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.
Jim Schanz, VP of global sales at Shure discusses the company’s response to COVID-19.
AVN: Have you pivoted your business strategy in response to COVID-19? If so, how?
JIM SCHANZ: Shure continues to prioritize the health and safety of our associates. As a global company, we initiated plans to take care of our associates early on in the outbreak.
In accordance with local and national guidelines, we implemented work-from-home policies for our global associates where appropriate and set up social distancing protocols to keep essential pieces of our business running. Our goal is to safely take care of our associates while they take care of customers. Customer service and order fulfillment were two focus areas for us to ensure customers could continue have communications tools during this crisis.
AVN: How have your day-to-day operations changed during this time?
JS: As most businesses, we have pivoted to a work-from-home scenario for most associates. With today’s technology, we are still able to collaborate as teams. In some cases—since our associates work together globally—much of this virtual collaboration is normal.
However, we do miss the camaraderie of our fellow associates, meeting with customers, attending trade shows and industry events, and other hands-on experiences. The key for us is determining how to support our customers during this difficult time. We want to provide the right level of support, but recognize that product needs are different right now.
AVN: Has COVID-19 had an impact on your supply chain? If so, how are you handling any delays?
JS: Supply chain issues are affecting many businesses in the electronics industry. As we prioritize safety for our associates, we have made arrangements for us to continue to be able to ship our products to customers who need them. There are still customers who rely on our products during this period, so we are helping ensure supply of essential products.
AVN: Have you implemented any virtual training/education resources for integrators?
JS: We expanded our webinar schedule to provide more frequent content. While the Shure Audio Institute (SAI) typically provided monthly training sessions, programming is now being delivered weekly. Demand for the sessions has been higher than normal, with three times the audience tuning in for recent training sessions versus previous webinars.
AVN: What has been your largest leadership success during this time?
JS: We are proud of the way all of our associates have handled this. They have stepped up and adjusted to some very unusual circumstances to support their teammates and our customers. As a leadership team, we’ve been very proactive with communications to associates around COVID-19 and have been responsive in addressing any questions.
AVN: How do you think business will change post-COVID-19?
JS: However it does change, we know that we are all in this together. The industry has always adapted to change—and we’ll have to adapt again. We just celebrated our 95th anniversary, so this company has been through a lot of challenging times. What has always helped us get through difficult periods is the strength of our associates and the collaboration of the industry to support each other. We’re committed to supporting our customers throughout this difficult time.
It is worth noting that we extended our “Switch to Digital” instant rebate program through July 31, 2020 to help businesses who want to switch, but need additional time. The promotion applies to the Company’s Axient Digital, ULX-D, and QLX-D Digital Wireless Systems.
AVN: Anything else you'd like to add?
JS: Shure is also supporting our communities where we can. We have donated to Direct Relief, an organization working with authorities to provide personal protective equipment (PPEs) to healthcare workers in affected regions of the world. We’ve also been able to supply needed equipment directly to organizations such as hospitals and schools.
In the backyard of its headquarters, Shure is supporting Chicago Independent Venue League (CIVL). In addition to a monetary donation, Shure has recruited some partners in the industry to encourage others to support local live performance venues in the Chicago area and around the world.
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