Shortly before the quarantine and the crisis, we joked that everyone needed translations and transportation. But on March 15, our cars, minibuses and buses stopped working. All events were interpretation was needed got cancelled. Quarantine broke out. We lost more than 70% of the volume of work in transport and about 20% in translations. So, the owners and top management had to make difficult decisions fast. Relocation, dismissal, dumping, dark times - what could employees expect?
FORCE Group combines two areas of business: Task Force Translation Agency and Drive Force Transfer Company, which are united by owners, a single back-office and a desire to provide customers with a high level of service according to international best practices. Before the crisis, our assets were a large office in Kyiv on Shulyavka, 30+ office workers, more than 600 freelancers in both business areas, our transport.
We felt the impact of quarantine even before its official start in Ukraine. Avalanche cancellations have started in Drive Force, whose activities are directly related to flights and events of various scales (transfers: transportation of people at the customer's request from point A to point B by business-class transport). We usually perform individual and group transfers to and from airports, railway stations, organize transport logistics of business events for Ukrainian and international companies.
Written translations were not affected, but government agencies stopped accepting documents or changed the work schedule, so we currently provide services of apostille, legalization, and notarization with some restrictions. Interpretation froze.
Adaptation to new conditions
The market and the conditions in which we all found ourselves needed:
- quick organization of remote office work;
- implementation of necessary security measures during the provision of services;
- revision of budgets to reduce costs;
- reorientation of services.
Since May, we have been working without an office, which helps to save resources significantly - hello home offices, there must be something good in quarantine. We save furniture and other office utensils until better times. It was also necessary not only to reorient the provision of services to the needs of the new reality but also to carry out personnel transformations. The latter, of course, could not help but leave an imprint on the mood in the team and increase uncertainty, although the team accepted all the forced changes with understanding. No one was left out - everyone was ready to make every effort for business needs.
Regarding the provision of services, we have reformatted the transfer company and currently provide transportation services for those companies that cannot operate completely remotely. Ventilation, antiseptics in salons and strict control over the health of drivers are our new realities. We have developed an anti-crisis offer for customers for our cars, minibuses and buses.
We have diversified our portfolio of services in translations, and now we provide remote interpretation and simultaneous translation services online. We offer solutions to ensure true synchrony when everyone is talking at the same time, and we have already tested quality software tools for this!
The percentage of complicated copywriting services for companies has also increased - we write interviews, news, texts for websites because we have a very cool team, which is good not only in translations.
So, in quarantine, we realized that stability is an illusion. And that our services are still in demand and needed, we just need to follow the trends and offer the market what is on time. We are confident that we will emerge from quarantine more focused, purposeful and with a reaffirmed understanding that the key to success is not only in a good office but also in the team, wherever it is. Now we can confidently and jokingly say that translations and transportation are needed - for those companies for which quality translation and transportation are the basis for the efficient operation and survival of their businesses.