It is possible that the virus will stay with us for long, and companies will have to adjust to this new situation - Gergely Farkas, managing director of GLS Hungary Ltd., told Növekedés.hu.
How has the number of deliveries changed in your company since the outbreak of the pandemic?
Until the beginning of April, I would have said that there was no substantial change, but now we have seen an increase in traffic during the past one week. However, it is not yet clear whether this is a trend that will prevail in the long run or the number of purchases has just grown because of Easter.
Of course, we can see that all players who were selling offline earlier are now trying to sell their products online.
Because of this, we can expect an increase in e-commerce.
At the same time, classic B2B sales are declining, as there are many stores that have completely closed now and, as a result, the number of their orders has dropped to zero from one day to another.
In any case, we continue to supply the plants that are still in operation. Overall, we need to deliver to a lot more places than before because the work has become fragmented. In the meantime, we put emphasis on compliance with the epidemiological recommendations: on the use of hand sanitizers, as well as on providing colleagues with face masks.
How is your sector affected by the pandemic in general?
There are huge differences. It all depends on what kind of clientele you had. Companies which typically delivered to e.g. shops or car factories completely collapsed. The classic transportation market has come down a steep slope.
On the other hand, companies involved in the supply chains of products such as food supplements or vitamin products are completely snowed under with work, as the demand for those products is now enormous.
Until now, our activities, i.e. the parcel delivery services have not been affected by the crisis either, though the situation is constantly changing. The trends will be clearer in a month’s time.
Before the new coronavirus appeared there was a serious shortage of specialists in the country. Can you see a change in this respect?
It is now much easier to find new employees. The problem of finding candidates for certain positions, which we experienced in the past, practically disappeared.
I would say, although it is only a rough estimation, that the ratio by which the number of applicants has increased compared to pre-epidemic conditions is somewhere between 10 and 100. The exact rate, of course, varies from position to position.
Do you expect the crisis to last for a long time?
Personally, I’m not very optimistic about the virus. It may stay with us permanently, and companies might have to adjust to this new situation in the long run.