Interview with Cristina de Santisteban, Boss Continental

Interviews with clients and friends of Baud

Friend: Boss Continental.
Interviewee: Cristina de Santisteban, Director.
Interviewer: Clara López, member of the Baud team.
Date of the interview: May 19, 2020.

Image: Cristina de Santisteban, Director of Boss Continental.

We continue with the Interviews with Baud Clients and Friends, in which we try to help give a voice to those who tell us the most interesting and current things. Today we interview Cristina de Santisteban, Director of Boss Continental, leading logistics company.

Cristina lives her personal and professional life as one. Tenacious, intrapreneur, and marked by her 5-year stay in China, Cristina drives change in her company, constantly transforming the impossible into the possible. Chameleonic, fighter and positive, she is capable of adapting and overcoming any situation that comes her way.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, Cristina was involved together with David, another of our interviewed, En a project to provide respirators to Spanish hospitals. And it is not the only project that he is going to tell us about.

Interviewer: How do you see the current situation regarding the coronavirus?

Cristina: We are living a very serious and very sad situation, although I try to keep the positive side. What we are experiencing right now is a challenge and at the same time an opportunity for all, a situation that has forced us to improve both at the company level and at the personal level.

I want to think that if life denies you a path, sometimes it may be the best way to follow a more successful one.

I: How have you transformed into Boss Continental to deal with this situation?

C: In my company it was difficult to implement new changes and this is forcing us to do so. We have been preparing for two years to digitize the company and have everything work from the cloud, but it was costing us because when people do not see that it is a necessary change, they take more time to adapt. Now, however, it is being a much faster and smoother process.

Teleworking was the acid test. I had always wanted to implement it, but could not quite achieve it. With the coronavirus, from one day to the next we had to make the decision that our entire company would work from home and it was this process of digitizing the company that we already had underway, which allowed us to be working perfectly in a couple of days.

Now there is only one person on duty in the office every day, in shifts and only in the morning, especially for issues of collecting essential documentation in a company like ours.

We are connected all the time in tools like Teams. All the members that make up Boss Continental are accessible all the time, I feel that there is a lot of unity between the team and a very great commitment of all the people in this company that is being key so that we can function normally. I have also realized that there are people who are working much more and much better in this situation.

"Teleworking is allowing us to function perfectly as a company, and it is also allowing our workers to have more time for themselves."

Teleworking is allowing us to function perfectly as a company, and it is also allowing our workers to have more time for themselves outside of the workday. There are people who are saving three hours a day from home to work and this is also very important.

I: To what extent have the values ​​of Boss Continental influenced your approach to transformation in this way?

C: Very much, one of our values ​​is to focus on solutions and that is what we did, we did not stand still, but we took charge of the situation from the beginning to provide effective solutions.

Another of our values ​​is shared knowledge, which is materialized in the documentation and accessibility of knowledge, something very useful, for example, for new incorporations. This has allowed us to work very well remotely, because each person always has the information they need at their disposal.

"Companies not only have to be there when things go well, we also have to be there when things go bad."

E: We have seen many brands that in this time have turned their words and efforts into helping society overcome this crisis. How do you value these initiatives?

C: They are always appreciated. We are all going to lose something, we feel fear, doubts, uncertainty about what is to come, so it is time to give. Companies not only have to be there when things are going well, we also have a responsibility to society, we have to be there when things are going badly and this is possible thanks to the fact that each one contributes their bit to get out of the situation as soon as possible. that we are living.

“There are many people who have dedicated many hours for free. They impress me a lot, they should be an example for everyone.

I: How have you transformed yourself? Tell us more about initiatives you are carrying out.

C: One of the initiatives that we have carried out is the project to provide respirators to hospitals together with David Carrero and others involved. It is true that now it is more stopped because luckily they are no longer needed as much, although we are pending and prepared because you never know when they may be needed again. I remember being on the phone all day, even at night, in case there was a respirator available to pick up in any country and transport it quickly to Spain. It was very hard, but rewarding, you gave up whatever you were doing to help and that's something very nice.

We have also made transports for free and some others at cost for our clients who have been donating medical supplies.

And we have done a lot of free consulting to both companies and individuals in helping, especially in topics in which we are experts and we provide more value such as the processing of customs clearance. There were many people and companies who wanted to help and bring medical supplies, but they did not know how to do it, they were lost, so we have been informing many companies about how to transport medical supplies, how to get through customs, how to request permits ...

It has been a tough time, but it is already normalizing and from Boss Continental we hope to have contributed our grain of sand to this growing normalization.


Image: Cristina developing one of her initiatives.

E: Tell us about other initiatives that positively surprise you

C: In Extremadura there are many traditional seamstresses (although sewing has been stopped in Spain for some time to take production to China) and I was very surprised by an initiative organized by my colleague opens it, Jaime Ruiz, with these women to sew gowns and masks and donate them to hospitals, once again claiming the value of Spanish sewing.

A similar initiative was carried out by my friend Beatriz Abad, this time in Guadalajara. Every day I was taking fabrics to housewives and collecting the masks that they sewed with them on a voluntary basis to donate.

There are many people who have dedicated many hours to this type of initiative and also for free. I am very impressed by these actions, they should be an example for everyone and, most importantly, a beginning to give jobs here in Spain and not take them to other countries, even if the profit margin is reduced, especially now that is when it is most needs to.

"We are going to be more prepared to face any situation that may come, in a much more organized way."

I: How do you think post-coronavirus life will be? How are things going to change?

C: I imagine a much more interconnected world on a social level, thanks to digitization. These days I have connected with my regular friends in Madrid, but also online with those in Shanghai with whom I no longer used to meet. I like to think that this new way of socializing is here to stay, to continue being close to people, even if you are physically far away.

I imagine that we will be more careful, although I hope that fear does not prevail in this regard.

I also like that we are going to be more prepared for everything, to face changes and any situation that may come, in a much more organized way.

Images provided by Boss Continental.