Agreement will create faster access to Avigan in global fight against COVID-19 

TOKYO – July 1, 2020Global Response Aid and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories have signed a deal with FujiFilm for global production and distribution of Avigan, an anti-viral drug being tested in several countries as a potential treatment for COVID-19.

Avigan, an influenza anti-viral developed by FujiFilm, comes in pill and IV form and is currently being tested in Japan and elsewhere as a therapeutic to reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms and speed the recovery of patients under treatment for the virus. Under terms of the agreement,  FujiFilm will collaborate with Global Response Aid (GRA) and Dr. Reddy’s  to manufacture Avigan and distribute, sell and market it around the world. The agreement will increase  production volumes and help reach patients faster amid the current pandemic.

The partnership will eventually cover manufacturing and distribution for markets that are home to 6 billion of the world’s 7.8 billion people. FujiFilm will continue to market Avigan exclusively in Japan, Russia and China. Dr. Reddy’s and GRA will distribute, sell and market Avigan in all other countries globally.

The agreement calls for GRA and Dr. Reddy’s to manage sales, marketing, regulatory compliance and distribution of Avigan. As an affiliate of Agility, GRA will use the logistics company’s global network. Agility has more than 30 GDP-certified facilities worldwide and is able to provide a full range of logistics services: storage, distribution and transportation to include air freight, ocean freight and road freight.

Dr. Reddy’s will manufacture the Active Ingredient and Formulation of Avigan, utilizing its multiple manufacturing facilities in strategic locations. Agility, a leading global logistics company that established GRA, will provide logistics and distribution services.

“If current testing is able to establish Avigan as a safe, effective treatment for COVID-19, we can’t afford to wait before making it available to as many people around the world as possible,” said Tarek Sultan, CEO of Agility. “We need to be producing a high volume of treatment courses and have a distribution network and plan in place so make Avigan available to as many frontline health providers as possible. GRA’s partnership with Dr. Reddy’s and FujiFilm gives us that capability.”

KUWAIT, 29 June 2020 – Agility, a leading global logistics provider, held today its Annual Ordinary General Assembly Meeting, with a quorum of  66.17%.

The meeting was held by teleconference because of current physical distancing measures put in place by the Kuwait government to combat the COVID-19 crisis. Shareholders approved all the items on the agenda, including Agility’s audited financial results, and endorsed the Board of Directors’ recommendation for a cash dividend of 5% (5 fils for every share) and a bonus share distribution of 15% (15 shares for every 100 shares).

Dividend distribution will apply to the shareholders registered in the company’s records at the end of the settlement date on 26 July 2020, and payments will be distributed on 28 July 2020, provided that the company is able to finalize related processes in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Cash dividend distributions will be transferred electronically to the shareholders bank accounts that have registered with Maqasa. Shareholders are kindly requested to check with Maqasa to update their records.

Agility had announced a  net profit of KD 86.8 million, or 52.14 fils per share for the year 2019, an increase of 7% from 2018. Revenue for the year reached KD 1,578.6 million, and EBITDA was KD 193.1 million, increases of 1.8% and 24.7%, respectively.

 

“Our 2019 performance was strong, but as everyone knows, this year has been tough. Our first priority is ensure the safety of our employees, customers and other stakeholders. Operationally, we are taking all prudent measures to keep business running and maintain financial flexibility. We are confident that we will emerge from this crisis stronger than ever, especially with your support,” said Agility Vice Chairman and CEO Tarek Sultan.

You’re a technologist and a CDO. What lessons have emerged from this crisis as far as digital transformation, technology adoption and the future?

To state the obvious, there is clearly an acceptance of a new normal. That new normal is about replacing inefficient work practices that we’re only starting to realize were inefficient — commuting to a workplace for an hour or hour and a half, then having people interrupt your workflow for an hour or more just seems so inefficient. I’ve found myself more productive while working longer hours. I’m calm, I’m not running around, but I do have more time to get things done.

My question is will we be able to take the “best of,” or will we be going back to work the old way. I find it hard to believe I’d spend 18 to 20 hours to get somewhere to have three days of all-day meetings, having a 50% productivity loss over what I have today.

Instead of making some of our online work sessions simply replicate the day-long meetings – stretching from 9:30 to 5:30 in some lucky person’s time zone – we’re doing them in three-hour maximum sessions over multiple days. We find that a meeting we could have conducted in four days in one centralized location we can do in seven days – without flight time – in short sessions of three hours each with a lot more concentration. Shorter work sessions stretched over a longer time. We’re able to keep a project going with development, deployment and legacy system maintenance, all in parallel. As opposed to having to do things sequentially when we met face to face.

I think the mood is better. The productivity is higher, the collaboration is greater. Of course, as will all things we take the good with the bad, and my team members tell me that they miss the social interaction. This substitution of workplace social contact with other social contact may not be a bad thing. It both expands a person’s network and draws a firmer line between work and personal spaces.

