Kathryn Gerardino-Elagio of International Metalworking News for Asia interviewed Mr. Chong Chee Ter, Managing Director of TRUMPF Asia Pacific to see how the company is acting to protect their employees and customers, and prepare for the world beyond coronavirus.
Mr. Chong said that businesses are forced to re-think and adapt strategic decisions in these challenging times. Businesses are implementing staggered working hours, splitting the employees into different teams for minimal contact measure, and to even adopt working from home. “All of which would entail some extend of inconveniences to our customers, an unfortunate albeit necessary measure,” he added.
How technology bridges the gap
He explained, “Technology has always been proven to be a pivotal role not only in our industry, but to the society as a whole as well. Manufacturers have always used technology not only to further enhance the production process, but to also use it as a bridge to be closer to the customers. For instance the usage of Social Media to reach out to our customers as well as complimentary trainings via webinars that allow us to be closer to the market.”
Given the current situation, Mr. Chong described technology has undoubtedly proven itself once again. “With several countries across South East Asia implementing lockdowns, curfews etc. Courtesy visits or sending an engineer to our customer premises is not possible at the moment, that’s where technology comes into play again. Our “Remote Support” function plays a critical role in these challenging times where social distancing and minimal human to human contact is the new norm,” he declared.
Mr. Chong shared, “The existing “remote support or TeleService” function in our machines enable the customer to get in touch with our service experts should they experience any technical issues with the machine. The customer just would have to initiate the connection from their user interface, and a virtual PC is generated for the session. Once it’s done and our service expert has been given the permission to access the user interface, we can begin the troubleshooting. Our customers thus still can benefit from a quick fault diagnosis and solution remotely within the transmission, all data is completely secured with a firewall and confidentiality of data is ensured at each point in time.”
At the same time, he also shared about MyTRUMPF, a customer portal, which remains open to users 24/7. “Our customers have access to their orders and their delivery status, can file and follow up on service cases via the ServiceApp on their mobile phones, download software and tool data as well as access all information about their TRUMPF machines such as warranty periods, service contracts, etc.,” Mr. Chong said.
It is also exactly during these difficult times where companies are being tested on their flexibility to adapt to the situation and the willingness to adopt new technologies, Mr. Chong remarked.
“For instance, our annual in-house exhibition “INTECH” has traditionally been a physical trade show, but has since developed into a virtual event where participants can visit the exhibition at the comfort and more importantly, the safety of their own home,” he specified.
Undoubtedly these are challenging times, and it’s not possible to tell when the situation would improve at the moment, Mr. Chong stated. “What we are doing internally now is to continuously serve our customers via digital means, enriching their knowledge on technologies, software and current developments in view of digitalisation and smart lean manufacturing, etc. All of which would definitely be helpful when the situation improves and come out of this crisis stronger and well prepared for future challenges awaiting the manufacturing industry, especially in terms of digital solutions,” he concluded.
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