After a year of remote work and video conferencing, many of us are left wondering if the digitization of the workplace is a temporary solution to COVID lockdowns or if these changes will be permanent. Are we ever going to get back to the way things were? Yes and no. People all over the world are coming around to embrace this new way of doing business, but in-person work isn’t on the way out just yet.
Balancing the old and new ways of doing business will be a challenge as the economy evolves, but companies like Nitro, West Virginia-based Preiser Scientific are a good example of how to do it successfully.
Adding a new tool to the toolbox
Preiser Scientific is an ISO 9001-certfied company sells scientific instruments, laboratory equipment and supplies to steel producers, mining and mineral companies and research, government and education agencies in more than 100 countries. Because a lot of Preiser’s work requires technical training and installations, in-person work can’t be easily replaced.
“Historically, we had always done support in person, but for safety reasons and due to international travel restrictions, we have not been able to send technicians into the field,” said Larry Preiser, vice president of Preiser Scientific.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Preiser’s leadership team wanted to take care of employees and customers around the world without sacrificing communication.
“We began to hear and to see reports and to engage with our China office in January and grounded our staff at that time. We knew then that 2020 was going to be an extraordinary year,” Preiser said. “So, we rapidly ramped up our remote video support.”
Like many businesses that have had to make do while doing without, Preiser made changes and adapted to the travel restrictions. And while Preiser primarily does installations of technical equipment, they found a way to continue offering their services by video.
“We had an extra room that had good lighting and was large enough for video conferencing with customers,” said Jared Haynes, engineering manager for Preiser.
The change hasn’t been without difficulty, but Preiser has seen positive results.
“Customers have learned how to set up their space, lighting and equipment,” Preiser said. “Having customers who are knowledgeable in how to use their equipment helps us continue to use this setup into the future.”
Preiser said the company plans to offer video installation as an option going forward, especially for simple repairs. And while in-person installation for new equipment will always be preferable, being able to do routine work without having to travel will save money and free up a lot of time.
Preiser Scientific is one example of West Virginia businesses that are adapting to COVID changes and finding new ways to export their goods and services. The West Virginia Department of Economic Development is here to help you get through this challenging time and find export success. Contact a member of our friendly and knowledgeable staff today.