I’ve spoken to people over Zoom that I have not connected with in the workplace in years. It’s simple,  and you get face-to-face contact, and you’re done. I’m finding a move away from physical to digital. Sharing files, all that stuff, is a lot easier.

What has surprised you?

What has surprised me on the upside is the speed with which people adapted. I didn’t expect it. What surprises me on the downside is the trivial issues we didn’t think of that represent enterprise-level risks. We now have every employee’s home network as a risk because we don’t have an easy way to secure it. So we have had to boost our centralized security defenses. Data backups. How can you backup somebody’s home-based computer over a home-based wifi network automatically without adding a layer of administration? We haven’t had experience of these things at scale, and we’ve had to learn as we’ve gone.

Companies with employees who’ve had to do bandwidth upgrades on their home wifi to do Zoom calls. Who pays for that? Who manages that? How do you account for the fact that people will use the bandwidth to watch Netflix in the evening? Maybe that’s OK. In the past, companies used to pay for company cars and provide company car allowances.

I wouldn’t want to be a commercial real estate owner – an owner of office space right now. I think a lot of companies are thinking through what value it adds to bring everyone to a centralized place every day in high rent areas and then disperse them again at the end of the day. Work as a social construct may be ending.

Has the crisis separated digital laggards from digital leaders in your view?

Yes, but not in pure technology, per se. The time duration (of the COVID crisis) has been too short, so far. It’s the manner in which they’ve built a commercial response around technology. We’ve had vendors say to us that as a result of your having to work from home, we’ll temporarily remove the limits we’ve imposed on some of our technology – for instance, with VPN access and off-site license access. They’ve allowed us to “burst” capacity ahead. Others have taken advantage of it and said, this is a great opportunity for us to make money so we’ll exploit it. Guess where our preferences will be when we come out of all this? The leaders and the people who could afford to be generous towards customers are going to win.

What about the future of work? Workforce tracking, wearables, physical distancing, temperature checks?

I talked to a company this morning with warehouse-wearable tech they’re going to use so that it sounds alarms when social distancing limits are broken. I’ve been surprised by how fast people have responded. Contact-tracing apps are a missed opportunity. We didn’t adopt them when we should have. Apple and Google can tell us when traffic is up 16% or whatever in Los Angeles. They can help local authorities. But I don’t think it’s enough – it’s a hugely missed opportunity – largely because of the privacy aspects. I don’t see why every iPhone or Android device that I come into proximity with can’t be used to trigger a text that tells me somebody in my vicinity has come down with COVID in the last two weeks and tells me I should get checked. There are privacy concerns, but why not have it opt-in, then you can turn it off when COVID is over.

Australia, Hong Kong have done some good work with all this. Some of that is analog – masks are key, testing is key. This is basic science, not politics or items of faith. What is so wrong with relying on science and data? We even design our road and bridge infrastructure using data science on traffic flows. I get the privacy aspect but safeguards can be designed. ​

What about changes in consumer patterns and behaviors?

Online shopping has exploded, as if there was any additional momentum needed. I was impressed with the way Amazon quickly used data science to flag businesses that qualified for PPE. Amazon started to go thru biz users to say, you can’t buy masks because you’re not qualified, or you can because you are qualified. Companies in the medical industry were flagged. That’s using data science.

We’re using data science and classifications to choose who to channel supply chain product to. That has not been done before.

What about B2B and supply chain?

We’ve found that the customers that have a high degree of digital supply chain already built in were able to flex a lot better and more quickly with us. This is the new digital divide that separates winners and losers. Large, sophisticated apparel companies and technology hardware makers shifted to air freight and changed their ordering processes quickly, as an example. You’d expect little guys to be more nimble. But what’s happened is that the bigger players that already established a strong digital footprint were able to use it to put more distance between themselves and the competition. It’s created a catchup situation for companies that weren’t highly digitally capable.

New building boasts energy efficiency and sustainability features

BARCELONA, Spain – June 18, 2020 Agility Spain has moved into a state-of-the-art, 11,000-square-meter warehouse and office facility at ZAL Port (Prat) in the Port of Barcelona.

The facility was built by CILSA, the company that manages Port of Barcelona’s Logistics Zone, and is part of more than 270,000 square meters of projects under development by CILSA.

The new Agility Spain warehouse is equipped with state-of-the-art technology for logistics. Construction followed the strictest criteria for energy efficiency and sustainability with a goal of receiving LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The office block has been adapted to allow full access for the disabled.

Features of the warehouse include free height of 11 meters in the storage area and a deck roof built on site. The plot is equipped with 56 private parking spaces distributed in two areas and 25 loading gates with automatic sectional doors and external shelters.

