The past year with the rise of Covid-19 around the Earth has been a challenge to all of us. See how our European subsidiaries dealt with the pandemic around Europe and how our customer support and other services adapted to these new situations in the different countries. Click on the countries to see our personal experiences!
If you need any further information about how LECO operates during the Corona pandemic or to schedule your personal appointment with us, click on the contact button.
The start of the years begins with the usual enthusiasm, targets set, goals to achieve and strategy to achieve them. I remember being in Dusseldorf for a managers meeting on March the 3rd. Life was still normal, and the word ’lockdown’ was only ever heard on a Friday when my children were watching Wrestling. We were able to travel, visit restaurants and have a beer without the constraints of the facemasks, social distancing and track and trace apps. Life was normal. Within a month the world changed – lockdowns, stay-at-home, work from home, stay safe.
As the LECO customers adapted to this new way of life due to COVID, so did we. Our sales force worked from home and like never before used this relatively unheard-of platform called Microsoft TEAMS to interact with customers.
“I hear the chimes of ‘TEAMS’
calling me in my sleep now.”
Our service team continued to work throughout the pandemic with the new additions to their LECO uniform. LECO face masks and gloves. And of course, let’s not forget the bottles of hand sanitiser. As well as remote selling was used, remote service support came to the forefront. Both sales and service teams adapted to continue the high level of support that has become a custom with LECO.
LECO UK has been able to adapt and continued to support our customers while keeping ourselves and customers safe. Let hope moving into 2021 we can get back to some sort of previous normality. The vaccines are coming and there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel but for the moment we continue with the slogan of Hands – Face – Space.
Michael Reaney, UK Sales Director, LECO Instruments UK Ltd.
The first picture shows our engineer Yuri Laptev during a Pegasus 4D service visit to Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology.
The second one was taken at the Analytika exhibition in Moscow last year.
Gulnara Shaidullina, Ph.D., Separation Science Sales Engineer, LECO Russia and CIS
It has for sure been a challenge even though Sweden have had less restrictions. When crossing borders to Norway, Denmark and Finland our service technicians have sometimes had to take Covid-19 tests before. We have been fortunate, no one in our team have been infected as we know of. We haven’t even been to Iceland since the start of the pandemic. Our service technicians try to go by their own cars to customers, which have meant drives up to 14 hours single way.
On the sales side it has of course been a challenge in other ways. But with ‘Teams’, online demos and Virtual Trade show our sales team have connected with our customers in the best way possible. We only attended one real trade show since the start of the pandemic – LabDays in Copenhagen – but the attendance was of course quite thin…
Lennart Schwartz, Ph.D, Sales Director Nordic Region, LECO Nordic AB
Since 14th of March of 2020, and the declaration of State of alarm in Spain, Leco Instrumentos started to work in a new different way, adapting to the new scenario of pandemic. All the employees completed a training course regarding the new risk at work and the personal protective equipment for COVID-19:
- We all learnt about the use of face masks and the way to wash our hands
- Some employees customised their masks… thanks to their mother’s support!
- Remote working was the only option in most of cases.
- Virtual meetings have come to stay.
- The service team has been active since the first day, working in safe conditions.
So far, everything was normal… But LECO Spain had to face a new challenge – to move to a new office. It was a hard task cleaning the old facilities and open boxes – a lot of boxes. And in times of COVID we had to consider to organise small groups at the office working together. Minimising risks was a priority despite of the fact that we needed to be operative in the new facility in a short time. The collaboration of the Tres Cantos-based employees was essential.
But the result made the effort worthwhile! And the Spanish LECO team is ready for 2021!
Leticia García, Commercial Director, Spain & Portugal
From the perspective of the German Service Centre, a Corona routine has emerged throughout the past months. Customer demands increased - ever so often our service engineers are only allowed to enter labs after presenting a negative Corona test result. Of course, this requires special logistics in scheduling. In addition, there are different Corona rules the federal states of Germany and abroad, which makes planning much more difficult. But our colleagues adapt, as the pictures show, and as our colleague Manuel Lindemann describes below.
