Jed Smith, Head of Commercial and Stakeholder Management, MIRRAT, writes:
Without stating the obvious, the COVID-19 pandemic has indeed hijacked our focus, and the majority of our energy.
The goals we set out to achieve as an organisation back in 2019 were promptly sidelined, as responding to the COVID situation took center stage.
Rapidly shifting priorities meant non-essential capital works, fleet investment, and outsourced services made way for procuring and securing PPE and temperature guns, hunting for hand sanitiser and toilet paper, while transitioning our administration team to remote working.
These measures aimed to protect and provide our operational staff and terminal users with the safest possible environment, enabling them to continue to provide services and support the automotive and RoRo markets.
In hindsight, our proactive approach and decision to take early action has held us in good stead. The proof lies within the fact that all staff and terminal users have remained safe, and not a single vessel has been delayed, even during the height of the Melbourne lockdown.
For a facility that averages over 200 visitors a day, this has been no easy task.
Churchill said, “never let a good crisis go to waste,” and despite the challenges 2020 has presented, it has also provided opportunities, partially around process improvement and product development.
Social distancing guidelines forced us into reengineering manual processes, which has supercharged our digital transition. Tools and concepts we had been trialing, have been fast-tracked and are now part of our everyday operations.
Self-services and contactless deliveries are two examples of innovative change, designed to reduce person-to-person interaction, drive efficiency, and improve our customer’s ease of doing business.