Rosa Porras, marketing and communications manager at Spanish dropper specialist Virospack, explains how the supplier is facing up to the covid-19 crisis.
How has Virospack had to adapt as a result of the pandemic?
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the company has implemented the necessary safety measures to protect its employees, and we maintained our production until March 30. The Spanish government then shuttered all non-essential business activities until April 14. For much of those two weeks we had planned the Easter holidays, so the impact hasn´t been too bad as our production unit only had to close for four days in the end.
How has production been impacted?
We’ve been able to maintain our production schedule without any delays so far. Virospack always manufactures to order, thus ensuring the personalization of our dispenser dropper packs. Our delivery deadlines depend on the finishes chosen by the client, but are always more than four to six weeks, which means that we have a large stock of materials to start production based on each order. There may be some delay in the reception of materials today, but we have enough stock to see us through. We also have temporary employees at the factory in case staff members cannot work due to illness or family commitments.
How are your clients reacting to the crisis?
We have clients in different regions of the world that have not all been affected equally. To date, all of our customers have maintained their orders and projects in the pipeline. A small minority, especially those in Italy, have postponed the reception of the droppers as they are now closed. Because we manufacture on order with a minimum production level, our customers are international beauty brands that can better withstand a temporary market slump. A decline from which the market will surely recover soon, but perhaps with new products, formats, consumption habits and purchasing behavior.
How will this crisis impact Virospack’s innovation budget and product development going forward?
We dedicate a significant budget to R&D, and now more than ever we have to be creative and bet on developments whose design and functionality respond to the new needs that the end consumer will have following the crisis. Cosmetics are illusion, offering hope and emotion, and packaging, according to studies, plays up to 50% of this illusion, a percentage that will surely increase since the relation between people and products is set to change and packaging will take on a more prominent role. Some product developments may be delayed, but the big international trade shows are also being postponed, which is where we present our blockbuster launches to the industry. So, if there is a delay in development and the shows are also postponed, it is not such a big issue.
We also must reinvent our communication plan as we need to be more transparent than ever with reliable, concise and truthful communication. Our communication should be more sensitive and perhaps riskier, with clear messages capable of provoking a reaction. It’s time to think of new ways of interacting to continue promoting the sector.