Weathering The Storm: How DWC Is Adapting To Life In Lockdown
These are challenging times for businesses like Dutch Walltextile Company (DWC). So how does a company like ours keep staff safe, customers steady and business buoyant? Founder, Boudewijn Vogel, reveals how DWC is learning to adapt to life in lockdown.
As a company, one of our primary concerns is the wellbeing of staff. This means that on the factory floor, production and logistics are fully operational – taking account of government guidelines on safe working practices.
The same goes for our installation partners. Because a room can be vacated by people, appliers have a safe space in which to install our wall coverings.
Our sales and marketing teams are mainly working from home and using online communications to reach both current and prospective clients.
Like a lot of companies right now, we’re adjusting the way we meet. We’re undergoing a digital transformation in some ways. DWC is dedicated to staying connected with customers and we've recently been exploring new ways of doing this.
Our face to face meetings are now all taking place over Skype, Zoom and WebEx – although we’re accustomed to doing this already to some extent, as our client network stretches from Europe to the Middle East, South America to the United States.
We’ve also increased our social media output on platforms like Instagram. And of course most importantly, we continue to mail out samples to designers so they are able to create their designs and get them in front of clients.
DWC usually attends a lot of trade fairs, so right now we’re missing that important face to face interaction with potential new clients.
As far as possible, we’re trying to overcome this by attending lots of webinars on a range of topics, from making sure we weather the crisis from a legal and financial perspective to optimising ways of selling and marketing online.
Learning how we can do marketing more effectively helps us to refocus our strategy. We’ve got a chance to improve our digital content based on how our customers are choosing to respond in today’s omnichannel environments.
Online visibility plays a significant role right now. Lockdown has actually given us more time to develop those relationships we’ve built with clients.
And we’re still in the process of developing our new collection. When people begin to look at interior design again, we’ll be ready to give them something new.
Internally, now’s the time to review our ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM (Customer Relationships Management) systems to help ensure that everything is better connected.
From redesigning the digital brochure to improving our online reach, in this period of uncertainty we have the perfect opportunity to reflect on the past five years, to take stock of where we are, and make the behind the scenes stuff a priority.
Keeping An Eye On The Future
In our industry, the benchmark of excellent customer service is the quality of sample distribution.
As lockdown has provided us with the opportunity to reorganise our samples division. It’s also given us more time to develop our specialised collection of hotel fabrics – and ensure our new partners will have all the materials they’ll need via our collection boxes when things get back to normal.
All things considered, like so many other companies at this time, we’re doing everything possible to remain operational. And, with some adjustments, so far it’s working.
What won’t alter though is our commitment to customers and partners. We’re offering help and support much as we can, and will continue to do this throughout the lockdown and beyond.
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