With more than 4,850 employees throughout 37 countries, Cosentino Group is a family owned company that puts people at the forefront. The safety and well-being of its workers and customers remain a top priority, especially during the pandemic that has seized the world. Like many businesses, Cosentino Group is closely monitoring the constantly changing conditions caused by the COVID-19 virus to ensure that all necessary measures are taken to protect their employees and ease any concerns of their customers. Stone World had the opportunity to discuss the current situation with the company.
SW: What effects has Cosentino experienced so far from the COVID-19 pandemic?
Cosentino: Protocols of safety and working from home have been implemented at Cosentino. Business travels have been prohibited at all levels in the organization.
This situation has brought questions and concerns from our customers, but this was managed from the beginning with constant communications with our employees, business partners and customers to keep them safe and informed about all our measures and actions.
Since we planned ahead, we have enough inventory and our commercial team is available via phone call, text or even video conferences to assist our customers.
SW: Internally, what measures have you taken to protect your employees from the spread of the virus?
Cosentino: Specifically, in North America, we have updated our hygiene protocols increasing our standards in sanitizing surfaces and reinforcing the hygiene practices recommended by the CDC in all our activities.
80% of Cosentino employees in North America are working from home. Our sales team and customer service representatives are available and working regular hours to assist our customers.
We are offering virtual visits to our Cosentino Centers so customers can select slabs from their offices or homes. In person visits are only allowed by appointment.
SW: Has production slowed down at all due to this pandemic?
Cosentino: Our factory in Spain continued operations in a safe manner and reviewed the product demand to adapt production accordingly. Our obligation as a responsible business is to prioritize the safety of our people.
Cosentino planned production and logistics in anticipation to ensure our distribution network in North America is well stocked. All pending orders to North America to bolster our in-transit inventory which will prevent service interruptions.
SW: Is it now difficult to ship to your distributors and showrooms in North America?
Cosentino: As of Monday, March 16, Cosentino's factory in Spain and its distribution locations have been adopting a specific protocol to accommodate all restrictions imposed by the government in order to continue operations in a responsible manner and maintain shipments to distribution facilities.
Cosentino continues shipping orders to North America on a regular basis. All Cosentino centers in North America have very high levels of inventory, material keeps in transit on the water and new containers are being shipped as well.
Our distribution centers and showrooms here in North America are offering virtual visits and allow visits by appointment only depending on the location. Inventory is ready and available.
SW: Specifically, what concerns have you been hearing from your North American fabricators/distributors? How are you addressing them?
Cosentino: A few concerns received by our customers are related to operations and delivery of the materials. The good thing is our communication with our customers are daily to keep them informed and updated with all our cations.
While the current environment remains uncertain, we are diligently attending business of managing risk and sustaining operational continuity. We stay confident we can continue to provide the excellent service our customers expect from us.
SW: With many state governments in the U.S. mandating a “shelter in place” order, and non-essential businesses having to close, how is this affecting Cosentino’s design and city centers?
Cosentino: Considering the numerous shelters and stay at home orders issued by different cities, states and counties, we can confirm that Cosentino is determined to maintain operations in all locations where its activity is permitted. Almost all Cosentino Centers in North America remain open with inventory readily available. We are also providing our customers with the option to schedule virtual visits to our Centers and have conference meetings.
Please note even when most of our centers are open visits are by appointment only, to avoid too many people at the same time and to continue with our safety measures.
SW: What is the main message that Cosentino would like to relay to its customers during this difficult time?
Cosentino: Cosentino is highly committed to mitigating the spread of the Coronavirus to protect our employees, customers and all members of the community. The consequences of COVID-19 are severe and we are devastated about the loss of life and worried about those currently suffering from the illness.
As always, the precautionary measures we are taking are in place to limit the potential spread of the virus, to support our employees during this challenging time and to ensure we maintain our ability to serve our customers in a safe and responsible manner. We are constantly monitoring this situation and adapting to these fast-changing circumstances on a daily basis to take care of our employees and customers.