Keeping the wheels turning in the time of corona - Update (UK)
In some parts of the world the COVID-19 situation has calmed down a bit but in other areas, the situation has worsened. Sunfab Hydraulics AB has taken measures to protect our employees, our customers and suppliers while we do our best to meet our customers' needs and deliveries. We have asked our employees how the pandemic crisis is affecting their daily work in these dire times. Here is an update from Sunfabs subsidiaries. Tim Duffy, you are our Sales Manager at Sunfab Ltd. in the UK.
How is your local market doing under the current situation with restrictions based on the impact of the pandemic with limited opportunities to meet your customers?
“The market is still impacted by Restrictions that have been put in place regarding social distancing and the way we work. In August, we saw a pick-up in activity and sales as companies went back work as well as they could under these restrictions. Now we see a possible second wave and more restrictions coming, Telephone and email are the best way to keep in contact with our customer base as not all customers are comfortable with video meetings.”
What new ways of working have you made during this period to keep contacts and proactively follow-up service to customers and support customers business since travels and visits went restricted?
“Along with calling and keeping in contact with customers, in the UK we have set up a new Sunfab UK LinkedIn page as many of our customers and potential customers have LinkedIn accounts. On this platform we can regularly post updates and technical info. Along with this, regular bulletin type emails to advise of product lead times and changes in the way Sunfab are working are sent out to customers and distributors.”
What is the common view from our customers on their business due to the pandemic crisis and do they feel that Sunfab is supporting them?
“A majority of customers still feel uncertain, especially with the threat of further restrictions and also, here in the UK, we are getting closer to Brexit which seems to have almost been forgotten. Many customers, with some exceptions are not looking to place any large orders or look too far into the future and almost work on day to day or week to week basis. All customers and distributors are kept up to date so they feel supported by Sunfab.”
The fact that the production and office in Sweden have been up and running during this whole crisis, any feedback from market?
“Again, as I mentioned when we ran this early into the pandemic, the biggest surprise to many customers is that Sweden did not go into a lockdown like the rest of Europe. The fact that the factory kept going in Sweden gave customers confidence that we were able to support their needs once they returned to some kind of normality."
Do you have any success story or a happy story from your customer engagements during this period that you have got positive feedback on from customer?
“I think that customers are very happy with the response time to technical and project enquiries during this time because I have simply had more time to designate to such enquiries with not being on the road as much. It also gives me time to discuss our other products with them.”
Is your market recovering and what is going to happen in near future, your feeling of the development?
“The market will recover but again it is hard to say exactly when we will get back to as it was before the pandemic because of the uncertainty around which way the virus will force restrictions next. We have seen many changes in the way people now work on a day to day basis. The economy in the UK has taken a big negative hit and we will see more people out of work that we have seen in many years. The key is to remain positive and focused. There are some challenging times in front of us all still, but working together, we will get through it.”
Anything else you would like to say?
“For me, the new way of working has been tough. Customer and distributor visits are normally my daily life and to not have them and be mainly working from home has been harder than I could have imagined. However, I try to remain strong and positive and look forward to getting back to normal.
Stay safe out there!”