Interview with: Irena Minovska Pehlivanova – Strategic Manager, AMSM
Published on: December 28, 2020
- What type of initiatives has AMSM undertaken over the last months, in order to be recognized as a company – leader in the country?
We are living through a period of great turmoil, in terms of health and safety. The covid-19 pandemic has placed exceptional challenges for the organizations, our activities, and our lives. It proved to be a natural filter for focusing on what is important in a company – the people.
2020 was supposed to be a very good year because we had a great start surpassing our plans for the first two months. Then the reality changed. The pandemic brought uncertainty in every field of our lives which directly affected our daily operations, thus affecting our business as well. A natural reaction to the unknown is a retreat and that is what we all did at the beginning. But I am very glad to say that we did not spend much time wondering what to do but we took action immediately. We realized that this will be a survival year and our main goal was to keep all our employees, provide a safe working environment, and secure financial stability. We reorganized our daily operations and some of our employees were sent to work from home in order to optimize the resources we had. Thanks to all the new technologies offered we were able to keep our daily communication, deal with abrupt problems and work on a lot of new projects. Moreover, we continually kept expenses in check because we wanted to make sure that our resources are not depleted by a certain unforeseen event.
Communication with our employees was our main focus because we wanted everybody to feel valued and taken care of. Additionally, we realized that this is an ideal period for focusing on personal growth, education, and creation. In terms of capacity building, our employees were continually participating in a lot of educational seminars in order to increase their competencies and improve their mental health.
Realizing that uncertainty will prevail at least to the end of this year we focused our efforts on digital growth and internal process optimization. If digitalization was a ‘should’ before the Covid-19 crisis, now it is an absolute ‘must’. We finished 2 big projects that will be promoted at the beginning of 2021 and hopefully they will lead our way forward.
At the same time, we continued with our socially responsible activities and initiatives launching two road safety projects: the first one “This is My Street” aimed to support the manifest 2030 in order to transform our streets into safe pedestrian and bicycle zones. In addition to this campaign, we launched the “Car Space Baby Place” project where together with the state authorities we managed to provide specially marked parking spaces for pregnant women and mothers of children up to 3 years of age.
2. What was the main motivation behind this initiative/s?
The health and wellbeing of our employees is our priority this year, as well as providing their financial security in this uncertain time. We function as one family and act accordingly. Moreover, this volatile period proved to be a perfect time for trying all the digital ideas we were skeptical to try beforehand. At the same time, we used this period to focus on bringing to life all our ideas about new products and services that we never had time to focus on.
3. What is the message you would like to send to other companies in such uncertain times?
This has been a unique year in so many aspects for all of us. The Corona crises forced us to revalue our current operations, get rid of the excess, and focus on our main asset-the people. This is the time when paying special attention and focus on the employees is needed. Uncertainty will prevail but the focus should increase. More attention should be paid to short-term goals, companies should be more agile, more flexible, and learn to act fast accordingly.
To cope with the effect of Covid-19 decision-makers have to move from tactical to strategic measures while increasing resilience and craft the response according to the crises stage. The best starting point in this situation is to get a clear picture of where you stand, what you need, and when you need it.
We used this period when we were not able to travel to focus on projects that we were lacking behind. Moreover, we revised processes that showed weakness in an emergency situation so that we could be more flexible and move faster. This situation could be seen as a roadmap of how companies have to deal with change, how people react to that change and where should the focus be in order to close the gap between these two.
Focus on your employees, secure financial stability. Focus on digital marketing and obtain as much data as you can. Then use these data to reach your customers in a cost-effective way. Things might get back to normal but customer habits will (change) remain changed forever. Focus on digitalization of your services as from now on online communication and shopping will be imperative for a successful business.