Running Sri Lankan production lines through corona lockdown

Handling the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has been, and still is, a challenge for many businesses and industries worldwide. Our colleagues in Sri Lanka have tackled this troubled situation in an admirable way, by finding new ways and solutions to keep ours and our customers’ businesses running.

Restrictions and consequences for the production facilities

Working during a pandemic with the resultant restrictions – both locally and globally – of course had a significant impact on the operations on our production facilities in Sri Lanka. Curfew conditions, movement restrictions and travel bands, to mention a few, made it hard for our colleagues to, among others, manage the supply lines throughout the crisis. The difficulties of getting the supplies needed, resulted in a sharp drop in their delivery performance and export shipment volume in April.

Nevertheless, despite numerous complications, our Sri Lankan colleagues managed to regain the control of operations and performances very quickly. And we are confident that the positive outcome is solely due to their proactive approach and willingness to adapt and continue operating while keeping everyone safe.

Recovering business operations and performance

In order to turn the curve and regain the operational performance, a great number of health, administrative, supply and logistics issues had to be managed under tight restrictions.

One of the first and more formal things they had to do, was to get an emergency work permit, to be allowed to operate during curfew periods. To get this, the premises in Sri Lanka had to comply with regulatory requirements, and a thorough health and sanitary verification from government authorities was mandatory. As a result, many COVID-19 initiatives were implemented, and due to our colleagues’ rapid adaptation, they successfully got the emergency work permission.

The actual COVID-19 initiatives

Complying with the new COVID-19 initiatives meant a whole new way of working for our team in Sri Lanka. Health and hygienic practices such as keeping physical distance, hand washing and sanitisation practices were implemented, and 5 minutes every work hour was allocated to do the hygienic practices. Also, physical separations with partitions were used between work areas to prevent any infection from spreading inside the buildings.

Health screenings in terms of body temperature monitoring of all people before entering the premises did also become a part of their daily work routine, together with minimising the number of visitors.

Furthermore, the management and supervisory staff members were continuously available on-site, to guide, motivate and always keep their team members informed.

Working in shifts

At the peak times of the infection risk, our Sri Lankan production team even worked in two shifts to avoid potential spread of any infection among the whole workforce. The two shifts did not meet each other, and they each had their own physically separated work zones with separate tools, equipment and workstations. And all common facilities like the canteen, restrooms and so on were completely cleaned in between each shift.

Moving on even stronger

Within just a couple of months, COVID-19 created extremely challenging situations throughout the world, affecting many businesses, industries, employees, customers and partners. Thanks to the prompt response and optimistic approach from our colleagues in Sri Lanka, they successfully managed to regain the control of the production lines, keeping ours and our customers’ businesses running.

The experiences and the strengths we have gained during this crisis situation are priceless. We are confident moving ahead under these new normal conditions to fulfil our commitments to our customers, our society and our planet!

Viraj Pandithasekera, Integrated Systems Manager, MAKEEN Energy