In our Coping with COVID-19 series, AVNetwork is interviewing manufacturers to discover how they’re handling the COVID-19 crisis and how the pandemic has impacted their businesses.
David Chiappini, executive vice president, research and development at Matrox Graphics, discusses the company’s response to COVID-19.
AVN: Have you pivoted your business strategy in response to COVID-19? If so, how?
DAVID CHIAPPINI: We continue to pursue our long-term strategy which is to provide our customers with the ability to better enable them for productivity, communication, and collaboration with their customers. We have recognized the heightened sensitivity for remote work and so this definitely shifted some of our priorities. We have put more emphasis on our remote recording, distance learning, streaming, IP KVM extension, and video wall solutions. We are also working diligently to bring some new technologies to the remote workspace as well.
AVN: How have your day-to-day operations changed during this time?
DC: When COVID-19 hit Quebec, we were deemed an essential services provider by the local government due to the small role we play in supplying products to workflows that are helping organizations manage the crisis in government and healthcare facilities. Even though we could have stayed open, our owner insisted that, for the safety of the employees, we shift to a full remote model. Keeping only the production of our most sensitive products on our on-site factory floor, we moved to multiple shifts to spread people out, provided PPE, increased cleaning stations, and planned out the workflow to help maximize efficiency but primarily safety.
AVN: Has COVID-19 had an impact on your supply chain? If so, how are you handling any delays?
DC: Our operations group reacted early and leveraged our long-standing relationships with our key suppliers. Matrox has also worked extensively with our network of logistics partners to assure multiple alternate routes for movement and storage of components and finished goods. Thankfully, we have not had any supply issues. However, it’s not the time to let our guard down; we suspect that we will still have many months ahead of dealing with a sensitive supply chain.
AVN: Have you implemented any virtual training/education resources for integrators?
DC: We have been taking the time to provide in-depth, one-to-one training for our OEM customers who were embarking on new integrations. We are also scheduling a number of Matrox sessions on a variety of platforms including online presentations through our standards bodies association and through our tradeshow relationships.
We have been—and will always remain to be—constantly ready to create any type of training our customers feel invaluable if a request is made. The world certainly has stepped up to provide a plethora of free training sessions.
AVN: What has been your largest leadership success during this time?
DC: Anytime there is a challenge like this, leaders emerge, and Matrox has seen a number of leadership successes. We had leaders emerge when we were tasked to meet the needs of medical customers building COVID-19 test equipment.
We had leaders emerge when it came time to keeping the morale up of our remote employees. In one such instance, one of our employees stepped up to organize a remote Olympics challenge, bringing employees together to form virtual teams to participate in a variety of activities, which has provided a much needed distraction during this time. Leaders emerge in all sorts of different ways, and I am honored and humbled to be surrounded by so many.
AVN: How do you think business will change post-COVID-19?
DC: There will be a heightened need to have a better pandemic response. Remote work and productivity tools to enable maximum productivity will be a major focal point. No one wants to get caught scrambling to find a solution for remote work again. I think more companies will embrace remote work, online collaboration tools, and the ability to produce marketing content remotely as well. In times of extended lock downs, productivity must continue. Finding solutions to maximizing productivity will be key.
AVN: Anything else you'd like to add?
DC: COVID-19 has really given us all a challenge to meet. It has forced many of us to push our limits and challenge the status quo on what can and cannot be done remotely. This will definitely make us more resilient going forward.
I also want to extend my condolences to all those who lost a loved one to COVID-19. At this point, there aren't many people who haven't been touched by this in some way—our thoughts and prayers go out to each and everyone of you.
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