PMF lays down Morris Lubricants’ resilient COVID-19 survival strategy, and delves into how the company has sought to use its experience throughout the pandemic as a means to improve.
Drawing strength from its workforce on the home front, and the loyalty shown by its international community of customers, Morris Lubricants credits the resilience of the people involved in every aspect of its 150-year-old business with helping the company to adapt and overcome the unprecedented challenges that the coronavirus pandemic has presented.
“The situation was so unexpected and shocking that a new level of mutual concern has developed within our team, and with our customers,” commented Group International Business Director, Stephen Dawe, who heads the department responsible for managing exports – a division that generates 40% of the company’s total business.
“Our overseas clients, many of whom have dealt with Morris Lubricants for more than 20 years, have demonstrated as much concern for us throughout the last 3-4 months as we have for them. Many have made contact on several occasions simply to make sure we are safe and keeping well,” added Stephen. “If anything, the relationship with our customers has flourished as a result of the pandemic.”
With more than 90 countries on Morris’ distribution list, disruption caused by global lockdown caused a short term reduction in monthly sales values of between 20-30%, but export order volumes are well on their way to recovering to pre-coronavirus levels, and not a single contract has been lost.
In the UK, the resolve of the nationwide sales team is also said to be showing results. Morris claims that orders are increasing on a daily basis, and calls to the technical team for advice and help are reaching a familiar level.
The company’s Business Development Director, Ian Douglas said, “The role of the sales person has changed for a long time to come.” Ian regards some of the significant obstacles that his staff have faced during the crisis as opportunities to evolve. Most significant of all is the transition from visiting customer premises to remote video conferencing.
“The amount of time saved by not driving will make the team more productive. They can use it to find more creative and imaginative ways to generate business, and it will improve their wellbeing. I no longer have to drag the whole sales team to a central UK location to have meetings – we can comfortably do this from our homes,” added Ian.
As Morris Lubricants continues to chart the uncertain waters of a COVID-19 world, plans for its long-term future remain at the forefront, with product development and investment in new technology key to helping to build a more efficient, sustainable and economical business.
“The automotive world is quite fast-paced, and environmental pressures being brought to bear on emissions, hardware and technologies, are continually evolving,” commented Automotive Product Manager, Adrian Hill.
Responsible for bringing new products to market, Adrian’s key concern during lockdown was being able to maintain communication, with his role relying on keeping up-to-date with industry developments and research formulations, as well as in-house liaison with purchasing, laboratory, production, commercial, sales and marketing departments.
Adrian continued, “It’s important to know exactly where things stand so we can be proactive and anticipate what’s coming next. This enables us to meet our customers’ present and future needs with minimal delay. Two dimensions are better than none; being able to see the people you are talking to is psychologically invaluable!”
Now, more than ever, the company’s call to arms seems particularly appropriate: “to do the common thing uncommonly well brings success” – even at the height of a global pandemic.