Two bits of good news up front:
1. As far as I know, we are all still healthy and uninfected. Please let us do everything we can to ensure that this remains so!
2. Our measures to minimize the risk of infection within the company, e.g. working from home, have all functioned perfectly without impairing our operational efficiency. In particular, I would like to thank the colleagues who keep production and shipping going on site in our various facilities. It takes a lot of discipline, comradeship and courage. In times like these, fear can really get you. You have my utter respect! The same applies to all our sales staff in the field. I can well imagine how you feel when you meet many people in workshops and shops …
My wish for us all: Just stay healthy! All the colleagues in our family are doing excellent work. And we have to do so too now, dear friends! Our orders are being blown away like weak branches in a storm. Business closures by official order affect our customers – together with, of course, a normal decline in business. It’s a recipe for disaster... This much is clear: many companies will simply not survive the crisis.
What can we do? Contrary to my otherwise hard line in terms of prices, conditions, extras and payment terms, I say: It is now necessary to loosen our tough line a little. Our customers have no sales, no income and consequently no liquid assets. It will be a long time before state aid kicks in. After all, we have lived very well with and on our customers in good times. Now we must also support these companies, within the bounds of our possibilities, by more generous rules. However, we must not overdo the generosity, lest we bring the risk of payment default upon ourselves. Here I am thinking not only of our domestic customers, but also of our friends in over 150 countries. Some of them have been beaten down three times over. The virus, loss of tourism, and falling oil prices. For many of our customers, the business with LIQUI MOLY / Meguin products is the only source of income to support their families. In such countries and regions, it is of course also a matter of preserving life in the true sense of the word but also of surviving economically.
The demand for all kinds of products and services is collapsing worldwide. In contrast to previous upheavals, the current crisis affects not only the financial sector, but also the real economy with its companies and families. We see a gigantic destruction of values and the devastation of entire industries. As always, the weakest and poorest are hit first. Family businesses, small traders and companies that have to fight for survival every day, even without a crisis. This global corona crisis will result in a long recession, which truly can be described as a global economic crisis. Putting on a big show and issuing wordy appeals will not get us any farther now. No, we are not actually at war, but it certainly feels that way and we must react accordingly. We need hard-hitting countermeasures. This applies to the community of states and of course to each individual company. In addition to easing our terms of business to a reasonable and low-risk extent, we must see to it that we sell at least a little bit more – as best we can.
Dear salespeople, I know how difficult it is at the moment, but we need your orders to keep the factory and everything that goes with it alive. Of course, we have already stopped all the external orders to other companies that we placed in good times, in order to secure work and capacity utilization for ourselves. I definitely think that, with almost 1,000 people, we can make an important contribution towards stabilizing our economic system. Through cheerfulness, wise decisions, positive news, hard work – of course – and solidarity within our LIQUI MOLY / Meguin family.
Stay healthy and active!