Installation abroad in Times of Corona
28. May 2021
The Corona pandemic is affecting our day-to-day work in various forms. Dobas project managers are particularly challenged in the area of installation planning.
We design, we draw, we plan and: we install. Our installation team spends almost the entire year abroad implementing our interior design projects. The link between the Dobas team in the Lucerne office and the installation team on the road is Aldo Lagler. Together with our chief fitter, our project managers plan which assemblers are to be deployed where and when.
The organisation of installations abroad requires a lot of planning skills. Although there is a rough schedule when the order is placed, this timetable is lightly to change during the project. You can imagine it like a mobile: If one component moves, the whole construct moves. If, for example, there are unexpected, major design adjustments, this automatically affects all subsequent project steps. During this dynamic process, our customers can of course always rely on us and our many years of experience. We provide reliable support and ensure that all processes run as smoothly as possible and that all interfaces communicate with each other in the best possible way.
Corona as an additional challenge
The effects of the Corona pandemic have demanded our flexibility since March 2020. The country-specific entry and quarantine regulations are one major challenge. Our project management team spends countless hours every month keeping up to date with the respective conditions, organising the installations efficiently and rescheduling where necessary. Despite the experience we have gained since spring 2020, the ongoing adaptation of travel regulations is still a challenge – especially since we have to consider entry via third countries depending on the project location. I also find it difficult to get 100 per cent reliable information that is certainly valid for various organisations and countries.
Of course, the greatly reduced air traffic does not make the installation organisation any easier. If we have a plan, it does not necessarily mean that there is a suitable travel connection for it. We often have to reckon with more transfers and longer transit times.
Relevant questions for planning
To ensure an optimal installation process, our project management team evaluates the following questions, among others, for the planning:
- What travel regulations apply at the time of assembly scheduling and with what cadence have the travel regulations of the relevant country been adjusted in the past?
- How are the case numbers developing in the destination country?
- What travel regulations apply in the destination country when entering via third countries, for vaccinated and unvaccinated employees?
- What quarantine regulations apply when entering the country, also via third countries? Are these bearable for the fitter and how is the unproductive time financially regulated?
- Which corona tests are crucial in the respective country of entry and within which time window do they have to be carried out?
- What are the regulations for returning to Switzerland? Is the country of the project site on the risk list and do entrants have to go into quarantine?
The catalogue of questions changes again and again. Because with every new assembly planning, new challenges arise, sometimes even those we thought we had under control for a long time. As dynamically as the virus develops, so creatively do we have to plan our installations.
Disrupted supply chains and lack of containers
Another challenge concerns the alignment of assembly dates and supply chains. After all, not only our installers, but also our interior fittings produced in Switzerland have to arrive in the destination country according to plan. Before the pandemic, we could order a container a few days before the planned transport, the supply chain management worked smoothly, and the arrival of goods and assembly dates could be optimally coordinated. Currently, we order a container one month before the transport date and one to two weeks beforehand we know whether we will actually receive one. The flow of goods and thus also the container balance between East and West has been thrown out of joint due to Corona (read more about it here).
Despite or perhaps because of all these challenges: We look to the future with motivation and trust, especially as there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon with Covid vaccines. Our team continues to do its best every day to solve all the challenges posed by the pandemic with creativity and agility.