We are PEKANA
We are designing change – through new approaches to our work
Interview with CEO Dr. Marius Beyersdorff and Management Assistant Gabriele Brutscher on current working models and digital issues.
The current situation has presented companies with new challenges. Everyone is talking about flexibility and digitalization. What has PEKANA done to safeguard its workflows?
Dr. Marius Beyersdorff: We have reacted very quickly and all staff have shown great flexibility and commitment. Our previous experience with mobile working allowed us to rapidly implement the necessary changes, because individual employees have been working on a mobile basis or from home for several years. We were therefore able to quickly and easily expand this successfully tested working model.
You mentioned the technical requirements. What effects does this have on the organization and management of the company?
Dr. Marius Beyersdorff: Based on our experience, we knew that this would also impact our work processes, and also our management culture. My mother and I discussed the management processes in depth and adapted them accordingly. Managing from a distance requires, for example, that employees actively report and oversee the respective processes. The sense of personal responsibility of all staff plays a major role here. But as the Executive Board, we must also play our part. We are supporting and moderating this new way of working by making ourselves available for individual and team discussions, and granting the necessary freedoms
In view of the currently prescribed safe distances, how has day-to-day communication been affected at PEKANA?
Gabriele Brutscher: Currently, we mainly communicate by telephone, email and web conferencing. At first it all seemed rather easy – there is a huge range of available web-conferencing tools. However, it soon became clear that there are other factors to consider. Therefore, we have evaluated various options over recent months in search of the optimal solution for our company.
What hurdles did you encounter in your search for a suitable web-conferencing tool?
Gabriele Brutscher: Web-conferencing tools are often lacking in the areas of data protection and performance. For this reason, a self-hosting model was chosen. We now use a secure and user-friendly tool. We have also used this tool to set up our own training platform, which lets us offer highly customized quotations and stay in close contact with our pharmacists and therapists.
What further steps does PEKANA plan in the short and medium term in the area of digitalization?
Dr. Marius Beyersdorff: We‘ve had some very positive experiences this year with regard to online events. Moving forward, a mixture of face-to-face and online events will be standard practice for us. The model of mobile working will be pursued and expanded. This month we will start rolling out a cloud telephone system throughout the company. All in all, we need powerful IT infrastructure – the necessary expansion is already being planned as part of the PEKANA digitalization strategy. We are aware that new work and digitalization go hand in hand. Our digitalization strategy is therefore an important building block for our continued positive growth.
How will this technical progress affect the work of PEKANA staff in the future?
Gabriele Brutscher: Thanks to the cloud telephone system, for example, we will be able to integrate mobile workstations more easily and ensure even better accessibility for our customers and suppliers. When new technologies are introduced, we feel it is particularly important to provide in-depth training for all employees so they can participate fully in these developments. During changeovers, the system key users provide task-related and departmental support, i.e. our staff train their colleagues. This makes it possible to integrate new technologies quickly and easily into our daily work. We are thus moving step by step towards a more digital future.