The Right Systems in Place
In relation to the current COVID 19 pandemic, when it became clear that remote working was going to become a reality, we were able to make the transition easily. Part of our ongoing continuity plan is that each TEVET employee has a duplicate and secure terminal at their home office. We turned off the lights at headquarters at the end of the day, and the next morning everyone was up and running remotely with all-systems-go and able to service our customer base as effectively as always. This made the transition to a fully distributed workforce very easy with just a few low-tier IT issues noted on day one. Our utilization of sophisticated processes and systems, not typical in other small businesses, includes a cloud-based Oracle ERP system that made remote access from employees’ home terminals possible.
Communication is Key
Whether we’re talking to our OEM vendors, procurement personnel, or the end-users, we’ve built long-lasting relationships on our ability to anticipate their needs and be proactive about what challenges or opportunities we see coming their way. Having established this level of trust made our pivot to an increased focus on communication seamless. For both customers and suppliers, we prepared regular, large-scale updates utilizing the marketing capabilities including our e-mail channels, our social media properties, and our website. Additionally, our systems teams increased their reporting bandwidth to identify and understand the scope and scale of orders that would potentially be impacted.
Through the normal course of business, we have conversations regularly, sometimes daily, so we’re not just nameless voices on the other end of the line. Being able to adjust this pattern of regular communication into additional customer and supplier meetings to increase visibility into affected orders and deliveries was an easy transition. Executive visibility, of course, is crucial in times of potential continuity challenges, and discussions with key stakeholders on production levels about potential impact adds visibility and transparency. When quoting new orders during this time, we’ve worked with suppliers to assess quoted delivery timelines to make sure they were achievable and met customers’ expectations. And, of course, like everyone else we found ourselves pivoting to video conferencing for product demos, making sure end-users were fully comfortable with product capabilities, even in their remote environments.
The Talent to Make it Happen
But planning isn’t anything without the personnel to put it into action. Our team is the secret to our ability to execute at the highest levels and the driving force behind our goal to provide uninterrupted service to Country, Customer, and Community. From Account Managers that advocate for customers and create solutions for known and future challenges to Inside Sales Reps that generate quotes and confirm delivery timelines according to customer requirements, it’s our team and the 15 years of experience that we bring to bear on the process that puts all of our planning into practice. Finally, Buyers source products from vetted OEMs and distributors, confirm adherence to flow downs and quality requirements, and our Order Managers track everything from PO to delivery to make sure the right technology is where it’s needed when it’s needed.
Effective planning is one reason we’re able to do this, but it starts with being relational and adding value early in the partnership. Add our outstanding team and we are ready for any challenge.