Most businesses now have employees working from home. How has Singhammer been handling this?
Andreas Preißer: The general situation feels different but working from home is nothing new for us. Modern digital tools such as Microsoft Teams, our own enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution SITE and even our telephone connections are completely mobile and can be used on any device, from anywhere. As such, there has actually been very little change in the way we work. We have increased the number of virtual interactions with our prospective and existing customers, but the main difference is that we now take our breaks with colleagues via video chat. I think it is extremely important that we have found new ways to stay in touch and work together.
Organisations are facing many challenges associated with service and customer proximity. How does Singhammer work with customers, partners and interested parties?
Johannes-Peter Engel: As an IT company, it is part of our daily routine to handle processes digitally, so we were prepared for a remote working strategy. In close coordination with our customers, we reacted very quickly and switched our on-site appointments and workshops to online meetings, which has been well received all-round. But online processing provides additional advantages. For example, not all meeting attendees must physically come to the same place. With employees and potential partners located all over the world, this has previously presented challenges. By hosting virtual meetings instead, it is easier to discuss issues quickly with all the relevant parties.
The coronavirus could be drastically affecting the world’s economies. How should companies that were just starting to explore digital transformation deal with the current situation?
Preißer: Firstly, you should be doing all you can to protect your employees and stabilise the company. As IT companies, our customers are very well positioned to continue working at home. Many are using the extra time to devote themselves to updating internal processes and taking part in workshops. The management board of a customer said: “There is never a perfect time, but now we can use the time for internal work very well”. I encourage companies to see the crisis as an opportunity for implementing improvements.
Do you think it makes sense for organisations to continue with their system upgrades?
Engel: Yes. Contact restriction is not a work restriction and it is always important to ensure and develop the operational safety of work systems. Our internal IT department does a great job of keeping the infrastructure of our digital working environment running and even expanding it.
This article was originally published in the Summer 2020 issue of The Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.
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