Embracing change

Branching out

03 September 2020 | Business

Linda Garises; Namchoice manager; “To protect the livelihoods of our employees, we had to explore alternative options ...”

The current turmoil experienced in the tourism and hospitality industries is also affecting the supply chain.

Namchoice, a company that produces and supplies bedding, linen, curtains and embroidered items to the hospitality sector, did not merely wait for the storm to blow over but rather opted to diversify its business offerings; the company started producing medical equipment such as hospital lines, scrubs, theatre gowns, theatre caps, masks, disposable protective overalls and shoe covers.

“To protect the livelihoods of our employees, we had to explore alternative options to ensure business continuity. We assessed our capabilities and resources, and similarly looked at the current needs of the Namibian people,” says Linda Garises, a manager at Namchoice.

“Being located in Swakopmund, we were acutely aware of the need for healthcare supplies as the coastal areas were initially the hardest hit by the pandemic. We found the idea to start producing medical garments and linen was not only viable, it would assist in meeting the growing demand for such supplies too. We also extended our offering to include disinfecting services in response to the emerging health and safety needs,” Garises continued.

According to Garises, the shift in focus has not compromised their service.

“We still deliver on our mission of customising products according to our clients’ specifications. In addition, we have tailored our products to meet the greater needs of our communities. We previously produced bedding for hospitals, so the shift to producing a greater variety of hospital linen and supplies was not drastic,” she said.

Precious Gowases, also a manager at Namchoice, adds that the prevailing tough times have highlighted the need for a dynamic way of thinking.

“Difficult times are times of new opportunities. We have learnt that in this ever-changing world, businesses should have strategies for continuous re-engineering. The strategies and trajectories of larger competitors can also be a source for learning for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).”

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