"Our primary focus from the start has been the health and well-being of our associates, customers and vendor partners."
Last month, Sonepar USA Leaders sat down with Elizabeth Galentine at Modern Distribution Management magazine, and reflected upon how they were able to prepare for the COVID-19 Pandemic, and in which ways it has influenced their approach to digital developments
Despite the challenges that companies all around the world are facing this year, Rob Taylor, President, North America cited the importance of staying calm in times of crisis, stating, "Our primary focus from the start has been the health and well-being of our associates, customers and vendor partners." He continued, "Sonepar's decentralized structure allows for a more comprehensive view of associates' needs. We heavily leaned on that as we prepared for the pandemic to hit the US, and it has continued to shape our response."
Bernadette Palumbo SVP of HR spoke proudly on the measures that Sonepar USA has implemented in order to enable associates to come to work without worry. She explained, "The company provided employees with resources to assist with everything from insurance and billing issues, locating legal, financial and childcare resources, to managing stress and anxiety. All of these things are really important because we've been all been living through this for so many months, it's not only taken a toll on us physically, but I think also mentally, we need to acknowledge that and continue support our associates."
Sonepar USA moved quickly when the situation in the US began to worsen as Mike Smith, CIO and VP of Operations stated, "When COVID-19 hit, Sonepar was able to go from roughly zero to nearly 4,000 VPN users within about a week. Nobody's missed a beat." This controlled transition to remote working has emphasised the importance of embracing new, sophisticated digital solutions.
Speaking on how Sonepar is developing their digital scope, Rob commented, "Innovation is a key focus area for us right now and has only been strengthened by our need to adapt during the global pandemic. Along with our digital capabilities, it is key to enabling us to continue meeting our customers' needs and offering solutions that they may not realize they need yet." He continued, "We've also fast tracked the initiatives that will help us continue providing the best possible omnichannel experience to our customers as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times. Our financial strength affords us the ability to continue reviewing potential acquisitions and look for opportunities to grow and expand to meet our customers where the need us. While we've certainly had to shift priorities in some areas, the hard work, dedication and agility of our associates have set us up to stay on track for the future."
Read the full interview here: Sonepar USA Doesn't Miss a Beat.pdf
About Sonepar USA
Sonepar USA is an independent, family-owned company with global market leadership in the B-to-B distribution of electrical, industrial and safety products, services and solutions. We are a proud member of the Sonepar Group, the world's largest privately held electrical distributor. Sonepar entered the US in 1998 and has continued to grow due to strategic acquisitions and organic growth. Today, Sonepar USA is represented by 14 locally managed operating companies with over 700 locations nationwide. For more information, visit soneparusa.com.