During a time of mass layoffs, Productos Metalúrgicos S.A. remains dedicated to its workforce. Known throughout Latin America as Promesa, the company is a leader in automotive and hardware products and relies on approximately 370 employees to keep business moving.

Even after its local government in Ecuador allowed businesses to cut employees’ hours amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Promesa held steadfast. But to continue working safely, operations needed to change dramatically.

To safeguard employees, Promesa halted all sales operations for 30 days in compliance with the government’s new pandemic restrictions. While this put a stop to customer visits and other sales functions, employees never stopped working. Instead, priorities shifted – teams began thinking strategically about how they could help the company succeed once operations resumed. Employees continued prepping orders to immediately supply customers at the end of the 30 days, and they proactively predicted the problems customers could face when the Latin American economy reopened.

Equipping a Newly Remote Workforce to Succeed

“At the outset of the pandemic, we looked at all of our potential business scenarios, including factors we simply can’t control. When it comes to COVID-19, a lot of things are out of our control,” says Miguel Sotomayor, technology manager at Promesa. “SAP solutions helped us define next steps to take during these dark and uncertain times.”

Sotomayor already relied on SAP S/4HANA to work remotely in Bolivia with just a VPN. As stay-at-home orders went into place, Promesa quickly and successfully extended that capability to the rest of the workforce. Then, the company used SAP SuccessFactors solutions to gain insight into how employees were working from home. The solutions provided vital feedback on employees’ health and well-being as well as their productivity and ability to successfully work remotely. Using the solutions, employees and managers can better communicate about important topics related to working during the pandemic.

To further support these employees, Promesa used SAP Concur solutions to send each employee a care package. By pairing SAP Concur with ride-share company Uber, Promesa enabled contactless care package delivery. Today, the company continues to use the solutions to facilitate payments across the business without exchanging physical cash.

Moving Operations Forward Through Uncertainty

“SAP solutions helped us remain an active part of the supply chain and economy throughout the pandemic,” Sotomayor says.

In fact, Promesa is seeing better outcomes than anticipated. As the pandemic began, Deloitte completed an analysis on Promesa’s business operations and placed the company’s predicted income for May at US$2 million. Promesa surpassed that expectation at $2.7 million and anticipates exceeding the rest of Deloitte’s predictions as well. By June, Promesa was operating at 40 percent capacity – that’s 10 percent higher than the predicted 30 percent estimate.

“The anticipated ‘new normal’ for our industry is operating at 40 percent of what it once was, but we expect to go far beyond that at 60 percent. In spite of the challenges, we’ve been given a chance to reimagine how we can work differently not only now, but also in the future. We had the time to rethink our portfolio and how we’re meeting the needs of our customers – and employees,” Sotomayor says.

Today, Promesa has retained each of its employees without cutting any of their benefits, salaries, or hours.

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