Covid-19 case study: Genuine Solutions Group develops new partnerships and processes to strengthen supply chains
BExA member Genuine Solutions Group is a Surrey-based global recycling business that specialises in recovering mobile phones and accessories, ensuring that products are not sent to landfill, and redistributing them globally. The company trades with many diverse market segments, including charities, wholesale, retail, insurance, network providers, phone manufacturers and consumers, with a multinational team covering 51 countries. Anna Morsa, Group Commercial Director, tells BExA how the company has faced up to Covid-19-related challenges.
Q: Has the coronavirus pandemic affected demand for your products? Have you been able to work around these challenges and adapt your business?
Morsa: Covid-19 has delivered an indiscriminate blow to businesses and we have been no exception, with many of our global customer communities being forced to stop trading or close down, which has resulted in a challenging environment for everyone.
Sales were down by 55% in April, however we are now seeing positive signs of recovery, with an uplift of 11% in May and a larger increase forecast for June.
As the transport network came under pressure, with focus being put on supplying PPE and essential goods, we were able to utilise our internal transport solutions to maintain client commitments and support the growing online community. This consisted of taking our own vehicles and creating a delivery zone to support business in the local area, thus ensuring that small companies that remained open where able to trade robustly, whilst also changing our services via a specialist network of couriers to deliver to other areas.
Q: Have your supply chains been affected, and have you been able to overcome these challenges?
Morsa: As the impacts of Covid-19 came into force, the movement of product on a global level became – and remains – a challenge. With airspace and capacity restricted due to the prioritisation of urgent medical equipment, we worked closely with our shipping and courier partners to understand the restrictions that were in force and adapted our model to react to these changes so that we could maintain stock availability and our commitments as a business.
We have expanded our focus on developing new partnerships in different parts of the world to further reduce the reliance on certain regions, and as a result we have strengthened our supply chain.
Q: Have you made use of any new or existing government support schemes?
Morsa: We have leveraged the government’s support by utilising both the CBIL facility and furlough schemes.
Q: What would you say has been the most innovative move that your company has made in response to the pandemic?
Morsa: One of the major innovators for us as a business has been our people, moving from employees to stakeholders committed to trading through this pandemic. Being self-sufficient while working at home with video conferencing as the only link to a team environment has been a major shift in our working environment. Technology has allowed us to run fitness sessions, team pub quizzes, pizza dates and the sharing of both difficult and amazing times on a daily basis.
There is, of course, the health aspect of this pandemic with the business implementing over 60-plus changes to everyday working conditions. These have included ‘sneeze screens’, one-way walk systems, outside instead of inside seating for employees during lunchtime, bespoke dedicated work areas for employees, and health and wellbeing surveys just to mention a few. This is all ensuring that our team at headquarters are mentally and physically well.
Q: What are your plans for future growth and exporting innovation?
Morsa: There is an absolute drive to plan steady growth in our international markets, to which we currently attribute 60% of sales.
The key to steady growth will be enhanced penetration within our global regionalisation strategy. This will provide bespoke services and products to these countries and, as such, will reduce the burden of shipping and supplying from the UK.
Our experience has already demonstrated that having native-speaking, multinational teams with local knowledge creates a deeper relationship within all market segments.
As we move further into a global platform, we will be implementing local hubs around the world, which will mirror the exact same recycling process that we have established in the UK. This will also reduce carbon footprint and allow ease of trading and services, whilst driving a single platform that will be the same, regardless of country.
About the Author:
Anna Morsa is Genuine Solutions Group’s Commercial Director, responsible for driving global sales and marketing, as well as building and executing robust sustainable business strategies to ensure long-term growth. She started on the sales desk and worked her way up through the ranks at different companies to Commercial Director. Anna understands that every person plays a fundamental role in the functioning of a business.
Posted 22 June 2020