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WEEK 2: Your guide to how Wattwatchers is addressing the escalation of the COVID-19 crisis

by Gavin Dietz
posted on Monday, March 23rd, 2020
Wattwatchers will update on our business continuity responses to the novel coronavirus weekly, and more frequently if significant changes occur day to day. We aim to keep our customers, partners and wider community of interest well informed, and to stay engaged in the smart energy management ecosystem. We’ll paste previous posts at the end of each new update (see Week 1 below).

As everyone has been experiencing, across Australia and around the world, it has been a week of extraordinary escalation in the COVID-19 global health crisis. 

Business as usual is no longer an option, so at Wattwatchers our imperative now is to innovate effective ways to maintain and grow our core operations, our services to our customers, and our performance and well-being as a team.

Over the past week, the Wattwatchers team has adapted rapidly to working remotely, to the extent that with our office lease due to expire in May, we’ve decided to terminate and go ‘virtual’ for the foreseeable future.

We’ll be working hard to make sure that this doesn’t impact negatively on our customers and partners, which will include ramping up our regular engagement – and physical presence where absolutely required – at our manufacturing and logistics supplier, Classtek, located in the Sydney suburb of Rydalmere.

Over the next few weeks you’ll be seeing new product and project announcements emerging from Wattwatchers, as we proactively reshape and reset to fit the times. 

We’re maintaining a close watch on key business issues that are being affected by the global pandemic, including early signs that manufacturing supply chains out of China are restarting, hopefully a positive trend; and major volatility in the Australian-US dollar exchange rate, potentially a significant negative for our cost of goods and manufacturing, which are denominated in $US, but that also could be a positive for our price competitiveness internationally.

We’ll also be keeping an eye out for opportunities for Wattwatchers, and our partners and customers, that may flow from government stimulus and restructuring packages. For example, the Australian Government’s Instant Asset Write-off has been raised from $45,000 to $150,000, and can include energy equipment e.g. solar and storage (see a summary of the complete list at the ATO). 

You can help us to help you by:

Ordering as early as possible, including flagging potential orders with us so that we can best manage our supply chain, and be highly responsive to your needs and timelines

Making larger orders less frequently, rather than constant small orders 

Letting us know how you are being impacted, and the barriers and also opportunities that you see in the marketplace – especially where Wattwatchers may be able to help, for example by changing what we do already, or by doing new things.

 Gavin Dietz, CEO, Wattwatchers Digital Energy

 

Previous posts in our COVID-19 response sharing

Week 1 – March 16, 2020

We’re working from home: update on how Wattwatchers is addressing the COVID-19 pandemic

COMPANY ANNOUNCEMENT

In response to escalating global health concerns being driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wattwatchers team will be working from home wherever possible until further notice.

Consistent with wider official advice to the Australian community, our people have been asked to minimise attendance at external meetings and eliminate non-essential travel.

Fortunately, Wattwatchers has always embraced flexible working arrangements for our team members, and we are all well-equipped to operate from home and online.

While at this stage we don’t expect serious impacts on our customer-facing services and support, our team will be monitoring circumstances constantly.

We will update our partners and customers promptly if further significant issues emerge that are likely to adversely affect our day-to-day operations, services and availability.

As with so many others in these extraordinary times, Wattwatchers inevitably is being affected by the fallout from the global spread of the COVID-19 virus, including:

  • Disruption to device production and supply from China, from which the virus originally emerged a few months ago, and which until recently has been its epicentre.  You can assist us to coordinate supply of stock by ordering early wherever possible.

  • Wider economic pressures triggered by the global spread of the virus, especially the decline in the value of the Australian dollar.

  • Postponement of events in which Wattwatchers had been scheduled to participate, including the Smart Energy 2020 conference and exhibition, which has been rescheduled from April 7-8 to September 29-30.

Any such impacts also are being monitored closely and will be addressed if or when required, with timely updates to our partners and customers.

 

 Gavin Dietz, CEO, Wattwatchers Digital Energy

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