To combat coronavirus, China has consistently used extended lockdowns to contain the spread of the virus. The effects of these are enormous. With creativity, commitment, and a willingness to break new ground, our colleagues at Bosch Rexroth in China manage to keep our customers in focus, even in difficult times.
With a population of more than 24 million, Shanghai is the most populated urban area of China. On 26th March a two-month lockdown began, which would see people restricted to their homes until 31st May 2022. The outbreak caused considerable economic and social disruption across Shanghai with widespread travel restriction and testing.
Throughout the Shanghai lockdown, Bosch Rexroth continued to deliver projects and support for their customers, as well as their employees. Proving that our ethos ‘We move. You win’ prevails, even in the most challenging lockdown conditions. We are proud to say that our team continued to deliver a competitive advantage through safe, efficient, intelligent, and high-performance solutions.
Eddie Kong is Head of the Logistics Department for Bosch Rexroth China Trading Organization. He has been with the business for 26 years, having joined in 1996. Eddie was in Shanghai when lockdown began on 26th March, as many businesses were required to stop trading and residents were placed in strict quarantine.
Logistics is a 24/7 responsibility and Eddie was unable to leave the confines of his accommodation. Working from home was a steep learning experience, which taught him the importance of patience and flexibility. Eddie looked to lead his team and overcame the challenges facing his customers by applying the principles of ‘We move. You win’ to China’s lockdown restrictions.
“We took a proactive approach to international transportation during lockdown, re-routing air freight shipments from Shanghai to other airports. We also decided to restart the use of the railway. At the same time, Bosch Rexroth escalated its appeal to the local government to speed up the devanning process of sea shipments.”
Solutions had to be found and implemented rapidly, as was the case with warehouses and distribution of import parts. Eddie and his team took a proactive approach during the lockdown, using a different warehouse as a backup solution to handle the inbound and outbound of import parts.
Eddie comments “Work had to be done to get transportation permits from local government to get parts out of the seaport and airport. We set up a hub for disinfection and rerouted all outbound transportation to avoid passing through high-risk areas.”
Solutions also needed to be put in place for warehousing and the distribution of local parts, which had previously been shipped from local plants to domestic warehouses. At the time, outbound distribution had taken place from warehouses to our Chinese customers.
Eddie says “During the lockdown, urgent steps were taken to increase the direct delivery volume from local plants to Chinese customers to release the space and capacity of warehouses to handle the import parts. Whilst critical shipments were prioritized, both inbound and outbound, for the non-lockdown customers.”
Aside from the challenges of logistics, Eddie and his team remained motivated during lockdown thanks to regular food packages offered by Bosch Rexroth’s labor union and the local government. His time, during lockdown, was made easier, he says “thanks to the culture of trust, team spirit and recognition at Bosch Rexroth.”
Helen He is a didactics manager at Bosch Rexroth. She’s responsible for providing training and media to educate markets and promote the brand. Helen has been with the company for over 18 years and joined the operation in China in 2004. Working from our headquarters in Shanghai, Helen frequently travels to visit her customers at universities and vocational colleges all over China.
Helen tells us “I stayed at home and worked from my home office during the pandemic. I often had meetings online with customers.”
Helen embraced the opportunity to work from home, which saved a great deal of time spent travelling on the roads. “Online meetings are a flexible and more personal way of communication with my customers” she says. Working from her home office also gave Helen quiet time to focus on writing documents like project proposals.
The main issues for Helen’s customers during lockdown were caused by campus closures and the sudden move towards online tuition. Helen’s team helped to resolve these challenges by supporting teachers with online training and eLearning solutions.
“In May, during lockdown, with the support of the Marketing team, our team delivered 15 courses (Hydraulic Basics, Industrial Hydraulic, Mobile Hydraulics) via online channels to over 3,500 clients and colleagues, free of charge.”
Helen appreciates the importance of her colleagues in overcoming the Shanghai lockdown and looks forward to enjoying free access to campuses in future to meet directly with her customers. Helen is also keen to see the return of the training of Chinese teachers during visits to Bosch Rexroth in Germany.