Author: Jörg Roeder

Globally, there is currently no larger topic than the pandemic triggered by the coronavirus “Sars-Cov2”. The virus has slowed down societies and economic growth worldwide and partially brought our customers in the hospitality industry to a complete standstill. Blefa is ready to accommodate both those customers who have had to postpone orders and those that need flexibility on their keg needs.

At the very beginning of the pandemic, Blefa contacted our customers to discuss the impact of the coronavirus on their business. In many cases, customers with existing orders needed to be postponed rather than cancelling as they are confident that the industries will bounce back in time.

In order to maintain production during this uncertain time, we quickly implemented the state-required hygiene regulations to protect our employees and to maintain our ability to work efficiently. When at all possible, joint video calls created opportunities to maintain department synergies. When not possible, in-person meetings are done with a distancing standard and PPE.

Our qualified staff operating equipment that isn’t fully automated are supervised to ensure execution of mandated hygiene standards for personal safety.

This is the quality inspection area and spear assembly. Both workplaces are located next to each other and here you will see that safety measures of a hanging partition are in place between the two workplaces. In addition, all employees wear mouth and nose protection during their working hours.

Quality inspection area

We asked our new technical manager, Sascha Altegoer, how the colleagues had taken these measures:

In general, the employees’ acceptance of the precautionary measures taken is very good. Everyone is aware that a hygiene regulation and all associated measures such as the distance rule and mask requirement impairs the daily routine, but the employees understand that it is imperative to protect themselves, their colleagues and families. Since “home office” is not an option in a manufacturing company, it is all the more important that it is well prepared, optimally protected and adequately informed to cope with everyday life. We see that our measures are taking effect and fortunately we do not yet have any COVID-19 disease in our company and this ensures that our orders are processed in an orderly and timely manner.

Sascha Altegoer, Technical Manager

In the administrative areas within Blefa, offices with 2 employees have been closed indefinitely. Those who share an office and can work from home is the preferred safety measure. This has been a successful way to mitigate risk for more than two months. BLEFA is always available for customers and suppliers through meetings held either over video conference or in person when absolutely necessary.

The focus of our sales activities is to coordinate existing orders and offer help where needed. The primary aim is to develop ideas and concepts in collaboration with customers about what the new normal can look like. Sebastian Rath, head of sales: “The protection of our employees is our top priority in all areas, including the entire sales department. Since the sales department was technically well equipped even before Corona, we were able to implement measures such as increased work from the home office quickly and efficiently. We also work closely with our customers on our post-corona strategy every day in order to emerge from this crisis stronger.

Sebastian Rath, Head of Sales

Justin Willenbrink, our North-American Sales Director, says: “During uncertain times, open communication and flexibility is key to maintaining customer partnerships. Until our world can return to some semblance of normalcy, we must react to the needs of our customers quickly to provide solutions to their eventual return to draft, whether it be sales or service based.

Justin Willenbrink, North-American Sales Director

BLEFA will continue to be a reliable partner for its customers in the future, says Alexander Brand, President and CEO of Blefa Beverage Systems: “The measures taken ensure the future viability of BLEFA as a supplier of stainless steel kegs made in Germany. Blefa is based on our ambition: the best keg, worth the money and on time. Our willingness to be flexible on existing orders in any situation helps our customers during uncertain times. Working together with our customers through this situation shows the true definition of partnership. Our approach has taken all our customer’s needs into account and qualifies Blefa as a reliable supplier and responsible employer. We look forward to further cooperation and a fresh, cool draft beer in the near future!

Alexander Brand, President and CEO