We are back to work thanks to our most valued asset: our people
For five weeks – in compliance with the Italian government’s ban on all non-essential manufacturing – the gang saws, polishing machines and forklift trucks of our facility in Tuscany have been silent, the gates locked. With our staff safely isolating at home and much of our business on hold, we have been concentrating on what we can do – continuing research and development where we can, promoting the new collections, and supporting our staff, their families and our local community.
Since yesterday however, as a company designated by the government as essential for the national economy, we have been given permission to restart production at our factory. With our office staff continuing to work from home and the specialist protective equipment for the production team prepared in advance, we have been able to return to normal operations almost immediately. Our first shipments have already been scheduled.
Though it is exciting to be returning to production, we are conscious that this is far from business as usual. The challenge presented by the virus remains. In addition to the regulations set out by the government, such as taking the temperature of each worker as they enter the factory, we have established procedures and practices to further protect our staff. To ensure social distancing is observed, we are minimising movement between the various buildings of the factory complex, and each worker will have an application on their phones that will send an alert if they get too close to each other.
The app will also contain a checklist that each team member will have to fill out, to make sure that they are wearing the correct protective equipment – their masks, glasses and gloves – before they enter the factory in the morning, and we are looking to introduce technology that will verify this using a system similar to facial recognition. Privacy is important to us – and we will not store this information – but so is protecting our workers’ health, and these technologies will allow us to responsibly return to the factory.
“They are really the heroes for us,” CEO Gabriele Salvatori said, having overseen training that introduced the factory staff to the new protective measures. “It was really touching to see all the plant workers again. They were the last to leave – getting as much ready as possible to ship before we shut down – and they now are the first to return. I wanted to be there to support them as they restarted the work.”
All photos were taken prior to the closure of 11 March 2020.