Think Tank Debrief: The Initial Challenges of Covid-19

Aug 31, 2020 • FeaturesCovid-19Think Tank

In this excerpt from the inaugural Field Service News Think Tanks Debrief Session Kieran Notter and Daniel Brabec reflects on the groups comments around the initial operational challenges of Covid-19

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The many conversations required for servitization to work: 

As we moved onto the final Think Tank of the three that we were reflecting on during this inaugural debrief session we touched on the longest and perhaps most important Think Tank that Field Service News has ever run. The focus of this session was to assess the impact of Covid-19 and to establish some first steps in building towards the recovery. 

Having put an initial question to the group for them to outline their initial responses to the lockdowns of the pandemic, it made sense for Kieran Notter, VP Global Customer Transformation to be the one that opened up the discussion during the debrief. 

During the actual Think Tank there were some excellent and well considered comments including Alec Pinto, Regional Service Manager DACH & High Growth Markets, Leica Biosystems comment:

“From an operative perspective, we couldn’t go out anymore. So we had to start getting used to the new regulations quickly. What was allowed in hospitals? How could we get our people into hospitals? Suddenly, we were putting our people in areas of risk, so managing that part of the operation and ensuring safety while letting our employees feel secure, that was a big challenge to overcome.”

As well as Rajat Kakar, Executive, IBM, Services EMEA comment: 

“We saw a massive shift in ways of businesses. As an example, companies who provided services for people to migrate from office buildings to homes were busy; they didn’t have enough people to bring the office equipment, set it up at people’s homes and set up home offices. Whereas, companies which were primarily working on standard services, IT services within the corporate environments, they saw a decline in business.”

Reflecting back on both these quotes and the discussion at large Notter said, "for me, it was, it was quite interesting listening to everybody view. We gave them a rough two minutes to try and give a view of what the current situation was about. But it was it was that important or passionate to them that two minutes was nigh on impossible.

"On Alec's points, there was much that he sad that couldn't all fit into one slide but some of the other bits that Alec said that really sort of made a difference. We know med-tech device companies, at least some of them, are really, really it's going to thrive through this pandemic, because it's their business, it's what they do. 

Then we have the other businesses that have done really bad because no one's using their products. There is no service has to be done and it's a very different environment. For someone like Alec, who was sort of in the middle, they were doing that that hospital work, where they had to stay open. It was even the confusion that if a technician went into a hospital to do some work in a schedule, you were asking do they need their quarantine for 14 days because they've been into a hospital? What are the rules behind it? What's the game plan?

Then there is the HR element that came into the conversation. How do we look after the technicians? What happens if they've got dependents at home who are vulnerable?  So that's the level of detail really and understanding of what the challenges are.

"When Rajat, spoke, he spoke about some great points, but one of the most interesting things I thought he raised was one of the simplest. He said, People come to work, the telephones are on their desk. You leave them at home that telephonic system isn't with them anymore. How can they run a call center if they have no telephone? It's just really really simple things like that, that no-one had planned for."

"I think one of the key pieces that we've seen that's come came out of this is around business continuity plans and the way that that companies are starting to reassess the way they approach their customers," adds Daniel Brabec VP Global Customer Transformation, ServiceMax.

"We need to use this time to find ways to make and build relationships and any CSO that's looking at things from that perspective, I think, is is poised to thrive moving forward. They're acknowledging that we have a huge issue, but what are the ways that we can address it and not only adjust to the new normal but also come out of the stronger. A lot of that is focused on customer relationships and how they're going to actually approach service in the future."


Screenshot 2020-08-10 at 18.59.51Want to know more about this Think Tank Conversation?

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