It has been a challenging couple of years for the production industry, but Guntermann & Drunck have not only managed to weather the storm, but enjoy a period of growth, particularly in the US market.
In this exclusive interview, Sales Director Jochen Bauer talks to Production 360° about how the company survived the pandemic, how it has emerged from the other side and what it’s plans for the future are:
What are you doing for your staff and clients post-pandemic?
Fortunately, at G&D we have been able to retain normality relatively well throughout the pandemic. As we have sufficient space, individual offices, and sufficient distancing in all public areas, we have managed to develop and maintain an effective hygiene strategy.
Like many other companies, we have learned to become more digital and more flexible because of the pandemic. Video conferences were introduced, and we have kept them to this day. Of course, we are pleased that we can now meet up together on site again, but everyone still has the option of participating virtually. Overall, we have become more flexible and this has resulted in us introducing the option of hybrid working.
How are you dealing with supply chain issues, if any?
We recognized the supply chain problems early on, and responded rapidly. We focused on two particular aspects: stocking up on components, and developing a redesign of our products—where this was necessary. Luckily this meant that we could carry on satisfying deliveries. The times are, of course, challenging for everyone and call for a certain amount of flexibility. Continuous and close communication with our partners and customers is therefore a top priority for us.
What new steps are you implementing to improve your service?
We aim to continuously improve our systems and services. Part of our work therefore involves keeping an eye on trends and challenges in the industry and responding to them. We work on our product portfolio to make it even more straightforward and intuitive. Our out-of-the-box approach already has many advantages and saves time and ultimately also costs. We continue to take this approach, and are continuously expanding it.
Another current topic that we are very passionate about is reducing our ecological footprint. An internal team is working on an environmental initiative and has already successfully implemented several measures that will help us to protect the environment.
How were sales during the pandemic?
Control room installations continued to be in demand during the pandemic. What was no longer possible, however, was the face-to-face consultation with customers, partners, and potential buyers. On top of this, a large number of trade fairs were postponed or canceled, and trade fairs had always been a way for us to allow people to experience our products in use first-hand. With the numerous lockdowns, we were forced to become flexible. For this reason, we created the ControlCenter-Xperience—a demo center located directly in our HQ in Germany. The center allows people to experience remotely everything that makes G&D truly unique: performance, quality and usability. From then on, we were able to carry out demonstration tours via live stream. This is a useful tool during the pandemic, and beyond, as a consultation can be arranged regardless of time and place.
What are some of your latest successes?
In the broadcast industry, many are familiar with IP installations and understand the advantages of a networked installation for various applications. The advantage is the use of standard network components. This makes it possible to scale existing IT installations more easily and flexibly, and with greater cost savings. Our most recent successes have been with our high-performance KVM-over-IP extender VisionXS. With the new series, we combined a large scope of functions with performance, in pocket-size format. We provide broadcast professionals an even better user experience, with 10G data transmission technology. One thing we are particular proud of is the integrated switch functionality “IP-MUX,” which allows one console device to manage multiple target IP addresses from up to 20 computer sources, with no additional hardware. As you can see, it packs a punch despite its small size.
How are you marketing yourselves? Increased sales efforts? Social media? Are you using more or less traditional advertising models than before?
We are continuing to grow globally, so we are also expanding on the marketing side. Circumstances during the pandemic made it necessary for us to make greater use of digital communication. This involved not only our ControlCenter-Xperience but also a new website and our communication on social media. As things are now increasingly going back to normal, we have started taking part in more trade shows and events again, in order to communicate with our partners and customers face to face.
How have you coped with staff issues and Covid absences over the last two years?
We were able to retain our quality standards and delivery reliability even when we had staff shortages, as we took precautions early on to prevent multiple employees in one division from being absent at the same time. On top of this, our processes are so standardized that the work that needs to be done can be redistributed at short notice in extreme cases.
In which regions/sector is the company experiencing growth?
The US is currently our strongest growth market. For our subsidiary, G&D North America Inc., Jon Litt was recently appointed as Managing Director to support business development. However, we are also experiencing an increase in projects in EMEA.
How are you servicing your customers?
We are offering personal live consultation in our ControlCenter-Xperience, which anyone can book online at any time. For our customers and partners, this means consultation with a real control room application where we present our extensive range of services in action. Our customers can therefore benefit from our know-how and can book individual live or remote tours for project business. Among other things, our visitors can experience user-friendly functions for the perfect control room application, intelligent control options via API, and solutions for the optimal control of video walls.In addition, we are always happy to provide face-to-face pre-sales consultation.
What does the future hold for G & D? What can we expect to see?
For G&D, one of our future plans is to significantly expand the VisionXS series. This is a high-performance KVM-over-IP extender with powerful video transmission for resolutions up to 4K60. Another interesting development will be our new multiviewing tool with control functionality, which we have added to our product portfolio in addition to our KVM systems as an expansion of our capacity to provide solutions. With the PersonalWorkplace-Controller, we are combining the best of multiviewing and KVM: multiple sources can be displayed, arranged, and controlled on one monitor. This means every user can design their workstation exactly how they want it and control it with just a mouse and a keyboard. If you are interested, you can visit our website or blog to find out more.
For more information about the ControlCenter-Xperience, visit https://xperience.gdsys.com/en
To keep up to date with all the latest news from the company, visit the G&D blog at https://blog.gdsys.de/en/
Finally, for more about the company, visit the G&D website at http://www.gdsys.com