Despite social distancing rules and travel restrictions, Atlantic Zeiser is ensuring processes that are safe for customers with digital factory acceptance and live feeds of product presentations.
Repeated lockdowns are posing unprecedented challenges to companies all over the world that produce and personalize cards. These challenges include timely selection, procurement, acceptance, and commissioning of technologically sophisticated equipment. Until recently, the physical presence of technically adept specialists at the customer and supplier locations and face-to-face communication with them seemed indispensable.
But remote digital factory acceptance tests (FAT) and high-quality video-streamed presentations from the Atlantic Zeiser showroom have moved us into a new phase of company operations. “Maintaining ongoing production and procurement processes for our customers was and remains our top priority,” says an Atlantic Zeiser project manager. “Something that had seemed inconceivable or was dismissed as an unmanageable idea became reality virtually overnight – we can now even perform an FAT for a PERSOMASTER remotely.”
Linking effective tools
When social distancing rules and lockdowns limited personal contact as the Coronavirus spread, Atlantic Zeiser reacted quickly. The necessary technologies, such as compact video cameras, high-performance webcams, high-resolution smartphones and tablets, and universally usable software for video chats and livestreams were already available. But it was the pandemic that provided the impetus for linking these effective tools in a very brief amount of time, and the result is a degree of perfection that even critical customers appreciate.
“Of course there is something special about an in-person visit to a trade fair booth or a partner, particularly at the emotional level. We’re not trying to completely replace one with the other,” emphasizes the project manager, for whom livestreamed presentations, sales consultation, and FATs have become almost routine. “But there is always a trade-off between cost and utility. In an industry as international as ours, that is of course an important consideration.” Digital machine acceptance and presentations not only save significant travel costs and time. They also make it possible to involve more specialists to consider sub-elements of projects without additional cost.
Web-based events are well-received
But how can the customer’s experience of touching and feeling personalized cards that have just been printed be duplicated? “Unfortunately, beaming is really not yet possible,” says the project manager with a smile. “But the products our systems create are fortunately extremely compact and can be express-shipped overnight in an envelope almost anywhere in the world.” This also allows preparation, since digital presentations are not spontaneous events. “Our FATs are always preceded by comprehensive internal controls and quality testing,” the project manager continues. “Production takes place under the conditions we have defined with the customer, so the cards are ‘real’. Sending them to the customer before an FAT is completely satisfactory in most cases.”
Customer response to such web-based Atlantic Zeiser events has been extremely positive. “I am personally convinced that we will continue to enjoy success with these processes even after Corona,” the project manager says. “The benefits to the customer are obvious, especially since the technical capabilities will certainly be further refined. But, to be honest, I am looking forward to a time when we will have more opportunities to meet our customer counterparts in person – after all, we have enjoyed close, successful cooperation with them for many years.”