A perspective from the owner

  • Date
  • 07 May 2020
  • Author
  • Keith Jessop

Islands in the storm

It is wonderful to see that our leaders, and those of Australia, recognise that a strong alliance between our two countries is of great value in the current circumstances.

It was heartening to learn that Prime Minister Ardern had accepted Australian leader Scott Morrison's invitation to video call into his ministerial Cabinet meeting on Tuesday; the first time a New Zealand leader had attended a meeting of the cabinet since World War 2. The shared goal of a trans-Tasman Covid-safe travel zone in the near future is also a welcome and comforting notion.

We love beating the Ozzies on the sports fields as much as we love visiting their beautiful country, and having them visit ours. We love working together, too, and enjoy a mutually down-to-earth approach to doing business.

Perhaps we all took our two countries’ ties for granted before the pandemic of 2020; this unprecedented crisis has ushered in a new awareness of the value of those ties.

At the same time, Covid-19 has also shown us that we can keep doing business together for as long as social distancing (in this case, on an international scale) is required. A host of technology solutions now allow service or product vendors and clients to work together very effectively, without a physical face-to-face.

During the 20 years that we’ve been running an ERP solutions business out of Christchurch, we’ve been constantly challenged with the viability of selling and implementing such solutions outside our region. Often one gets asked, “How many staff do you have in Auckland?” or “Do you have a physical presence in Australia?”

The thinking is that if you don’t have “boots on the ground” there is no way you can effectively implement an ERP solution. The responding challenge I would give is,
“Do those questions still have any relevance?”

 Everything has changed! From our homes in Christchurch, Auckland, Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne the EMDA team is now not only implementing software, but also conducting the entire sales process. We are running all of our internal meetings, Board meetings, meetings with suppliers and so on from  home – effectively and at a lower cost.

 Our close-knit team culture has ensured a successful continuation of business in this time of change. Within EMDA and in collaboration with clients we view ourselves as One Team; we also strive to Be Good Company, Keep Good Company our digital handshake remains firm across today’s channels of remote communication.

At the risk of overusing the phrase “the new normal” let us hope that, when we look at the status quo through a fresh lens, we will come to the conclusion that it’s not so bad! Yes, one cannot beat the reward of true personal contact. We all long for the day when we can reunite our teams, visit our clients, socialise with friends and share the camaraderie of events like the Coast to Coast.

Still, we now know that we have all been overly-reliant on the “personal contact” method of doing business as the only way of doing business. Guided by our ethos of Global Vision – Local Expertise, the EMDA team is remotely but fully “in your city”, boots on the ground. We’ve been there for a long time now, whether you’re in Wellington or Perth.

Wishing you continued success.