In our Coping with COVID-19 series, Residential Systems is interviewing manufacturers to discover how they’re handling the COVID-19 crisis and how the pandemic has impacted their businesses.
Mike Grubb, VP of marketing at Legrand AV discusses the company’s response to COVID-19.
RESI: Have you pivoted your business strategy in response to COVID-19? If so, how?
MIKE GRUBB: The impact of COVID-19 is immeasurable—it has changed our lives and transformed the way we do business. Legrand AV is extremely grateful that we’ve been able to adjust our business strategy in support of the response effort. One of our Legrand AV brands shifted manufacturing from projection screens to produce masks for employees and members of our communities in the front lines. Another division is supporting General Motors’ effort to make ventilators. And others have quickly developed solutions for field hospitals, including temporary power pedestals and a new type of lighting that can kill bacteria.
In addition to manufacturing changes, our marketing and sales teams have also pivoted strategies to adapt to this new environment. We’ve enhanced our communications to ensure our customers are staying informed of business changes and we’re creating tools and resources to help them adjust to working remotely. We have ramped-up training efforts and developed programs to help integration companies in planning and preparing for future growth. In addition, we have launched special promotions, product solution bundles, and new marketing content in order to arm our customers with continuous sales growth opportunities throughout the coming months.
RESI: How have your day-to-day operations changed during this time?
MG: In this challenging time, the safety of our employees, customers, and partners is Legrand’s highest priority. We are committed to doing our part to protect our teams and surrounding communities, while also striving to maintain the quality service you expect from us.
At this time, all employees who are able have been instructed to work from home and collaborate virtually. Enhanced cleaning protocols and distancing requirements have been implemented in all Legrand facilities for the protection of employees remaining on site. Additionally, we are initiating temperature and symptom screening for all employees entering the workplace. These measures are intended to help reduce the spread of this outbreak, allowing for a swifter recovery and, most importantly, saving lives.
RESI: Has COVID-19 had an impact on your supply chain? If so, how are you handling any delays?
MG: There have been some issues with the availability of key materials/manufacturing inputs, but, fortunately, nothing has drastically impacted production. We are currently taking the following measures to mitigate any disruption to our services:
- Working with our factories to maintain normal production capacity
- Placing advanced orders for long lead time parts and components to reduce the risk of supply disruptions
- Using air freight to expedite shipment of products to reduce the risk of local inventory issues
- Offering substitute products, where applicable, to offset product shortages
- Working closely with our factories and key suppliers to anticipate and work around potential logistics issues, including capacity shortages
RESI: Have you implemented any virtual training/education resources for integrators?
MG: Legrand AV already has a vast library of recorded webinars and trainings for our installers. In response to the current situation, we have also:
- Increased the number of public webinars, which are available to anyone who would like to attend
- Started hosting more private webinars for dealers who would like additional training
- Implemented private webinars for distributors, buying groups and rep firms who want to promote education/training to their dealer base
RESI: What has been your largest leadership success during this time?
MG: From day one of the COVID-19 crisis, the top priority of Legrand AV leadership has been the health and safety of our employees and customers. We reacted quickly and have met or exceeded the standards recommended by the CDC and government authorities to ensure the welfare of all employees. Additionally, the pandemic has caused a lot of fear and uncertainty—but our leadership team has done an excellent job of keeping our internal and external teams informed with frequent, clear, and empathetic communications. Customers can also access up-to-date COVID information at legrandav.com/COVID.
RESI: How do you think business will change post-COVID-19?
MG: That’s the big question, isn’t it? Legrand AV, like everyone else, is trying to navigate the unchartered post-pandemic business landscape. And whatever that might look like, the safety of our employees, customers, and community will continue to be our number one priority. We are dedicated to our partners and will continue to take the time to understand their needs in the coming months and years. The impact is unknown, and while we try not to speculate, we don’t think anybody will be surprised to see business practices and standards change across many different industries to try and combat something like this from happening again. We love a good challenge and see great opportunity in the months to come.
RESI: Anything else you’d like to add?
MG: In the midst of so much uncertainty, Legrand is committed to doing our part to protect our teams and surrounding communities. We want to express our deep appreciation for all the frontline workers and healthcare professionals. Stay safe. Stay strong. We will get through this together!