One of the most critical questions facing any business in the time of the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak is: “how do we ensure that we continue to support our customers?” Beyond the local team implications of social distancing and the psychological impact of working from home, many businesses like DSP Concepts need to ensure smooth global operations in a world that is fragmented across various stages of response to this pandemic.
Our Chinese customers, for example, were closest to the epicenter of this crisis and are far ahead of the United States in dealing with it. For the moment, and barring any future spread, some companies are back operating at more than 80% capacity. In fact, our home entertainment customers who are making set top boxes and other home theater products are experiencing a larger demand and are pressing forward with product launches. Of course, this is expected in a moment when more and more people are staying at home. The challenge is that, as they press forward, it is incumbent on their global partners to keep up while still helping to stop the spread locally.
To that end, I want to take a moment to guide companies like DSP Concepts by providing just a couple of the steps we’ve taken to contain locally while still operating globally:
- Work from home if possible, distance and disinfect if not - we have sent home most people to work from home so that the few who are tied to lab space or access to equipment can come in and be socially distanced in order to contain any possible spread. We also wipe down surfaces as much as possible and practice constant hand washing and use of hand sanitizers.
- Maintain meetings and support as usual at a global scale - In order to continue to support our world wide customer base, we are conducting all meetings online. We did a 3 day training workshop for our European customer online in their timezone. We had an engineering team member in California volunteer to begin their work day at 1:00am to coincide with the timezone of our customers. This kind of shift-based work ensures that our customers can expect the same level of support and speed of response even in extreme circumstances.
We are committed to supporting our customers this way, especially those whose businesses and product development schedules continue to move forward. We are working in shifts and are offering this as an option to our partners and customers. Though those of us at DSP Concepts may be working under very different circumstances, we will continue to focus on supporting our customers in any way you need and do whatever we can to help you navigate these difficult times.