staff and safety for them to defeat this challenge of COVID-19 by losing their profit margins and invest those funds in a way to protect their employees and to earn that back again by surviving this crises situation.
They have also taken the innovative step and launched their e-commerce website so customers can purchase their products directly through an online channel and get it delivered at customers’ doorstep. This is one move they already made with respect to apply the change in sales, marketing, and supply chain strategies and gain direct control on retail channels. Other research and development processes are in practice to get stronger through the optimal use of information technology.
We recommend them to adopt the high technology and safety measures which still require huge time and investments of the company but they will keep running their operations smoothly and the supply chain will not only work efficiently in this situation as well but also beneficent to be ahead among rivals in the future. They also need a strong supply chain network as they are making new marketing tactics for their target market.
After the products are getting advertised and visible on television or any other online channel, then if there could be failure of supply chain, it would be a huge loss as they are currently spending huge amount on their employee’s betterment, safety and to develop their technical skills.