"When the pandemic really took off from March / April 2020, I first noticed a lot of uncertainty among both myself and the customers. There were many questions: What is Corona? What happens if I fall ill? How will this affect my work? Will the customers still let me enter their lab? How will LECO react? Now, almost a year later, there are still some questions left to be answered, but as humans we adapt and get used to the new circumstances – positive and negative.
in the beginning of the pandemic, I remember waiting for hours in 100m-long queues between lorry drivers and other visitors at a company and having to wait for the gatekeeper to let me pass. And there were customers who had their "special" views. From "Corona doesn't exist” to “You don't need the mask here" and "We have an internal lockdown, you can't get in" – it was all there.
After one year many questions remain unanswered, but some questions have already become obsolete. What remained as well, unfortunately, are the waiting times at customers‘ sites. Simply walking in and working on a unit is no longer possible. "Where are you from? Have you had contact with infected people? What does your Corona Warn app say? Do you have any symptoms?” ...And so on. What I've also noticed is that social interaction often gets left behind these days unfortunately – be it a casual conversation or just a gesture that disappears behind the mask. But, hopefully that is to come back soon.
But LECO protect their employees very well and always has an open ear for questions – a solution will be found together. All in all, I think we have organised ourselves very well and will probably make it through the rest of the pandemic."
Manuel Lindemann & Thomas Post, LECO Instrumente GmbH Deutschland
After a beginning of year full of prospects and projects, the arrival of Covid-19 took us by surprise. Italy was the first European nation to be massively attacked by the virus, the first cases recorded were in the north of the country, particularly in Lombardy, the region where the headquarters of the LECO branch in Italy are located.
To counter the spread of the virus, the entire country was placed in the "red zone" and operations were greatly reduced to adapt to the new situation.
- The symposium of world interest on the GC×GC in Riva del Garda, as well as other local events, albeit no less important, have been cancelled
- We did our meetings online
- The office staff worked in smart working
- The technical staff continued to follow their customers both remotely via the telephone and with remote interventions, and in person with the help of masks, gloves, overalls and protective goggles.
The pandemic has led us to cover our faces with masks, but it has not managed to extinguish our enthusiasm and we hope that 2021, together with the vaccine, gives us the opportunity to resume showing our smiles.
Rita M. Monfredini, LECO Italy S.R.L.
We’re dealing with the pandemic problem in a similar way, like the rest of the world:
- Using, masks and gloves
- Struggling with scheduling sales visits
- Mostly using ‘Teams’ and mobile phones to contact with each other and with customers…
Tomasz Stójkowski, Sales Director LECO Poland & Baltics
Online Demo Service at European Application & Technology Center Berlin
Since February 2020 we provide an Online Demo Service at our European Application & Technology Center in Berlin, giving customers an insight into our LECO products and laboratory processes conveniently from their desks and without the need to travel. For our Online Demo Service, a good preparation is required to meet our's and our customers’ high standards.
- The sales enigneer requests instrument, possible date, and time at the EATC
- After feedback, the date and time is clarified with the customer
- After completion of our internal Event Request Form to collect all needed information about the customer, instrument, date and time the EATC blocks the date for the customer
- The team at EATC provides an online meeting link accordingly and invites the sales engineer to this meeting
- The sales engineer then provides the invitation with this link to their customer and if needed other colleagues who will participate.
- Customer and sales engineer login to the online meeting which will be started by the EATC team.
- The camera at EATC is usually placed in front of the desired instrument, when the meeting starts.
- The sales engineer starts with an introduction of themselves and the EATC team in local language.
- This is followed by some introductory words to outline the demo – also in local language
- The EATC team can do measurements of standards, explain the analysis, and point and zoom the camera wherever needed to get the best possible instrument and software overview.
- It is also possible to measure customer samples, if they are provided some days in advance to the online demo.
Get in touch with us to arrange an individual online appointment for you!
Visit our LECO Virtual Trade Show
Due to the Corona pandemic, numerous trade shows and events are being cancelled or postponed where we would have liked to welcome or customers as a guest. To give you the opportunity to stay in touch with LECO, we have organised our LECO Virtual Trade Show. Our specialists invite you to get to know our solutions for various application fields and markets in a personal meeting.
Visit our registration website and book your free ticket today. Your local sales partner will schedule a meeting and guide you through our exhibition and introduce you to our solutions for your lab.
GET YOUR FREE TICKET