This new building addresses the current needs and planned growth of Agility Spain, which offers a complete range of logistics, multimodal transport and distribution services for industrial, service and retail companies operating in the country. The company operates 25,000 square meters of space in Spain for storage and distribution with flexible designs that improve the level of service and reduce costs for customers.

“Agility Spain offers extensive experience with three customs warehouses, temperature-controlled management, and the GDP certification required by pharmaceutical companies,” says Carlos Martinez, Sales Director, Agility Spain. “We focus on the renewable and engineering sectors, project logistics, transportation management, and turnkey projects for large-scale and complex initiatives.”

One of six companies positioned to handle movement of assets, personnel

WASHINGTON, DC – May 12, 2020 – Agility Defense & Government Services (DGS) is among the companies chosen for a position on a new U.S. Army contract to manage movement of troops, equipment and related material throughout Europe.

The contract, awarded by the Army’s 21st Theater Sustainment Command based in Kaiserslautern, Germany, takes effect this month and is a three-year, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract vehicle with a value not to exceed $49 million.

The contract is intended to help meet the requirements of the growing presence of U.S. forces in Europe. U.S. forces and their allies have been conducting an increasing number of joint exercises in Eastern Europe and the Baltics.

Agility DGS is one of six companies positioned to provide transportation services for U.S. Army assets and personnel within the European theater, along with support for unit deployments to Europe from the United States, and returning after deployments.

Agility DGS is currently the sole provider of oversized and overweight cargo transportation (ground) services for the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) under a heavy haul contract and provides transportation for 8,000 passengers a year on Cyprus under a separate MoD contract.

Separately, Agility DGS this month began work on two UK MoD contracts to manage the sale and disposal of aviation platforms, equipment and spares, and other surplus military equipment and property.

 

Mohammed Esa, Agility GIL SVP of Global Business Development, recently joined executives from DB Schenker on a Gartner panel that looked at the impact of coronavirus on shippers and freight movements.

Four-year award includes demilitarisation, recycling and disposal of surplus assets

LONDON – March 16, 2020 – Agility Defense & Government Services (DGS) was awarded a four-year contract to collect, demilitarise and sell surplus military equipment and property overseen by the Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA) of the UK Ministry of Defence.

The contract includes disposal of surplus assets in operational and non-operational locations outside of the UK and has a potential throughput of $12.8 million over the four years.

DESA is the UK MoD arm authorised to sell surplus military equipment and inventory. DESA handles the disposal of all materiel that can generate revenue within the UK and overseas, including aircraft, aircraft spares, ships, boats, river craft and other marine vessels and spares, military and domestic vehicles, with the exception of nuclear, domestic waste and infrastructure.

Agility DGS had held the DESA Middle East overseas disposal contract since 2012 and was initially focused on the draw-down of the UK armed forces in Afghanistan. The latest award expands Agility DGS’s work to include any location globally where the UK MoD have a presence. The new scope of work begins May 1.

Under terms of the contract, the global overseas sales and disposals contract will be managed from Agility DGS’s Stoke-on-Trent facility in the UK, utilizing a customised Quantum ERP system to track inventory, manage the sales process and provide reporting.

Efficient disposal of the surplus inventory saves the MoD and UK taxpayers from the expense of shipping items back to the UK for disposal. Agility DGS will arrange for shipment of valuable items elsewhere if sales are not feasible in local markets.

“In this contract, we outlined the core processes we have developed and refined over seven years of operational delivery,” said Gareth Webberley, Vice President of Agility DGS Europe. “We proposed innovative solutions around the top-level activity management for sales, disposal, recycling and reporting, coupled with Agility’s global footprint and use of the web to broaden our customer reach.”

Four-year award to collect, sell and dispose of UK military equipment

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia – February 19, 2020 – Agility Defense & Government Services (DGS) has been awarded a contract with a potential throughput of $17 million over four years to sell and dispose of UK armed forces aviation platforms, equipment and spares.

DGS was selected by the Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA), the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) arm authorized to sell surplus military equipment and inventory.

Under terms of the contract, DGS will handle sale and disposal of aircraft, aircraft spares, training aids and ground support equipment, along with other military equipment and spares such as communications systems. DGS performed similar work for DESA for five years as a subcontractor before selection as prime contractor under the new award, which takes effect May 1.

Agility DGS will use a customized IT system to target buyers in aerospace businesses. It also has developed databases to sanitize, cross-reference, and manage the inventory. Collection, sales and reporting activity is managed with the same database, which has been tailored to the requirements of the contract.

“To receive this contract, we outlined the core processes we have developed and refined over five years of operation, including piece-part-level traceability for over 16 million parts,” said Gareth Webberley, Vice President of Agility DGS Europe. “We proposed innovative solutions around the top-level activity management for collection, storage, sales and reporting, coupled with use of the web to broaden our customer reach.”

Under terms of the contract, Agility DGS will collect equipment and spares from the MOD in the UK.  Sales will be made worldwide, subject to applicable export controls.

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