How Webinars Have Kept the Automotive Industry ActiveBy Alejandro Enríquez | Mon, 05/04/2020 - 12:28
Initiatives to make companies more resilient to the COVID-19 pandemic have been implemented by automotive clusters across Mexico. Webinars and virtual meetings have been the go-to option for companies to approach supply chain disruptions and production suspensions in North America.
Webinars are as simple as an online seminar but as complicated as the topic being discussed. The person, group or company in charge of the webinar must have a relevant role in its segment. Nuevo Leon and Guanajuato automotive clusters have been very proactive in promoting these tools among their associates.
The topics industry experts have been discussing are mostly related to strategies to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Resuming operations in the country, revision of clauses in contracts, financing schemes to cope with cash flow problems, as well as complying with health inspections at workplaces have been among the key topics that clusters have addressed. Employees' mental health and training are also hot webinar topics.
Automotive clusters remain active throughout the year with seminars, workshops and committee meetings to oil the automotive industry’s engine. Now, most of those events are taking place in the virtual world. According to Jeroen Posma, Director at Mexico Business Publishing: "as we are forced to let go of our entrenched preference for face-to-face commercial communication, webinars offer home-office professionals the opportunity to feel more connected with customers and prospects."
Other industry players including AMDA, ANPACT and AMIA have also been promoting webinar initiatives among their associates with very much success. According to Fernando Cruz, President of the Swiss-Mexican Chamber of Commerce and Industry, webinars play an important role on battling COVID-19's consequences. As part of its efforts "to assist Swiss and Mexican companies in legal matters", the chamber has organized webinars with legal firms and Swiss banks.
As long as the automotive industry remains a non-essential activity for the Mexican Health Council, there are little chances for suppliers to resume operations before June. OEM production lines remain shut down in North America and will remain so until May 18, if conditions allow it. Resuming dates have been postponed several times as the pandemic evolves.
Betting on digital initiatives to remain active is essential for companies to settle agreements and create business partnerships for when the situation improves. “In mid-April we stopped delivering products to the automotive industry. We will have to readjust our numbers but we will remain close to our clients. The automotive industry is really dynamic and no OEMs have withdrawn their production orders for 2020 and 2021. In the worst-case scenario, we will experience delays. The best thing we can do right now is to support our clients,” says Wenevir Maldonado, Commercial Director Latin America North of Coats México.