Coronavirus Crisis: Weathering the Storm with KILLINE

“I’m optimistic about the year ahead.”

Marc Lefebvre, CEO of KILLINE told me.


Unlike most businesses right now, his eyewear company is standing steady in the current crisis.


But why? And what can the rest of us learn from them?


Photo by Ali Pazani on Unsplash

Can’t See the Wood from the Trees


Many of us are firefighting right now, trying to keep our businesses afloat. Cash flow, supply chain, warehouse production and management challenges are keeping us very busy and certainly adding a few grey hairs!!


Assuming the immediate problems can be overcome, there will however hopefully come a time when things will start to return to normal. So, it will be a matter of ‘when’ things get back up and running, not ‘if’.


Some brands sadly may have no alternative but to keep costs down by laying off staff, limiting hiring activity or shutting down product development.


But….

The Risk of Retracting


The major downside of retracting is that if you make redundancies/lay-offs it can take months to get back up and running, and in the meantime, you’ll likely have lost valuable customers.


By the time you’re back up to speed it’s highly likely they’ll have moved on – and luring them back again will be significantly harder than attracting them in the first place.

KILLINE


KILLINE is a respected frame designer and manufacturer in the eyewear industry, with qualitative and innovative products designed in Europe (Portugal) and manufactured in Asia (China and Vietnam).


The Group’s OEM key functions are based in Macau, China, Vietnam and Portugal; offering a wide range of products focused on higher-end metal as well as handmade acetate optical frames.


Operating in over 80 countries throughout the World, the KILLINE Group’s customer base is comprised of large optical chains, retailers, international brands and wholesalers.

Secrets to Survival


As KILLINE CEO Marc Lefebvre admits:


“Managing a business can mean making difficult decisions in the short term, but maintaining a clear focus on long-term value creation will be worth it.”

Their coronavirus strategy includes:


  1. Frequent scenario planning, with constant review of what’s the best- and worst-case scenario for the next 3, 6 months and 12 months.

  2. Clear expectation management, with transparent and ongoing communication with customers globally about potential issues.

  3. Leveraging their manufacturing capabilities in Vietnam, outside China.

  4. Having a clear reactivation plan to get things back up and running again as soon as possible.


Their broader business strategy: