PCR talks to HANNspree UK territory manager Martin Kent about overcoming Covid-19 demand issues and how the company is entering new sectors with an ever-evolving range of monitors…
In difficult situations there are those who shy away from the challenge and others who rise to it.
Presented with a truly unprecedented challenge due to the Covid-19 pandemic, HANNspree has not only survived but it has flourished.
In March as the UK entered lockdown, demand for HANNspree products in the UK went through the roof as millions of office workers relocated to their homes. To make matters more complicated, HANNspree’s manufacturers are based in China, which at the time was still under strict lockdown measures. Despite the difficulties HANNspree was able to rise to the occasion to fit out home offices around the country.
And with the move to home working now set to become a prominent part of all our lives, HANNspree has already started exploring how it can create new products to help its customers improve their home office set ups.
Talking PCR through the challenges of recent months, HANNspree UK territory manager Martin Kent also shared upcoming opportunities for channel partners and lifted the lid on new products coming to market – some as a result of Covid-19 and others which were already well along the pipeline.
How has the past year been for HANNspree?
HANNspree has enjoyed a fruitful year. We have engaged new partners, reaped the rewards of sales spikes and increased our presence in various new sectors. That is not to say that there haven’t been challenges. Certainly, the past three months, as I am sure many will be able to relate to, have presented some hoops to jump through and hurdles to leap. With our offices closed we have had to adapt to working from home and embrace virtual conferencing with partners and our overseas colleagues, instead of the face-to-face relations that are second nature to us and we have always believed helps promote more personal relationships. Our manufacturing takes place in China, and supply was hit hard while China was in lockdown. This was also around the same time that sales of displays doubled in one week in the UK due to the demand created by the sudden movement of millions of office workers to their homes.
Despite the supply difficulties, we were in the perfect position to kit out the new army of home workers as they sought hardware to accommodate home life during the Coronavirus pandemic, with our business and consumer monitor portfolio offering the right solutions. From elegant monitors for modern home offices, to portable monitors for people looking to extend their mobile workspace. Consequently, our partners’ sales increased as online sales sky-rocketed.
What are you working on at the moment?
Our focus over the past year has shifted towards our touchscreen and OpenFrame display business. We provide both bespoke and off-the-shelf displays that can be integrated into third-party hardware to create unique solutions for a variety of applications. We have worked closely with numerous large companies to tailor exact display specifications to fulfil their needs and even partnered on unique small projects that have adopted our monitors to create completely new concepts. Our introduction into this vertical sector began with large-scale projects to provide touch displays. Recent examples include providing various display formats for a digital signage system that improves the customer shopping experience and optimises the pricing process in retail and commercial activities.
We have also delivered touch solutions to integrate into a computerised production system for companies specialising in the design and manufacture of hydraulic systems. These projects are having a significant impact on HANNspree’s bottom line and will undoubtedly, increasingly become a focus for our own manufacturing roadmap, and for our sales teams.
We have developed a strategy of leveraging our manufacturing strengths in touch technology to provide an attractive combination of high specification and competitive pricing within what was once a niche market but is now evolving to become a higher volume ‘off-the-shelf’ sector due to the increasing demand.
Most recently HANNspree has launched a new range of portable monitors which are ideal for a mobile workforce providing instant extension of display workspace. Using a single Type-C USB connection, these new monitors can plug- and-play with most laptops, tablets and smartphones and this single connection also provides power and simple data transfer. HANNspree portable monitors are designed to be durable to withstand the rigors of travel, are super lightweight, and perfectly proportioned to slip into a travel bag.
While many are working from home, these monitors are providing the perfect solution for a movable office when juggling workspace with family life. When workers get back on the road or hot desking, portable monitors are ideal for creating an instant dual-display presentation, increasing productivity.
What sets HANNspree apart from other display manufacturers?
HANNspree is part of the HannStar Display Corporation, one of the largest small to medium sized glass panel manufacturers in the world. We are also lucky to have access to the finest touch screen technology thanks to HannsTouch, also a subsidiary of HannStar, and one of the largest touch screen manufacturers in the world. HannsTouch supplies touch technology to some of the largest ‘A’ brands in the global market. The different hi-tech synergies of our Business Group have made it possible for HANNspree to achieve a leading position in the global display market. Thanks to our manufacturing capabilities we are able to deliver a comprehensive portfolio of carefully crafted monitors which is designed to provide for even the most specific requirements.
We are also happy to play in the entry level display sector. Our success in this sector, 12 years ago, gained our HannsG brand household recognition. We have since made the decision to combine our entire product portfolio to sit under the HANNspree umbrella and said goodbye to the HannsG brand to become a single super-brand.
The capacity and production flexibility of HANNspree combined with the commercial and business one, has enabled HANNspree to offer the bespoke display and touch solutions for business applications and the customised open frame touch display solutions for the vertical projects, that are spurring our new business spotlight.
We are immensely proud of our longstanding team. Worldwide, we have dedicated professionals at all levels that go above and beyond to drive the company forward, most of which have been with HANNspree for as long as the company has existed. These familiar faces help make solid, durable relationships with partners, suppliers, and service providers.
Do you have any achievements you are particularly proud of?
We always intended to increase our business opportunities when we opened up our manufacturing capability to tailor commercial solutions. Now, our presence in new sectors is growing exponentially. In a noticeably short time, we have penetrated or increased our presence in countless business sectors previously untouched and are fast becoming a renowned and trusted brand to source bespoke displays from.
From the music industry, in-flight, care homes, education and leisure and hospitality, through to POS, industrial, machinery and warehouse solutions, HANNspree has a growing presence and we are exceedingly proud to have made this divergent business decision with so much lucrative success.
How will HANNspree fulfil the needs of the channel in 2020?
Our channel partners are at the very heart of our sales strategy and remain the most important route to market for HANNspree. We continuously expand our portfolio of standard and touch displays in order to provide distributors and retailers with the right solutions to support consumer demand.
We are particularly conscious of the increasing uptake of touch monitors and by the end of 2020 we intend on having more than 20 SKUs within our HT touch monitor and HO open frame touch ranges.
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