When the coronavirus reached Italy we didn’t hesitate. We responded instantly. We got the most valuable advice from our Chinese friends at Dewesoft - protect your team!
Protecting the Team
We did exactly that - we ordered and started using safety gear, masks, caps, and robes. Sterilization liquid is available everywhere within the company. The most critical points such as door handles, light switches, and faucets need to be handled with handkerchiefs - not directly by hands. We reorganized the production in two shifts and implemented the sterilization of goods in the process. Developers started working from home way before the government issued any restrictions.
In Dewesoft production works in shifts - the number of people together in one space is halved and all jobs must keep a distance of 2 meters.
Our Dewesoft team in China provided us with enough protective gear that we didn’t have to stop our production even for a single day.
In Dewesoft everything from outside the company is quarantined for one day. Each pack is visibly marked when it was last in contact with a potential infection.
At work the rule is simple - safety first - everyone needs to act like being infected and needs to make sure to prevent spreading the virus.
The body temperature of every employee In Dewesoft is measured at the entrance to the company and then every four hours.
The spirit of the company these days is very high - we develop new ideas and produce instruments with almost no delays.
Taking Responsibility - Joining Forces
We believe that every company needs to be responsible to society and the world we all share, especially when it comes to a crisis. Slovenia was - like many other countries, not well prepared for such an outbreak. We even sent a gift of 1.3 million face masks to China and were therefore very low on protection equipment ourselves.
In the mid of March, there was an immense shortage of protective masks and gloves as well as ventilators. The lack of protective gear greatly influences the spreading of the virus and the lack of ventilators greatly increases the number of death casualties, so these deficiencies are very important to fix. In primetime, we made a nationwide promotion on TV news explaining to everyone how important it is to get protection.
Jure Knez on national Slovenian television - setting an example for personal protection.
At the end of one show, Dewesoft president Jure Knez expressed this very clearly: ” I wish that politicians would also start wearing the masks to show to all the people how important it is to get protected.” The awareness was increasing daily.
We started sharing our safety protection gear to hospitals, companies and retirement homes where elderly people got infected. In Slovenia, most people got infected and died at retirement homes. Even while working with infected people the staff only had surgery masks or no masks at all, so the same day as we received KN95 masks from China, we delivered these to the most critical places.
Dewesoft has donated thousands of masks to Slovenian health care, retirement homes, and civil protection.
With the help of our Chinese team, we also arranged to deliver ventilators to a local hospital - potentially saving lives. A lot of companies from our regions took part in this donation.
With the help of the Dewesoft director, Jacky Wang in China, two ventilators have been delivered to the hospital in Trbovlje - donated by companies in the Zasavje region.
More Than 250.000 Protective Masks
As we were racing against the time, we figured out that we would never be able to equip the households with masks imported from abroad. Several attempts were made to buy them in larger quantities from China, Ukraine, and Spain, but nothing really worked out.
We needed to think out of the box. One of the companies within our startup hub Katapult is very skilled in textiles. Jelka Verk, leader of the More Than Beauty startup, quickly made the perfect design for the masks and we found a good source of polypropylene, the ideal material for making the masks. Dewesoft invested in the material and we started a social media campaign where households could have this material for free.
At first, we were thinking only local, but we were soon confronted with demands from all over Slovenia. We needed to organize packaging and logistics quickly. In the end, 25 km of mask material and 70 km of elastic straps were cut, packed and shipped enabling basically every household in Slovenia to make re-usable face masks for themselves and their friends.
Within two weeks more than 250.000 masks were made and more than 5000 skilled volunteers created around 1 M€ worth of masks - almost from nothing. The feedback from the people was simply amazing, everyone had the feeling they participated in and shared the big story. Every single mask we created can help to prevent deaths which makes them priceless.
Corona-status in Slovenia
So how are we doing in Slovenia in this first week of April? So far so good, but that doesn't mean we can now relax.
The best comparison matrix is to plot in logarithmically the weekly average of new cases versus total cases. The pace of spreading the virus if it is not controlled is practically the same everywhere, meaning we can actually see which actions are successful. Countries being proactive are doing way better than others.
In the months to come, to control the spread of the infection, we need to carefully follow the rules on how to live with this virus, and, on the other hand, take clear actions to restore the economy. Otherwise, we will suffer more from the economic downfall than from the virus itself.
On this occasion, we would like to thank our employees, partners, customers, and volunteers who believe in us and have helped carry through these projects. Finally, a special thanks go to those standing in the first lines risking their health to fight this crisis.