Jul 31, 2020
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Less panic, more optimism. How did you work during the pandemic?

Not all business stopped during quarantine. The Tyumen plant of medical equipment and instruments (JSC "TZMOI"), like many enterprises, worked and even expanded its staff. How does it feel to hire new employees and launch new machines in such an environment?

In emergency situations, a person and the result of his work are best seen. How he coped with the work during the pandemic, the plant he runs and he is at his post, tells General Director of the Tyumen Plant of Medical Equipment and Instruments Alexander Prosviryakov,

Both on holidays and on weekends

- Alexander Vladimirovich, everything in life happens for the first time, and such a misfortune as a pandemic of a new dangerous virus, too. How does the director of a plant for the production of vital products assess the time experienced?

- Of course, it is not easy - COVID-19 set the heat for all of us. And in these conditions, two points were especially important for me: ensuring the smooth operation of the enterprise and the mood of the team.

Our plant is a leader in domestic production in the production of steam and low-temperature sterilizers, washer-disinfectors and machines for washing and storing endoscopes, as well as installations for disinfection and disposal of medical waste. In a pandemic, when mountains of infected gloves and masks appeared, these machines became especially needed.

Work intensified when field hospitals began to be deployed, additional equipment was also required during the reorganization and modernization of inpatient medical and preventive institutions. The demand rose sharply, and we had to seriously strain - the technological process cannot be accelerated, and the loss of quality is unacceptable for us. We value our prestige and product safety. Therefore, people went to work on weekends and holidays, asked employees to stay after work. Our staff grew by 10% during the restriction regime.

- How much has the volume of production increased over the two most difficult months of quarantine?

- The production of medical equipment has grown 2.5 times. Due to the fact that at this time norms for quick purchases began to operate, it was necessary to mobilize. Our commercial service made intermittent requests for finished products, and these are additional difficulties: it was required to switch from one technical process to another, to redraw the technological chains. Thank God we did it. It was necessary to optimize processes, forces, and capabilities.

To be honest, in any case, we always look forward, we plan various research works, development and commissioning of new equipment or modernization of existing ones. We follow the market, based on the need, the increase in personnel is going on, the purchase of machines.

We are running an import substitution program. It just coincided that our plans to deepen localization coincided with the peak of work in a pandemic - this also allowed us to level the process a little, especially when there were risks that the supply of some components could fail. Of course, assistance was provided by the government, the Ministry of Industry and Trade offered its programs, and Technopolis - through cooperative ties.

Human customization

- You said that people stayed late after a working day, worked on weekends and on holidays. How did they take such a load?

- At first, when there was still no certainty, they had questions - what and how. I had to manually control the process a little so that some did not panic, and others did not take the epidemiological requirements too lightly. But our team is well-coordinated, hardworking, friendly, so it was not so difficult to set up and motivate people. Moreover, we are all already focused on the final result, we have no division into mine and yours, starting from me and ending with our master of purity - we all invest in the final quality.

I told people that our products are very important for doctors and patients - and who if not us? He explained that we had to have time to give everything to the mountain and in the required volumes, that if we didn't actually help ourselves now, then it might be too late. At the same time, we tried to secure the employees to the maximum - someone was transferred to remote control, others we issued passes for cars, introduced a surcharge for fuel. They grouped people so that they could get to the plant together by private transport, bought masks, gloves, disinfectants, monitored the health of employees twice a day, including measuring the temperature.

- Did you have any problems with the means of protection?

- At Technopolis we had a collective mutual assistance, the human factor played a big role - the enterprises tried to coexist in a human way, the directors helped each other as much as they could. For example, you didn't have to go far to find masks - one of the enterprises started producing them here.

Don't panic

- What were your most difficult internal moments?

- Our team is not very large, everyone can see my mood, state, and for me the most important thing was not to succumb to some kind of panic. In general, I am an optimist in life and I hope that I will remain so. The most difficult thing for me would be if I got sick - in such cases, psychosomatics can work. The director hypothetically, of course, can work remotely, but I understood that I had to be at work every day, motivate people and say that everything is in order, that we are doing an important job. But it’s not easy when you see that the restrictions are added every day.

- And in the family no one was afraid that you go to production?

- My wife is my comrade-in-arms, she also worked for the entire period of the epidemic. They could not see the children and granddaughter - it did not make me happy.

- Has something inside you changed during the days of the pandemic, maybe something new in your character has opened?

- I believe that all the trials that fall to our lot should temper or change us. A person should take it stoically and trust in God, because faith sustains people. This situation gave me a new experience, a new understanding. Now, if there is something similar, I will understand how to act, what to do, what to pay attention to first of all. And this experience can be transposed to other areas and other situations.

And without hypocrisy

- What advice could you give to those who find themselves in a viral blockade for the first time?

- First of all, I would suggest not to panic, not to believe rumors, but to believe a little more official information. For example, I was guided by the instructions and recommendations of the Ministry of Health and Rospotrebnadzor - it helped us to keep the staff and ensure consistency in production.

- Were there any turning points?

- I, perhaps, had the most difficult situation in May, when it seemed that I was completely tired - endless events, meetings, consultations with colleagues, thoughts swarming like clouds in my head. I was beginning to get tired of this. But then, after the announcement of a gradual exit from the general isolation regime, there was a feeling that everything would be fine, and it became more fun. Not physically tired, but the constant moral pressure drained away.

- Did you remain yourself, working in such conditions?

- Yes. In principle, I do not practice changing masks, I am always the same, the way I am.

I'm quite demanding to myself and to people too, to my family as well. This is my flaw, I guess. But that helped me.

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