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5/12/2020

FIND OPPORTUNITIES EVEN IN DIFFICULTIES. THE INTERVIEW WITH SKEMA'S CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

All of us are living an epochal historical moment of worldwide importance, after the first moment of shock, many are the questions we are asking ourselves about the future and the new everyday life of the coming months. How will the economic sector respond? What are the effects? How to react? We are not economists, but to some of these questions we can give the personal answer of Skema, its approach to the present and the future, and its strategies to find opportunities even in difficulties.

We talked about all this with Nicola De Menis, Skema's Chief Operating Officer. 
This is what he revealed to us.

We start again, with all the security measures of the moment, but we're started again. In fact, Skema never really closed. What did the company focus on during the weeks of lockdown?

In these weeks of lockdown we have partly revolutionized the way we think about work, living the experience as an opportunity to find new perspectives once again.  

The first step was to make the Company safe, thinking about the health of those who work and adopting the Government's recommendations.
At the same time, we acted immediately so as not to abandon the client but, on the contrary, at the very moment of loss and difficulty, we organized ourselves to give support and to face this change together, partly also socio-cultural.
The core of this operation was the digital environment, from which we drew the most strategic resources. Thanks to technology we were able to create a real "digital network" between Skema, its agents and customers. An action that took place at a national level, but which had great momentum especially with our network of relationships abroad, here we have strategically broken down the space/time factor and the relationships have become more intense and qualifying than before.

Training has always been a strength of the company, will it be even more so today? 

Our project is to give it a role increasingly linked to consultancy and market preparation, as well as training dedicated to new products.
Helping customers to enter a new model and the new dynamics of the supply chain is important because where there is knowledge there is also a conscious choice.

Training today is also a culture of change, a friendlier and more everyday approach to digital. 

The new Weki@air training channel is part of this type of training, it was our way of giving continuity to the work, even if in the very complicated situation. We did hundreds of webinars during this period, divided into eight different themes, which today make up the Weki@air, a tool that already existed, but that today has had a decisive push forward.
The meeting scheduled in digital form has been extremely fruitful for everyone: the time available is optimized, the people involved are more concentrated, more attentive, the topics are focused and punctual, the quality of the meeting benefits and allows to grow in competence and know-how. Changes that we will not abandon in the future. 

Today Skema is making many tools available to customers and partners, such as those to give guidance on how to start up again safely, with confidence and competitiveness. Looking up to the future, what is Skema focusing on?

We are taking a new road on the communication front, the digital one, very useful and preparatory to get, for example, to build together with the customer Skematheca project, a new way to involve the customer in a shopping experience that passes through interaction and conscious choice, more participatory, both from a rational and emotional point of view.

In Skematheca there is our whole panorama: there is the customer, there is the product, there is the design, there is the technology. There is an exclusive way to communicate with the customer and make him understand the whole company philosophy.

Skema is a company that promotes change, and it often shows this in its communication, how will it evolve in the coming times?

Digital activity will become increasingly important and varied. We will adopt the use of technical and emotional videos, there will be interviews and insights with industry professionals. The new resources teach us that relationships with customers and partners can be done in many ways. Online and offline now merge and complement each other to lead to an integrated end result. We will certainly return to direct contact as well, but valuable training will definitely go digital.

What about trade fairs and traditional events?

The year 2020 saw the cancellation of the meetings Skema had decided to attend. For us it's just a postponement, for example the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan 2021 is a must in which we will certainly participate.

Finally: is there a message Skema wants to give to customers and partners?

We are sure that these are difficult times for our customers as well, we are all facing the problem of a drastic drop in turnover. And so the first thought is to do our best to get out of this health and economic crisis as soon as possible. Skema is close to its customers by providing people and their skills and offering all the tools to start again, with a shared evolutionary process and with the promotion of our products more and more focused on consumer satisfaction, in their living and working space.

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