At the beginning of 2020, the Asian region was gripped by the coronavirus earlier than here in Europe.
When the virus was still known as a purely “Asian” issue in the media in Austria, we at Rosenbauer still thought that it would be under control in a few months, and that we could continue our Asian business as normal. But we know better with hindsight. Travel restrictions have now been in place for more than 10 months, and all stakeholders in the fire service industry have had to put up with restrictions of varying degrees of severity. Together, we have been able to establish adequate alternative solutions for almost all required activities.
Product information from digital sources
We were able to fall back on high quality digital presentation media for the presentation of our products. And this could be optimally supplemented by newly created 3D product scans of various vehicles such as the 3D scan of the Modular Technology. Recently, we were also able to invite customers to our first virtual trade fair, our German language “ONLINE PRODUCT DAYS”, which was very well received in the DACH region. The English language ONLINE PRODUCT DAYS, where we will be happy to welcome all our international customers and partners to our virtual exhibition stand, will take place on March 3 and 4, 2021.
New virtual solutions
The biggest challenge for sales has been our final acceptance tests (FATs), which usually take place physically. Here it is considered absolutely essential and right that customers travel to the production plant in order to convince themselves on-site of the performance and design of the vehicles to be delivered.
The so-called FATs primarily involve driving tests, pump tests, measurement tests and completion checks, which can be carried out using special equipment available in the factory. With the travel restrictions, we were forced to transfer these tests to virtual channels. Above all, it was a question of overcoming the reservations of all persons involved in this type of processing. Thanks to the good and long-term relationships and the trust that had already been developed between our customers, Rosenbauer sales partners and Rosenbauer plant staff, it was possible to adapt many of the international acceptance tests to a virtual format.
Our service team actively supported the sales team in the implementation of these tests. Special equipment was purchased for filming, and all parties had MS Teams installed on their computers. The bandwidths in our acceptance hall as well as in the pump test stand and several test locations (tilting platform, scales, …) were tested and thus the technical side of the virtual acceptance was almost completely covered. We at Rosenbauer provided up to 4 employees for such an acceptance, so that everything could be shown to the customer in the best possible manner. Our sales partners as well as the end customer’s acceptance team sat thousands of kilometres away from us in front of their screens, equipped with the acceptance protocol waiting to be worked through.
Our sincere thanks go to the end customers who, despite all the circumstances, have taken this virtual path with us, as well as to the sales partners who have strongly supported us in the organisation, translation and all administrative channels. Of course, we would also like to thank the employees involved in the acceptance tests, who mastered this challenge perfectly in order to enable the vehicles to be delivered to customers within the desired delivery timeframe.