Our head office is located in Hawthorn, Victoria, in suburban Melbourne, which has been in stage 4 lockdown since early August.
The gap between the end of the first Covid lockdown and the start of the tougher stage 4 was barely a month.
Back in March, when the impact of Covid became known, we made some decisions about the operations of our business that have meant the changes to restrictions have not impacted our business. These were changes any business could make. Indeed, with hindsight, they are changes we could have made years ago.
Even though our business is considered essential given the nature of our work and the customers we serve, we decided, back in March, to move to a remote operation for 85% of our work force of more than 50.
This meant bringing forward transition to our new VoIP phone system, expanding our Zoom capacity, expanding our Microsoft Teams capacity, providing team members with tech at home and putting in place financial compensation for folks working from home.
The tech changes were implemented over 2 days. They have served us well.
With plenty of our workforce usually in retail every day, helping our customers, we had to fundamentally change the way we worked. You cannot do online what you’d usually do in a shop installing software or training people. We adjusted and our customers adjusted.
Today, we’re almost 100% online in what we do and in our service delivery. If, however, a customer wants us in-store and it is essential to their business, we can do this, in stage 4 and outside of stage 4, and we have done it.
From a sales and marketing perspective the changes have been significant. We used to do at least 16 trade shows a year. This year we have done 1 and next year we have none planned. Instead, we have found new and, indeed, more useful ways to connect with prospects.
The result has been an increase in sales. This is good news for us, our team members and our customers. We are sincerely grateful.
Over recent weeks, we have brought several more people into the office as we have some team changes and new colleagues to meet.
While Victoria waits to hear when stage 4 will end, here at Tower Systems we see no major changes to how we operate through the remainder of 2020 and into the early months of 2021.
This new way of operating is offering team members more time with family, lower out of pocket costs and opportunities for healthier lifestyle choices.
We have learnt plenty navigating Covid, benefiting our business and all who work here. This is the good news story we’d like to see media outlets cover – what we have learnt and the benefits leveraged as a result. There are plenty of good news stories like ours.
We get that stage 4 restrictions in Victoria have been challenging. They have also provided opportunities.
We are optimistic about 2021 as we have a terrific base from this year on which to build … and for this we are sincerely grateful.