Using Virtual Tech Innovations to Showcase Quality Under Pandemic Challenges

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A remote option brings Smith’s warehouse experience to you – anywhere in the world.

It’s an understatement to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the landscape of how people and businesses operate. While sparked by a somber catalyst, this massive evolution-by-necessity has nonetheless had the silver lining of driving innovations across industries. Limitations have pushed individuals and companies alike to find solutions to unprecedented challenges, and – as we see a slow shift to the new normal of a post-vaccine world – we’ll be bringing these solutions with us.

Smith faced our own set of challenges at the pandemic’s onset. With travel restrictions and other safety precautions in place, it was no longer possible to invite customers into our global operational hubs to see the steps we take to ensure product quality in person.

A pre-pandemic project we’d launched, though, turned out to offer an answer.

Our 3D virtual tour project began with the goal of making access to Smith’s operational facilities tour more widely and easily accessible to any of our global partners – not only those who were visiting us in-person at our hubs in Houston, Hong Kong, or Amsterdam. Our vision was to create a faithful, remotely accessible replication of the facilities walkthrough we offer visitors onsite, in which they get a step-by-step look at our exacting quality process.

The full stop of site visits caused by COVID added fuel to the project’s fire. What had been planned as a supplement to our in-person tours now took center stage, and we successfully built out this immersive, 3D virtual tour of our flagship Houston operational hub.

Through the tour, customers experience Smith’s facilities as though they are visiting in person. The tour is guided by a member of our operations team and mirrors our traditional in-person facilities visits, allowing customers to explore our Houston hub and see each step of our operational process from the convenience and safety of their desks.

From environmental controls and receiving to electronic-component testing and shipping, the tour details all that we do to ensure we’re delivering the highest quality of products and supply chain solutions. Embedded multimedia elements add extra context, highlighting key areas to offer a comprehensive picture of all that goes into Smith’s operations.

Future rollouts will include tours of our Amsterdam and Hong Kong locations, as well.

Across industries and around the world, one universal experience of the COVID-19 pandemic is that we have all been forced to adapt and evolve in unexpected ways. Invention has sprung from that necessity, with virtual technology filling the void of physical proximity and helping us achieve connection where we need it. Video calls have kept family and friends in contact and hosted countless business meetings, concerts and sporting events have gone on with empty seats, and innovations in virtual tours have allowed realtors, museums, and electronics-industry companies like Smith to keep showcasing all we do to keep our customers moving in a changed world.

No matter what disruption happens, we’ll keep evolving to support your sourcing and supply chain needs.

To request a virtual tour of Smith’s facilities, contact your Smith representative or visit https://www.smithweb.com/3d-tour/.

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