Shure continues to support broadcast and production, and more, during the pandemic
COVID-19 has required a significant shift in plans in the broadcast industry and Shure is no exception.
With a long history of helping bring the news to a mass audience through our microphones, the company understands that its role with broadcasters is as important as ever as the industry responds to this pandemic. Shure explains its priorities and how it has been responding to the challenges of the pandemic.
Our first priority is our Associates. As a global company, we initiated plans to take care of our Associates early in the outbreak. In accordance with local and national guidelines, we implemented work-from-home policies for our global Associates where appropriate and established social distancing and sanitisation protocols to keep essential areas of our business running on location.
We have witnessed the evolving impact of the pandemic across our facilities. As it first appeared in China, we have manufacturing and market support functions in that country where we needed to move quickly. We responded fast, enacting new policies and processes in accordance with health and government officials.
Our goal is to safely take care of our Associates while they take care of customers. Customer service and order fulfilment were two focus areas for us to ensure customers would continue to have communication tools during this crisis.
As Shure sells microphones and other broadcast equipment, including wireless systems, headphones, earphones, software, conferencing tools and podcasting accessories in 140 countries, serving those broadcasters during this important time is essential. We are committed to maintaining a supply of goods and still provide customer support.
As with most businesses, we pivoted to a work-from-home scenario for most office-based Associates. With today’s technology, we are still able to collaborate as teams. In some cases – because our Associates work together globally – much of this virtual collaboration is normal. However, we do miss the camaraderie of our fellow Associates, meeting with customers, attending trade shows and industry events, and other hands-on experiences. The key for us is determining how to support our customers during this difficult time. We always want to provide the right level of support, but we recognise that product needs may be different right now.
We expanded our customer webinar schedule to provide more frequent content. While the Shure Audio Institute (SAI) typically provided monthly training sessions, programming is now being delivered weekly. Demand for the sessions has been higher than normal, with three times the audience tuning in for recent training offerings versus previous webinars.
Supply chain issues are affecting many businesses in the electronics industry, and our Operations team has worked diligently to maintain the pipeline of components and continue to manufacture and ship our products to customers who order them. The need for audio products during this period is actually critical for many customers, which has helped enable Shure’s operations to be deemed essential in many locations.
Shure is also supporting our communities where we can. We have donated to Direct Relief, an organisation working with authorities to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to health care workers in affected regions of the world. We’ve also been able to supply needed equipment directly to organisations such as hospitals and schools. In the backyard of our headquarters, Shure is supporting Chicago Independent Venue League (CIVL); in addition to a monetary donation, Shure has recruited some partners in the industry to encourage others to support local live performance venues in the Chicago area and around the world.
As live events and performances have been cancelled or severely reduced, demand for stage microphones and monitoring systems have also declined. With more people working and performing from home, Shure’s home recording, conferencing and headphones products have become more popular. For professional audio, products that can be controlled from a distance over a network or wireless connection has increased in demand. These fluctuations have impacted our supply chain, led to an inconsistent component supply and reduced global freight capacity. This has made transporting goods difficult – adding more cost and delivery times to our typical plans.
Regardless, we’ve ramped up support for the higher demand for home broadcasting equipment. We have always taken pride in exhaustive testing processes that ensure our products are as reliable and dependable as possible, especially as we understand the long-term impact of more robust cleaning regimes on our products. We’ve also worked to ensure consistent customer support during this time to make sure our customers receive the proper attention.
However, COVID-19 changes the broadcast industry, we know that we are all in this together. The industry has always adapted to change – and we’ll have to adapt again. We just celebrated our 95th anniversary, so this Company has been through a lot of challenging times. What has always helped us get through difficult periods is the strength of our Associates and the collaboration of the industry to lean on each other. We’re committed to supporting our broadcast customers throughout this difficult time.
Shure is a Member of the AIB.