Wednesday, March 22

Asteel Group ‘business as usual’ despite temporary closure


Asteel’s contribution to the MOH Kuching division office, presented to MOH medical officer Dr Flora Riti Lungah (fourth left) by a team led by Asteel’s director of corporate affairs Tinah Jerome (third left) and acting senior manager Thony Loh (fifth left).

KUCHING: It was business as usual for ASTEEL Group (Asteel) despite the temporary shutdown for four days following news that one of its employees had to be admitted under the care of health and medical personnel at the Sarawak General Hospital.

As a result of its swift measures, Asteel was able to protect its employees and resume its operations within a short duration of time with minimal disruptions to the business.

Apart from its mitigation efforts to curb the spread, Asteel continues to adhere to the guidelines mandated by Ministry of Health at its headquarters, branches and factory which include (but are not limited to) temperature screening, registering all employees and visitors, six feet of physical distancing, use of face masks, placement of markers for physical distancing and the availability of hand sanitisers at our counters.

“Due to our swift measures and collective effort, we received the clearance by the Ministry of Health on November 20, after four days of temporary closure,” founder and managing director Dato Seri Victor Hii Lu Thian said in an email interview with The Borneo Post.

“This allowed us to continue our operations with very minimal disruptions to our business.”

On how Asteel generated revenue and executed operations remotely, Hii replied that despite the temporary closure, it was business as usual for the company.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has called all of us to adapt to the ‘new normal’, we find ourselves in the position to think ahead, and finding ways to continue our operations while our employees practice physical distancing and remain in self-quarantine.

“Despite the fact that we were temporarily closed for a duration of four days, it was business as usual for us as all of our employees were committed in ensuring the best business and service delivery towards our valued customers.

“At the same time, we were assessing how it was going to impact our product supply chains. Based on our assessment, we knew that it was going to cause a slight delay with our orders.”

In order to mitigate the situation, Asteel looked at the possibility of alternate supply chain vendors to overcome these barriers.

“In addition, I believe our customers are emphathetic during this unprecedented time. Nonetheless, we ensured that our customers service team was on the ball to address any issues pertaining to disruptions to our products and services – communication is key and we believe in providing transparency and timely updates.

“We were prepared to allay concerns regarding the company’s supply chain and also how those resources may pose any risks to them.”

Asteel also ensured that effective communications was implemented through out the duration as the company knows that it is crucial to maintain the trust of its customers, boost employee moral and retain market stability.

For both internal and external stakeholders, Asteel appointed designated points of contact for engagement and included them on all the company’s communication channels, for example, social media, customer call centre, and public relations release.