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Fisher & Paykel COO on adapting to the ‘new norm’

Fisher & Paykel chief operating officer, Jeremy Sargeant is pleased with the positive approach that the business has taken to adapt to the new circumstances, he told Appliance Retailer in a recent video interview.

When asked about how the team has adapted to the pandemic, Sargeant said: “It has been quite a surreal experience because everyone has had to change the manner in which they work quite dramatically and mobilising a large team around Australia to work from home wasn’t easy with a lot of IT work involved.

“For me, what was pleasing was the positive approach that our business took – the adaptability and the agility – there was no whinging, instead a real spirit to get on with it and we got really busy.

“The appliance trade over the last few months has been extraordinary under the circumstances. We have had to learn new ways to talk to our customers, new ways to get an order from them and new ways to train and I feel that we have achieved all of this very well. We are pleased in the manner that our business has responded and I couldn’t have asked for anymore.”

When asked about team communication, F&P has set up Microsoft Teams as its primary forum to communicate. “Now all of our regular meetings are run on Teams and in some cases, we have had over 100 people on a call. We do a lot of work with New Zealand, so they join our Teams meetings also. The adaptability from being face to face to Teams has been dramatic but embraced by the business.

“We have also conducted Teams meetings with our retail partners for business reviews and I think it will be the way forward. We will still have face to face, but we will also do some meetings virtually using the Teams forum.”

Appliance Retailer caught up with Jeremy via Zoom to receive this commentary. 

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