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Meet the team:
Alison Smith, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO)

Blogs September 1, 2021

Leading the OxTS sales, product management and marketing teams is Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), Alison Smith. Here she shares her thoughts on life at OxTS since the COVID-19 pandemic began:

 

Alison Smith, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), OxTS

I have been part of OxTS for four years now and, like all companies globally, for the last 18 months we have had to cope with the challenges that the COVID 19 pandemic has thrown at us.

COVID changed the way we had to work, and I am proud to say that the whole OxTS team pulled together and concentrated on what we could do, rather than what was temporarily not possible. This has led to long-term improvements in the way we work. As we started this journey, we focused on supporting our customers, keeping our teams safe, and maintaining new product development.

Following guidance from the UK government, in mid-March 2020 we sent most OxTS team members home to work remotely. Only our operations team continued to be based on site full-time. (This was a considerable test of our IT systems, and I am thankful to the IT manager, Doug, and his team for keeping us running!). To make our operations team as safe as possible, we invested in a second production site so that we could socially distance our team members and provide cover if a colleague had to isolate. We also changed the layout of our production facility, implemented screening between workstations and extra cleaning measures. Thanks to the efforts of the operations team, we have been able to continue to offer our standard lead times throughout the pandemic and keep our customers supplied, so they can continue their work.

We also wanted to support all of our customers who were unable to continue with their testing as they had planned. Within a week of having to leave the office and cancel our attendance at forthcoming exhibitions and live demonstration days, we upgraded our webinar hosting software and started to present a comprehensive series of webinars. The aim was to optimise the downtime, when our users were not able to test, to help them to improve their knowledge and skills so they could get the best out of their OxTS systems when testing could safely resume. The series has been very well received and to date, colleagues from our support department and commercial department have hosted over 200 of these webinars, watched by thousands of customers, and we now have a library of content that you can watch anytime. Building on this success, we’re working on further enhancements to the support we offer to our users, so look out for the launch of our on-line training service later this year.

Our other priority was new product development, to make sure that as the pandemic allowed customers to safely return to testing, OxTS would be able to offer new products and solutions as customers expect from our innovative team. The Indoor Positioning System we have developed with HORIBA MIRA and the new xNAV650, our smallest and lightest INS yet, are evidence of the success of the engineering team’s efforts.

In our strategy this year we have made a long-term commitment to innovation by creating a new team focused on bringing new technology into our products and adding this to our existing ranges through sensor fusion and algorithm improvements. This will help both our core automotive and survey customers, and also allow us the opportunity to look for other markets where our unique combination of expertise can help to solve difficult problems. If you think you have such a difficult problem, perhaps in a GNSS-denied environment, or around a new sensor type, please get in touch and the team will be happy to talk with you.

All in all, COVID-19 and its effects have been a huge challenge to the business, but I believe we have surpassed our initial objectives and I am proud of the way the OxTS team pulled together to achieve these great results. We are stronger and more determined than ever.

 

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