Gemmological laboratories have managed to continue offering limited albeit vital services to the jewellery industry against the backdrop of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Gübelin Gem Lab said all its laboratories in Hong Kong, Lucerne and New York are operating at a slightly reduced level while its network of shuttles in 18 destinations worldwide, plus a new take-in window in Shanghai remain functional.
According to Daniel Nyfeler, managing director of Gübelin Gem Lab, the company has also put in place social distancing measures in labs as well as a home-office policy.
“This situation enables us to tackle topics that we did not have time for previously. We are working on a couple of fascinating projects, which will result in new services, tools and research insights, all helping us to better serve our clients and the final customer, once the virus releases its grip,” noted Nyfeler.
The lab is also producing educational videos covering a broad range of gemmological and industry topics, which will be posted on Facebook and Youtube. It is also planning to do a market research survey among clients to better improve the lab’s services, added Nyfeler.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA), for its part, implemented a business continuity plan to maintain key functions at its branches, according to Susan Jacques, president and CEO of GIA.
The company has reduced the number of onsite employees at all GIA locations while those who can perform their jobs remotely have been directed to work from home. GIA also devised alternate schedules and staff rotations. These measures are in place until April 17.
On-campus classes and student workroom use in Carlsbad, New York, Bangkok, London, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Surat and New Delhi have meanwhile been suspended but GIA is prepared to offer students options to continue their education, including leaves of absence and distance learning programmes.
“At our laboratories around the world, we are working to expand the pick-up and drop-off services at many lab locations,” Jacques revealed. “These critical precautionary measures have been taken to limit the potential spread of the virus and we are prepared to respond rapidly as conditions evolve.”
HRD Antwerp CEO Ellen Joncheere meanwhile announced that HRD Antwerp laboratories in Antwerp, Istanbul and Mumbai will remain functional. “Our labs will be 50 per cent operational in accordance with the rules and regulations laid down by the World Health Organisation and local health authorities. All educational courses globally will be suspended till further notice,” she noted.