3M Vietnam preparing for a new normal

July 27, 2020 | 18:00
Global personal protective equipment producer 3M is making plans to prepare for a new normal in Vietnam’s current landscape. Jeounghoon Kang, country leader at 3M Vietnam, discussed with VIR’s Bich Thuy the company’s next steps in the local market.
1502p19 3m vietnam preparing for a new normal
Jeounghoon Kang, country leader at 3M Vietnam

With your working experience at 3M, do you see the current situation as an advantage or disadvantage during the ongoing pandemic?

COVID-19 is an unprecedented crisis that has created many difficulties for companies and individuals, so it’s not just a challenge for 3M but an international one. However, 3M has been able to sustain operations in different circumstances around the world by working differently, partnering with local experts and governments, and collaborating globally.

We are well-prepared for a range of scenarios that may unfold. 3M’s crisis action team is meeting daily to ensure we are meeting our priorities: the safety of our people and the public, including healthcare workers and first responders. We have activated multiple rapid response teams to co-ordinate strategies to maintain operations and ensure business continuity.

We are grateful for the work our people are doing to support public health and critical needs during the outbreak, and we’re taking actions to protect their wellbeing.

Vietnam’s is experiencing a new normal with a number of supporting policies to support the business community to recover from the pandemic. How is 3M Vietnam recovering amid the current global uncertainty?

“New normal” seems to be a frequently used phrase, and I would agree that it is true – things will be different after the pandemic subsides globally. I appreciate the prompt actions and leadership of the Vietnamese government to manage and control the pandemic well.

Although social distancing measures have been loosened since late April, 3M Vietnam employees only returned to the workplace in June. Comprehensive precaution measures were put in place in the Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City offices, and Long Thanh Plant as well as at our distribution centres.

Our safety protocols include stringent cleaning, medical screening, shifts, and a reorganisation of how we work to increase social distancing, while providing personal protective equipment, should the situation arise.

Additionally, we understand many of our people prefer to continue working remotely while they continue to navigate challenges related to COVID-19. 3M will continue to support working remotely through our FlexAbility programme for anyone who is able to effectively carry out their job from home.

We understand that the situation we are facing changes daily – sometimes hourly – and we will continue to closely assess the safety of our people.

In a post-pandemic world, there could be significant changes in the market and consumers’ behaviour. What are 3M’s plans for Vietnam to tap into the new potential?

After the social distancing direction was reversed, people were getting back to work and businesses and schools reopened. However, things will still be different after the pandemic has completely ended everywhere.

Currently, the pandemic is dictating a new way of life in most places that requires caution and education.

Safety and hygiene standards are expected to be increased. As protecting customers and employees is now more important than ever, it’s critical to address the new hazards presented by COVID-19. Many businesses are creating plans to effectively prepare for and respond to infectious diseases, and the next step is to implement these with the right administration and workplace practices.

That’s why we are working on bringing relevant products and solutions into the Vietnamese market to support our valued customers with cleaning, disinfecting, and communication.

This is part of our effort to help promote health and safety for workers and the public, especially during this important period as people return to work and stores and restaurants reopen.

Recently, for example, we collaborated with HP Inc. to help protect workers and the public as businesses reopen. As a part of this, the 3M Graphics COVID-19 Related Signage library is free to use for HP, providing online templates, design elements, and poster artwork created to communicate guidance on social distancing and public health awareness.

By Bich Thuy

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