Blogs & Opinions

Partnerships all round: no matter the distance

Every connection I make, becomes a partnership. This was the case before COVID-19 and I plan on it being the same when we get through this. It is what our business is founded on. I am proud of the relationships I have built up, and communication is the first step to ensuring future success for our customers, employees and company.

A propitious decision now will make a difference for everyone later down the line. The current economic environment has not been caused in the same way that previous slowdowns have, and as such needs a different outlook to address it. 

In this ‘new normal’ our evaluation of customers’ needs, whilst we all face the challenges presented by COVID-19, has resulted in very different approaches for individual companies. 

Many manufacturing businesses have been impacted profoundly by the restrictions on the world at large. Their operations and activities onsite have decreased to comply with updated safety regulations which in turn reduces their onsite IT support needs. 

Adapting to the situation, we have made changes to our contracts to ensure that our customers get the flexibility that they need, offering support onsite/remotely as required. This, of course, is always discussed with customers prior to implementation. If an engineer or consultant is no longer able to work  onsite, where they have been based, they are able to be reallocated because of the cross-training and flexibility we have in place. 

Our people are trained and have hands-on experience with current technologies thus enabling them to provide expert support to our customers and keep their systems functioning optimally. By working in collaboration however, this means that our teams are skilled – not only across technologies – but also across environments: from suits and boots, to hard hats and wellies!

For those in financial and professional services, the average firm pre-COVID-19 had no more than a small percentage of their staff with access to remote working. In some cases, for financial institutions in particular, firms would only have a minimal number of employees working from home because of the potential security risks. 

For these types of businesses, our support personnel are highly skilled, vetted for regulatory and classified security requirements, and solely focused on them (rather than being trained and working across multiple environments). 

Fast forward to now, and the majority of firms are having to work remotely. This has meant a change in infrastructure and in the services we offer them. And they haven’t lost the friendly faces they know and trust when it comes to their managed service support. Instead of working onsite, we have moved to localised remote teams that keep the knowledge and partnership secure. Change is needed in these circumstances but it doesn’t have to interrupt everything.

As I’ve said, we need to learn how to master change from our children. Instead of worrying, especially in a world with so many unknowns, they approach the future with renewed focus and energy.

A partnership means knowing and understanding the company culture and making sure everyone’s needs are met. It’s about recognising what works. We take that seriously internally as well as externally.

What do we need to stay safe? What do we need to work with personal pressures like having children or other family members at home? We all are aiming to stay close to the ground – no matter our position. We keep our teams together by staying in touch to understand where they are, how they’re doing and what their reality looks like. 

Whether focusing on our clients’ needs or looking after our employees, I believe that having realistic expectations is the place to start. And being flexible with how these change, will ensure that the input is reflected in the output. Even as all of us continue to adapt to working and supporting our customers, the changes will not impact our inherent culture of customer service excellence.