Given the extraordinary and exceptional conditions we are experiencing, EFESME organized for the first time a public General Assembly to overcome the consequent impossibility of organizing events and meeting in person with its experts, its members, their associates, and guests.
The event allowed EFESME to present to its guests the activities carried out in recent months, ranging from the collaboration with SBS – Small Business Standards to the many projects developed with its members, without forgetting the rich technical activity carried out by EFESME experts in the numerous working groups followed to ensure a 360° support to SMEs.
The General Assembly opened with a short speech by President Bezzi, who stressed the extraordinary conditions in which the world finds itself at the moment, and the need, therefore, to organize such an event remotely. Nevertheless, the President also wanted to underline how opportunities can arise from this global crisis, and how EFESME wants to exploit them to give SMEs as many tools as possible to overcome the crisis and be more and more competitive.
The panel on the activities carried out with SBS was attended by Ms Maitane Olabarria Uzquiano, the new Director of SBS since January 2020. Ms Olabarria Uzquiano used her speech to introduce herself and SBS, stressing that cooperation and collaboration between the two organisations is essential to ensure that standards and standardisation activities are as SME-friendly as possible.
The Assembly then went on to discuss the technical activities carried out in standardisation, which were discussed and presented by the various EFESME experts involved in ISO, ETSI, CEN-CENELEC and Notified Bodies.
The conversation then moved on to the COVID-19 crisis, how the European lift industry reacted to the pandemic and lockdown, and what EFESME, as a European Federation, did to support its members and the SMEs it represents.
Having recognised the specific needs of the sector during the crisis, especially as regards how to behave outside a company, EFESME has developed sector guidelines to give clear and precise indications on how to behave when it is necessary to intervene at an installation for maintenance, repair and rescue of trapped people
>>> The guidelines are available for download here (in English)
The document was by the EFESME experts during several internal meeting and on the basis of input and comments submitted by the various EFESME members.
Moreover, the elaboration of the final version also saw the participation of ELA – European Lift Association, EFESME’s counterpart for large companies and multinationals in the sector, and counts on the support of SBS – Small Business Standards and SMEunited.
This showed how how crucial it is for SMEs to be able to rely both on information that is precise, simple and shared from the various players in the lift sector, and on the support of the European organisations created to support their needs and their work, aspects that were underlined during the panel, which also saw the participation of Mr Luca Pezzini, Secretary General of ELA.
Of course, also the individual members of EFESME have also taken action at national level to inform and support their members during the crisis, and have done so in very different and all extremely effective ways.
During the General Assembly, it was very important for the Federation as well as for its members and guests to see how different actors in the sector have taken action, together, to ensure that SMEs and the sector as a whole can have the tools to react to the crisis and return to work safely in as normal a situation as possible.
The Federation is particularly pleased with the activities carried out with and by its members in this field, as evidence of the continuous and deep commitment to provide SMEs with all the tools they need to thrive.
In addition to the activities closely related to COVID-19, EFESME and its members also presented all the other activities that have been carried out in recent months, outside the purely technical and standardisation activities followed by the experts with the support of SBS.
These activities were mainly focused on digitalisation, of great importance for the lift sector, and on the activities carried out at national level, where EFESME has been, is, and will be present to always support SMEs and the whole sector.
Among the many activities of the Federation, particular emphasis was placed on the creation of the EFESME Digital Working Group. Strongly supported by the President and members, the WG was created after the Board of Directors’ meeting of October 17, 2019 when, following a series of events dedicated to digitalisation and cybersecurity, the Federation decided to give a more stable structure to its studies on these important issues.
To date, the work of the WG has been mainly dedicated to coordinate the work of experts in ETSI and ISO, to gather inputs among members to develop the position of the Federation, and to discuss with other stakeholders the most important aspects of digitalisation in the lift industry.
EFESME members also had the opportunity to present the activities organised and carried out at national level in recent months, as well as those they are planning in the near future. Unfortunately the COVID-19 emergency disrupted the plans of many associations, and cancelled or postponed many commitments in which EFESME intended to participate. Nevertheless, the Federation and its members have already taken steps to organize and attend the next events, taking due account of health precautions.
The event has turned out to be a winning bet for the Federation, and organizing online meetings, in parallel with those usually organized in person in Brussels or at the invitation of their members, will become in the coming months another useful tool to spread the news, the latest news and activities of the Federation. By acting in this way, EFESME hopes to be ever closer to its members and their associates, providing SMEs with an additional means to be always in touch with the European reality and the decisions that are taken in Brussels.