BUILDING RESILIENCE UNDER THE RISK

Operation

Thematic story: Building operational tenacity under the risk of COVID-19

Let’s rewind the clock and return to February 15, 2020, when Taiwan had its first death from COVID-19. Up till this point in time, YOKE has been paying close attention to the latest developments of the pandemic worldwide and in Taiwan. The Company officially launched its disease prevention response plan. We held our first epidemic response meeting on February 20, 2020 and initiated the first stage of relevant response measures and procedures.

After we concluded our first epidemic response meeting, the Company initiated a number of response plans right away. With regards to supply and visitor access to our premises, we hired security personnel to take our visitors’ temperatures and have them fill out their self-evaluation form for their health before they are permitted to enter the Company. Visitors and employees with flu-related symptoms were also required to wear a facial mask at all times while inside our offices. In addition, we have also placed hand sanitizers and disinfectant sprays at multiple locations on-premise for quick sterilization when needed. In light of the potential shortage of supplies for disease prevention, we have also purchased an additional stock of rubbing alcohol and bleach in case of surging demand for disinfection and sterilization. At our employee cafeteria, employees are required to occupy seats to only face one direction at a table and be reminded to refrain from having conversating whilst eating. During lunch/dinner hours, windows at the cafeteria would also be open to improve ventilation.

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In retrospection of the developmental trends and history of COVID-19 in Taiwan, March 2020 had been the toughest month and instructed by the National Security Council under the Office of the President, Republic of China (Taiwan), Office of Homeland Security under Executive Yuan and a panel of experts, the Central Epidemics Command Center drafted and formulated “Preparedness and Contingency Planning in Response to COVID-19 Epidemic” jointly with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Preparedness and Contingency Planning in Response to COVID-19 Epidemic defined two specific phases for the pandemic: “Preparedness” (i.e. suspected cases of COVID-19 reported in neighboring countries without community transmission) and “Contingency Planning” (i.e. with ongoing, spreading epidemic). It also recommends that domestic enterprises carry out drills on the five major feasibility frameworks in accordance with the epidemic situation, risk assessment, countermeasures, response organization and network of emergency contact to implement their internal preparedness plans.

In consideration of the possibility of the epidemic escalating in the future, YOKE has initiated the second phase of its disease response plan to recognize “Contingency Planning” to be in effect and officially implemented actual drills and exercises for preparedness by separating the premise of the Company into five major zones, with access control enforced for seven different sections. For the drill, all employees were required to wear ID bearing the color that has been assigned for their corresponding section and no employees may come within two meters of another employee.  Not only that, we have also assigned a responsible supervisor to each section and established isolated routes to regulate the movement of employees in between the sections. We have set up punch-in/out spots, document exchange area and material exchange booth at each section, and specify the parking lots that employees may use and designated lunch area. All employees were to remain “quarantined” in their own sections during the drill.

Regarding employee attendance, the designated personnel at each section had to check the attendance sheet daily and take the temperature of all colleagues who came to the office while determining the number of absentees and whether they had applied for leave in advance. All visitors and supplier personnel wishing to enter the Company were asked to submit an application for entry three days in advance. Not only that, they were also required to complete an online questionnaire and a declaration to be in good health before the receiving department can submit their application for final approval by the general manager. This was to reduce the number of non-necessary visits at the Company.

Starting from March 26, 2020, YOKE launched its hands-on drill for split operation, involving all employees to adhere to corresponding measures that cover almost all aspects of potential interaction at the Company, starting from parking their vehicles in the parking lot, tapping their ID card to sign in, perform their work, eating their lunch, passing documents/miscellaneous objects around and even when they sign off and go home (for married couples both working at YOKE). This is to ensure that if the pandemic were to escalate, we will be prepared to go through all the procedures for each section of the office smoothly.

Many motivational coaches and celebrities have preached this wisdom: “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”The grim reality of COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately far surpassed our imagination. As of the March 27, 2021, among the world’s total population of 7.824 billion people, more than 126 million have caught the disease, which had already claimed the lives of 2.775 million people. Out of every 10,000 confirmed cases, COVID-19 has killed 3.5.

With the post-pandemic era looming, it has become even harder to make any kind of informed prediction about what will happen next across the globe. What matters more than predicting the future is to stay on top with the latest changes in spite of how volatile the situation may be so that we can stick to our response plan and adhere to our procedures. In retrospect, despite a sharp decline (23.16%) in our 2020 revenues and the slump that had hit the global market, YOKE has nevertheless decided to initiate the upgrade of its SAP ERP to cloud environment whilst reviewing its operational processes for potential improvement and carry out process optimization to boost the efficacy and result of its operational model. Not only that, we have also been analyzing the process of recovery for our products’ major sectors so that we can review and improve upon our inventory and warehousing operations. This will enable us to be ready to accommodate the additional market demands from recovering sectors ahead of time.

Incidentally, the issue of global warming brought about by climate changes has also been linked to the spread of the epidemic. According to renowned experts in the field of epidemiology, we will likely see more epidemics that will spread even faster in the future, given the current state and progression of global warming. In fact, research published in the August 2020 issue of Cell (one of the most prestigious journals on biotechnology in the world) exclaimed that “We have entered a new era of epidemiology!”In light of issues pertaining climate change, YOKE will adhere to its stance of “early response and advance preparation” by paying close attention to newly legislated/revisions of pertinent laws in Taiwan and abroad while keeping an eye on the international and domestic developmental trends in the sector and product market; We will not only ruminate on potential opportunities and directions for corporate and product transition but also ensure that YOKE can withstand the impacts to its operation while keeping its core operations running to demonstrate our tenacity as a committed enterprise.

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Safety is our first priority and
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39, 33rd Road, Taichung Industrial Park, Taichung 407, Taiwan

Einfo@mail.yoke.com 
T+886-4-2350-8088

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+886-4-2350-8088 

#39, 33rd Road,Taichung Industrial Park, Taichung 407, Taiwan