‘We face possible supply chain challenges, expected price hikes as a result of petrochemical production curtailments in lockdown resulting in demand outstripping supply and need to deal with job losses, a struggling economy and financial constraints.’
Guest speaker Philipp Ciolek, manager at Accenture’s strategy & consulting practice, echoed these sentiments as he outlined how companies operating in the chemicals industry should navigate the human and business impact of Covid-19.
‘Globally, the chemical industry is no stranger to disruption. We’ve faced and successfully navigated the negative impacts of SARS, the trade policy conflict and the financial crisis. However, Covid-19 is unprecedented in its impact and disruption of global demand, supply chains, and customer/investor confidence.’
Philipp stressed certain actions could be taken immediately to mitigate near-term operational risks and protect the people, liquidity and operations of companies operating in the PVC sector.
‘The pandemic has highlighted the importance of going digital in a world disrupted by lockdown. We should recognise that we’ve been given an opportunity to reset for the future by strategically re-evaluating business models and plan for growth accordingly. Companies able to sense short-term market and demand trends and meet these needs quickly and at scale, will grow and flourish.’
After the keynote speaker, the SAVA management committee reported on the past year’s successes, which included launching the Clingfilm Compliance Initiative and signing up Mpact, Cibapac, Strand Group Development and Easypack, four of South Africa’s biggest suppliers, as members of this initiative. The companies have agreed to auditing of their products and documents at every level in the supply chain by an independent SAVA representative under a signed non-disclosure agreement.
SAVA also reported on other accomplishments, such as completing its Product Stewardship Commitment Survey, issuing the Vinyl-Dot to 20 compliant members and welcoming new members.
‘The global pandemic has highlighted the important role of PVC products in the healthcare industry, as it equates to more than 40% of the materials used in hospitals,’ said SAVA CEO, Adri Spangenberg. ‘It’s important for us to grow our footprint, voice and influence by encouraging representatives of all these different sectors to join SAVA.’