Q & A Francisco Romero, Operations at Stahl Iberica

Q & A Francisco Romero, Operations at Stahl Iberica

April 29th, 2020

Q & A Francisco Romero, Operations at Stahl Iberica

Globally, Stahl has taken measures to limit the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Stahl people around the world continue to do their jobs with commitment, enthusiasm and professionalism, while observing the necessary safety and hygiene guidelines. Francisco Romero, in charge of Operations at the Stahl Iberica site, is one of our colleagues that has seen big changes in his daily work. We asked him a few questions how the outbreak changed his daily work life.

What is your function and what are your main responsibilities?
I am, Francisco Romero and I am in charge of Operations at the Stahl Iberica site, mainly focused on production. Our mission is to manufacture products in an efficient and sustainable way to ensure supplying our customers with the best quality.

How has the Covid-19 situation affected your daily worklife?
It is a fact that Covid-19 affected all steps of our supply chain. Our plant in Parets (Spain) is operational, but of course under strict measures to prevent unnecessary contacts with visitors, service providers, business partners and between colleagues. Here, all measures and recommendations from the Spanish government and additional recommendations from our employees were implemented in the very first beginning of the outbreak in Spain. A crisis committee, which meets every day, led by Josep Altur (Local manager) was created and there is a very close contact and open communication between management and the whole team.

In my personal case, I am doing half of my work at home and the other half at the site with the production team, following Government and company recommendations. To work partly from home in my case is somehow a necessity because my wife is also working.

How did you adapt to the current situation? 

It is not easy to adapt ourselves so quickly to a complete different situation like the one we are living nowadays. From a personal perspective: we have two children and at the beginning, it was a bit difficult. They could not go outside and we did not want to involve the grandparents in this, because we did not find that responsible. However, our employers were flexible so we could create a kind of ‘back-up solution’ between my wife and me, so now we are managing quite well.

From a job perspective, I am now using Skype for business much more than in the past. If you can find a quiet place (sometimes difficult with children) and you are strict with the agenda it works. I feel that I am much more efficient some days than when I would be at the site. On the other hand, as leaders of the teams we have to take care of good communication and stay in close contact with our people. Both aspects are essentially for good leadership and this part cannot always be covered from a distance.

Which positive changes have you experienced and wish you could to maintain? 

We should always find opportunities and learnings from the crisis and this time from a general perspective, I would highlight the importance of the sustainability topic in our lives. In my opinion, we should learn from this global crisis in the sense that we should take more care of our planet and our community (people).

From individual and professional perspective, I would mention the use of Skype for business and other IT tools. These tools have many powerful advantages and we should use them to be more efficient and avoid unnecessary costs in our day-to-day business.

Another standard we should incorporate more and more in our way of life are the ones related with much strict hygiene; washing our hands much frequently, social distancing and other specific actions for instance when you have a cold or similar… These standards in Latin countries can be sometimes challenging, but we will need to adapt to them!