Dr. Olaniyi Opanuga, President and Chairman of Council, Nigeran Institute of Production Management (NIPM) has disclosed plans to provide high-quality free Online Training Courses for the members of the Institute during COVID-19 pandemic period to help them improve performance for enhanced operational resilience of industrial organisations and to support MADE IN NIGERIA and manufacturers in the country.


“It can never be business as usual. It’s time for change management and operational transformation.
But the good news is that most manufacturers are fast adjusting to the ” new normal “.


“They did not (and are not responding to the coronavirus pandemic wave of shocks) the same way. Some are more affected than the others while some (though few) even benefited from the lockdown in some ways.”


“In many organisations the challenges revolve around finance- accounts receivables, mounting bank interests and other charges at the ports and in warehouses etc., cash flow and treasury management issues, sales and distribution problems (as demand slowed down with customer order fulfillment and shipments delayed, transportation operations got restricted), inventory piled up , importation (with the challenge of raw materials shortages due to delayed shipping and clearing) of raw materials and allied goods, disrupted logistics and attendant unused installed productive capacity or low capacity utilization.”


Opanuga stated that Production, Supply Chain and Operations Managers are leading change and in some organisations ,due to their structures, it is the Human Resources Managers (some HR Managers are senior executives) that are leading change with new organisational design, new policies, and procedures.


“They need to step up communication and increase the pace of work and production throughput as market demand is gradually rising,”Opanuga remarked.


He said virtual working and learning have helped to resolve a number of critical issues and working from home seemed to have receded compared to what we had at the onset of the outbreak.


“At least, the pandemic has once again drawn management attention to the issue of health and safety standards ”


“Cleanliness of industrial premises, special shift arrangements, the practice of social distancing in the manufacturing plants culminating in spacing out of work, determining what constitutes crowding and safe distances to be maintained in industrial settings including factories, warehouses, laboratories engineering workshops or project sites, constant hand washing and the compulsory use of nose masks and the observance of other guidelines on meetings, canteen sitting arrangement and serving of meals, etc.”


“Government has reopened schools and the initial measures against public gatherings and places of worship have been relaxed,” he said.


Staff training programmes, both open and in-house can take place (because we have more information on how the disease can be prevented or controlled now than before) based on protocols or guidelines especially now that organisations need to increase knowledge, skills, and morale to jumpstart productivity and raise performance level across the organisation, Dr. Opanuga assured.


He remarked that while top management response patterns may differ organisations need to increase knowledge at a time like this when resources should be optimized and business processes re-engineered.


“In some organisations systemic changes may be required. Operations policy and strategy may need rejigging and upskilling of employees will be required”


“We are already discussing the need to learn from the lockdown and the attendant disruption of supply chains and general operations for the purpose of avoiding past mistakes, reducing risks, building operational security and resilience and facing the future with confidence” Opanuga affirms.

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