Local December 8, 2021 | 3:08 pm

Companies prepare for the changes to come

Industrialists warn that the possibility of new outbreaks with more aggressive COVID-19 strains may return some regions to points similar to what was the hardest part of the pandemic.

Santo Domingo, DR

Not only the rise in freight rates, the delay of containers, the increase in the prices of raw materials, and the search for other markets have caused new costs incurred by Dominican companies.

The president of the Dominican Federation of Traders (FDC), Iván García, adds to the costs added to the businesses the labor costs since when a collaborator leaves positive to Covid-19, someone must cover his workplace.

In addition, he adds that when an employee is positive with the coronavirus and works in an area where he could easily infect others, all the staff is sent home, which causes people to be hired temporarily because these industries do not work with teleworking.

Another reality that worries traders is the rising cost of transportation, which has increased since November for products and raw materials imported from Spain, Italy, and other European countries.

Covid prevention
The president of the AIRD, Celso Juan Marranzini, agrees with the traders’ representative that the companies have assumed labor costs to prevent the spread of the pandemic. For example, the industrialists adopted security protocols in the companies, representing an increase in the expenses.

To ensure safe and sanitary conditions, companies have also reorganized work environments, common spaces (canteens and cafeterias), and sanitary facilities, together with the increased use of hygienic and cleaning products to ensure a sanitized environment.

“There is evidence of an expansion of work and technological equipment that allows for a hybrid model of teleworking and face-to-face work,” says Marranzini.

Automating processes
Economist Jonathan D’ Oleo also comments that companies have taken laboratory tests, infection licenses with Covid, and training in new telecommuting technologies.

In addition, D’ Oleo adds that the deficit of physical labor, not intellectual, has been part of the causes of the supply chain problems because “as we know, those who work remotely are, for the most part, knowledge workers, not laborers.”

The economist stated that companies’ work and production model had been transformed because repetitive jobs have been automated at a faster pace, production per unit of input has increased, and the capacity for innovation is getting stronger every day.

“The latter is because as companies automate their processes, they free up more resources for the performance of creative tasks, which are the ones that generate knowledge and improve, in the medium and long term, business performance and profitability,” argued D’ Oleo.

For him, the companies that will lead in the pandemic and post-pandemic economy will be those whose production models are automated.

What’s coming from 2022 onwards
– Starting next year, Dominican companies will have to start adapting to a new era in which we start talking about metaverse, blockchain, robotics, and artificial intelligence, leaving behind obsolete solutions.

– 2022 will be starring technologies such as cloud platforms and digitized analytics and database, but the global maritime sector only expects to face the challenges that started in 2020 and increased in 2021.

The grounding of the Ever Given ship in the Suez Canal in March 2021 paralyzed shipping and cost global trade US$10,000 MM per day.

The shipping sector expects new containers to be delivered by the end of 2021, increasing available shipping capacity by 25%.

Freight cost
Following the coronavirus pandemic, freight rates increased from US$3,000 to US$15,000, affecting world maritime trade.

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