Message from Knauf General Partners
We are facing a challenging time. The Corona pandemic concerns not only everyone on an individual level, but all of us as society. And of course, we at Knauf are not unaffected by this situation. As always, your safety is our priority, and – particularly right now – your well-being and that of your loved ones is extremely important to us.
We are all concerned about our friends and families, especially the most vulnerable. At this moment in time, we have to look out for each other and have to follow certain rules to protect ourselves and everyone around us. At the same time, we are taking action on all levels of the company to guide our people and our business through these challenging times.
- We want you to stay healthy: For every one of you who is physically required on site, we have implemented robust safety standards to mitigate the risks for infections in our plants and offices. We also encourage all of our leaders to support remote working wherever this is possible. Regardless of whether you work on site or at home, we ask you to follow the rules set by the World Health Organization and by your respective government. That includes to maintain the relevant hygienic standards and to keep your distance from others.We have all heard this advice dozens of times in the last few days. This makes it all the more important to consider them constantly and, above all, to follow them.
- Our immediate crisis management is working: While ensuring your safety is our first priority, our second priority is to continue serving our customers in the way they are used to. We anticipate some issues with suppliers of raw materials in various countries but have reached out to alternative producers to make sure that we will be able to uphold our production in all regions worldwide.
Governments around the world do everything they can to manage this crisis. This includes measures that have so far unseen impact on private and business life. As a consequence, we have seen in some countries an abrupt end of customer demand, the only sensible solution for us is to stop several of our affected operations on very short notice. Management is in close discussions with customers, suppliers, and public authorities on how to mitigate the impact on our business.
- We are ready to adapt to changing circumstances: The long-term impact of the Corona Crisis on our business heavily depends on the length of the crisis and is hard to predict right now. We want to let you know that we as a company have the necessary resources to face such challenges. Thanks to our decentralized structure and our financial strengths, we have the necessary flexibility to react to rapidly changing situations. As a long-term oriented family business with strong values, we will continue to think beyond the short-term horizon in any decision we have to take.
- Our crisis management teams will effectively coordinate efforts across the countries: We have a number of local crisis teams in place that are managing this situation close to the regional requirements and needs. In addition, we installed a crisis management team on global level led personally by us to coordinate all these necessary local activities and to navigate Knauf effectively and successfully through these challenging times.
We know that many of you have a lot of questions right now and are deeply worried. Although we do not have answers to all these questions and concerns today, we will keep you informed about important developments and decisions on Group level. Also, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your manager to address any concerns. The leadership team is here for you, we are in this together. We as General Partners will keep you closely informed about important developments and decisions on Group level.
We all are working hard to mitigate the consequences and we would like to thank each and every one of you for your continued support, commitment and trust in this difficult time. The coming weeks will be an unprecedented challenge for each of us. Nevertheless, we are highly confident, that we will master this situation together and will emerge even stronger.
Please stay healthy and take care of you and your loved ones.
Alexander Knauf, Manfred Grundke, Jörg Kampmeyer