When I wrote my Christmas letter to you last year, I said that a year of opportunities but also challenges was ahead of us and that our excellent team was well prepared to meet any challenge ahead of us.
Little could I foresee the enormity of the challenges we would face in 2020. The impact that COVID has had on our personal and business lives has been tremendous and profound. My thoughts and prayers are especially with those who lost a family member or friend during this pandemic.
Over the past year, we have had to adapt quickly to develop a COVID response, rules and guidelines for which there was no blueprint or textbook. During 2020 we have:
- learned new ways of doing business to accommodate remote working conditions and during temporary shutdowns.
- learned new virtual selling techniques using Microsoft Teams and WebEx that have allowed us to interact with our customers.
- Introduced new words and terms like “Social Distancing”, “R-rate”, “Essential business” to our vocabulary.
- begun to check the infection rate and new local COVID restrictions in the morning rather than the local weather report.
- become accustomed to wearing masks and having our temperatures checked every day.
- prevailed as individuals and as a Company.
Year in Review
In 2020, we continued to support our customers by finding creative ways to ship products, parts and raw materials despite lockdowns, closed borders and carrier shortages. We improvised and used retired VAT4 molds and external contract manufacturers to supplement our sold out VAT5 production. We significantly increased our HealthCare deliveries in record time to support hospitals. For the first time in Mauser Packaging Solutions and MMT history, we used an IBC blow molding machine which was ready to be shipped to the States to meet the increasing demand for bottles in the sanitizer and alcohol COVID fighting industries.
While 2020 came with challenges, we continued to innovate products like our DrumGuard®, which just recently won a prestigious DOW innovation award, we improved our PCR Infinity series for multi-layer IBCs and drums, introduced our Sharpsguard eco pharmi infinity range, and new oil can series to further improving our successful Hurrycan design. We invested in productivity, automation improvements and implemented key operational improvement projects like our Erkelenz Reco new washing, reconditioning and PCR line and started the Erkelenz tube center extension.
And together, we continued to focus on Safety improvements and improving our safety KPIs for the third year in a row.
In Europe, we continued our path to successfully combine our New and Reco IBC business to by improving and aligning our sales and operational organizations and implementing a new finance organization. In Asia despite the early COVID impact and tremendous competitive pressure, our colleagues improved our competitive position and business results. Meanwhile in Brazil, despite being one of the hardest hit COVID countries in the world, we continued production uninterrupted, launched new products and improved our SoW on metal drums in the citrus segment.
Despite COVID, Mauser International will deliver on our 2020 financial targets and improve EBITDA vs budget, vs 7+5 Forecast and vs Prior Year. The words “Thank you!” do not express the amount of gratitude, appreciation, respect and thankfulness for what we have accomplished together during 2020.
While 2020 was plagued by responding to the COVID pandemic, the release of multiple vaccines in 2021 will hopefully result in the mitigation of the virus and the decline in infection rates.
Global GDP growth is forecasted to be a record +5.2% with China forecasting +8.2%.
While there is still uncertainty about the pace of recovery in Q1, we intend to take full advantage of the expected growth and all opportunities that arise with it.
We will continue our path of Continuous Improvement in all key aspects of our business including Employee Engagement, Safety and Quality and further focus on:
- Best in class execution on upside potential during the economic recovery
- Sales, Customer Service and Pricing excellence
- S&OP excellence and close alignment between Sales, Operations and Procurement
- Improved best practice sharing via our new Best Practice SharePoint platform
- Tools and Systems improvements via implementation of a new TMS logistics system, improved and standardized Shoplogix ops reports and a new warehouse management system which we are currently piloting in Oosterhout
As this eventful year ends, we should take comfort in knowing that whatever opportunities or challenges next year will present, we have proven this year that we are ready to meet them and to successfully adapt, improve, deliver and excel.
I wish all of you, your families and loved ones Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and especially a safe, healthy and prosperous New Year.