In the second interview of Dassault Systèmes’ Asia Pacific South (APS) Partner Spotlight Series 2021, which highlights business owners from our Customer Process Experience partner community, we speak to Gerd Diegelmann, Managing Director of Simuserv Pty. Ltd.
Simuserv is Dassault Systèmes’ SIMULIA partner in Australia and New Zealand, providing high quality simulation engineering consulting services to businesses from a wide range of industries, including Automotive, Packaging, Railway, Oil & Gas, Aerospace and Mining.
In this interview, Gerd shares the company’s experience in managing the ongoing pandemic crisis and adjusting their business operations as the new normal sets in.
- What is the role of Marketing in Simuserv’s business strategy?
I think at the end of the day, what we need to remember is that people do business with people. Marketing is key to our success in the long-term as it builds our brand and grows our business.
Our experience has shown that we need to generate as many touch points with our prospects and customers. Marketing is a great tool to generate these touch points. Marketing activities, such as “lunch and learn” events, have always been a great way to generate those touch points with both the existing customers as well as new prospects. User group meetings, where users of the software have the opportunity to discuss technical issues and share best practices with like-minded peers, have also been very effective in building up an engaged community.
In recent years, we have been engaging more intensively account-based marketing (ABM), for example through LinkedIn Sales Navigator, to identify the right stakeholders in key accounts, identify the networks related to key accounts, which helps us to better understand our customers’ needs, especially with larger accounts.
- What were biggest challenges faced by Simuserv during the pandemic?
One of the biggest challenges was the inability to see our customers, prospects and colleagues face-to-face. Until recently, we couldn’t do any of the face-to-face marketing events that we usually did and had to rely on online marketing activities.
Another key challenge was helping customers who were facing cashflow problems during the lockdown. We worked closely with these customers to extend payment terms on selected services and tailored the solutions accordingly.
- What’s your advice in managing challenges brought forth by a crisis, like the current pandemic?
The pandemic is a crisis. What you need in a crisis, which is also a business crisis, is to show compassionate leadership. As what I said before, people do business with people. The compassionate leadership that you show internally and externally during a time of crisis will be the foundation of your future business direction and growth.
At Simuserv, we made the decision to retain all our staff at full hours, both in our sales and technical divisions. We did not have a single reduction in capacity. That clearly gives a signal, both internally as well as externally (to our customers), that we are a company that puts people first. During the lockdown period, we regularly checked in with our staff and customers to see how they are.
- What’s your ambition for 2021 and the future of Simuserv?
Like with everyone else, we can’t wait for this pandemic is over, so that we can start connecting again with all our customers, prospects and staff face-to-face.
For Simuserv, we will focus on helping our customers get through the current crisis and prepare their businesses for future growth. We will look into expanding our solution offerings from the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to grow our customer base further.
You can view Gerd’s interview in the following video.