As the days pass, so does the severity of the recent coronavirus outbreak.
Like all companies in affected areas, 3D printing companies must also cope with new regulations, interaction protocols and supply issues. We spoke with Roboze CEO Alessio Lorusso to find out what’s happening at the Italian 3D printer manufacturer.
Fabbaloo: Italy is one of the areas most affected by COVID-19, and it’s my understanding the Italian government has designated certain areas for quarantine. Is Roboze in one of the quarantined areas?
Alessio Lorusso: Today it is the 10th of March. Just yesterday our Prime Minister extended the prevention rules across the whole country.
Fabbaloo: Are there virus containment protocols you have been asked to follow by the authorities?
Alessio Lorusso: First of all, we recommend staying at home to all those who have symptoms similar to that of the corona virus or who have the only doubt that they have been in contact with a probable or confirmed case of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Within our facility, we have activated the following protocols:
Wash hands often (We are providing hydro-alcoholic solutions for hand washing)
Avoid hugs and handshakes (one of the most difficult points!)
Keep an interpersonal distance of at least 1 meter
Avoid using others’ bottles and glasses
Do not touch eyes, noses and mouths with hands
Cover mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing
Clean the surfaces with chlorine or alcohol based disinfectants
We will encourage smart working, and invite everyone to hold virtual meetings. Our operations continue and indeed are strengthened by digitizing our internal processes even more.
Fabbaloo: Has anyone from Roboze contracted the virus? What happens if someone does?
Alessio Lorusso: Fortunately no. Should this happen, there will be a need to isolate the area where the colleague works. The second step will be to quarantine the department and sanitize it. We have already arranged all the necessary procedures, we are ready for any eventuality but we remain fully operational and concentrated.
Fabbaloo: Is a work-at-home policy now present? How does this affect work at ROBOZE? Are there things that cannot be done, or is this an advantage in some way?
Alessio Lorusso: We already use smart working. It is recommended for all people who can do it, such as people working in the marketing, administration, finance, sales departments. We have already digitized many processes in the past and therefore we are ready to face new challenges.
Fabbaloo: What effect on marketing may happen as a result of decreased travel? Are you inventing new ways to market and sell your products?
Alessio Lorusso: Roboze is now an Italian-American company with staff residing in the USA and several European countries. We have an international team and fortunately, if not for postponed events in which we are all involved, we will still be able to be present in the various scheduled shows. The first will be at AmCon in Ohio on the 18th and there will be American colleagues.
Fabbaloo: Has Roboze been bumped out of any conferences that have been cancelled?
Alessio Lorusso: With the exception of the postponed events, we had no restrictions as Italians. We need to follow the rules and advices of governments. China has set a strong example and today the contagion curve is getting lower day by day. Consciousness and intelligence are needed. It takes even more effort to overcome mental stress. We at Roboze know it, we are Strong Like Metal!
Fabbaloo: Could there be issues with suppliers that affect your production line? What steps can you take to mitigate those effects?
Alessio Lorusso: As explained in the previous point, the virus does not affect the merchandise. Most of our suppliers are Italian, German, English and American. We calculate maximum delays of a few days due to checks at the entrance and exit, but we do not expect significant delays.
Fabbaloo: What communications have you made with your clients?
Alessio Lorusso: We’ve just communicated that in Roboze we are adapting to the instructions of the Ministry of Health and that our business will be managed normally.
Fabbaloo: What advice would you offer to other 3D printer manufacturers at this time?
Alessio Lorusso: Unfortunately this will be a global virus. We live the American and Italian realities. In Italy we have seen a sanitary attitude that may have seemed alarmist, but experts believed it necessary and precautionary. Thousands of swabs were made and no expense was spared for this. This new measure is aimed at tightening the spread of the virus. We consider it drastic but necessary.
The health system in Italy is public and is making a huge effort to support the weight of checks and treatments. We hope that other countries are respectful of citizens and inform them of the real situation. We believe that Italy did an act of courage in this.
We believe that today more than ever we will demonstrate our value on the market and it will be a great challenge for all of us. True sailors are seen when there is a storm.