“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” – BMPRO looks back to 2020
No business was immune to the challenges of 2020, and BMPRO was not an exception. With lockdowns imposed in Australia and business closures in the US, the company had to react quickly to the changing business environment. As a manufacturer, BMPRO had do come up with a plan to protect the business, its’ workers and their families.
Firstly, the company developed a COVID-19-safe plan. Following the guidelines and recommendations of DHS, Australian Industry Group and Business Australia, BMPRO reshuffled business procedures, with office workers moving to the WFH arrangements, while manufacturing staff working in shifts to minimise person to person contact and facilitate safe distance between the operators. Visitor management and face mask wearing rules were also introduced, allowing to reduce the risk of the spread of the virus.
Frequent and clear communication and reiteration of the rules was a key to a successful implementation of the plan, and with everyone following the guidelines the positive behavioural patterns were established.
Secondly, a temporary reduction of the paid work hours has been introduced, which allowed to avoid redundancies and to keep the workforce feeling secure, valued and protected in hard times.
The company kept a positive attitude to the situation supporting local community and team members. Company’s CEO Louise Bayliss delivered Easter eggs to the local hospital; marketing team run a “camp at home” challenge for the staff, HR team ensured that everybody working from home had appropriate setups and access to the technology, and also supported workers with mental health checks and advice.
Building foundation for the new growth spurt
It was extremely important to use the relative lull in business caused by the drop in orders to build the foundation for the new growth spurt, and BMPRO used this time wisely.
Some team members used this time to deepen their knowledge and study, the company held some extensive marketing research to better understand their customers and changes in their behaviour caused both by the changing demographics of caravanners and by the pandemic. Based on the research it was determined that flexibility and ease of use of the smart RV systems were of high importance to BMPRO customers. This knowledge guided BMPRO to integrate SmartConnect into all BMPRO smart RV systems, such as Odyssey, JAYCOMMAND and RVMaster.
New products development
BMPRO used the downtime of 2020 to develop new products. Firstly, the company offered an extended range of OEM products for the US market, growing its share of smart RV systems in the US. Multiple models of Jayco RVs now feature the JAYCOMMAND powered by BMPRO, customised to the wide range of floorplans, with options of a controller, a display, and an app on the mobile phone.
Secondly, BMPRO improved and extended the current offering in Australia with a free Odyssey app now available to the owners of Odyssey system, updated original models of J35 now featuring lithium charging profile, new models of lithium batteries, updated battery and caravan monitors RVView2 and Trek3 now compatible with Odyssey app, and more.
Finally, a bunch of new products that has been in development through 2020, will be released later in 2021, and the company hopes they will be well regarded by Australian and American adventurers.
All in all, the company withstood the harsh business conditions of 2020 and is starting 2021 on a strong note, which was possible thanks to the optimism of the management, great teamwork both of the remote workforce and production team and positive can-do attitude of everyone at BMPRO.
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