A top result in preventive maintenance and a gradual recovery of new machine business: How STUDER has come through the Corona crisis so far. An assessment by Managing Director Sandro Bottazzo.
Drops in sales, short-time working: The Corona pandemic has hit the world economy with a force never experienced before. Numerous industries are reporting dramatic developments. STUDER, one of the world market leaders in cylindrical grinding from Steffisburg in Switzerland, has so far weathered the crisis relatively well, emphasizes Sandro Bottazzo, Managing Director and, as CSO, responsible for Sales, Customer Care und Marketing.
The pandemic also hit STUDER just when recovery was taking hold again. “In January and February 2020 we had a very steady order intake, which even exceeded expectations”, says the CSO. But then Corona arrived. STUDER’s priorities were the health of the staff and the company’s survival. The company set up a Corona Task Force as soon as lockdown occurred. Efforts were made throughout the company to reduce the physical presence of over 700 staff at the various locations, in order to reduce the risk of infection. And today all staff and visitors at the STUDER locations wear face masks. “In some instances, our rules even go beyond the official requirements”, explains the Managing Director.
New machine business is picking up
The second main priority: the company’s survival. Up to now, STUDER has been able to continue production throughout the pandemic at the two Swiss locations, Thun and Biel. The supply of outsourced parts, generally from other European countries, has also worked perfectly. When the new machine business will get back to pre-Corona levels, still remains to be seen, says the Managing Director. In some markets like the USA, China, some countries in Eastern and Northern Europe as well as Italy, business is gradually picking up, but unfortunately, the German market remains rather subdued.
In Customer Service demand initially dropped sharply with lockdown, but then recovered very quickly again. STUDER was able to maintain Customer Care throughout the whole period. “Our broad international presence has really proved its worth here”, says Bottazzo. STUDER has a presence in all relevant international markets, with its own staff or with representatives. As a result, most customer requirements could be fulfilled locally in the markets. Together with the Group branches in the USA, China, and India, STUDER has well over 200 employees in Service worldwide.