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Allsee Technologies: Turning a successful product into a coronavirus response

Baoli Zhao
Baoli Zhao diversified the company’s product range as a temporary solution during the coronavirus

As part of our ongoing Rebuild project, Be the Business is catching up with small business leaders from different industries. Allsee Technologies is one such business, adapting its digital display business for a post-coronavirus world and tackling the issues of Brexit.

Birmingham-based Allsee Technologies specialise in digital signage, making products for a predominantly retail-focused client base. When the pandemic struck and retail outlets closed, the company recognised the need to diversify its product range.  

By utilising skills, knowledge and a set-up that already worked efficiently, Allsee Technologies diverted efforts into creating a temporary coronavirus solution. 

“We know that it’s only temporary,” said Baoli Zhao, the company’s managing director, “but we did it to relieve a little bit of the pressure on us and to give more incentive for a retailer to install our screens.”

Adapt to survive

Allsee Technologies had been expanding its client base and product since first opening in 2007. 

“Our main market is working with retailers, and we have been doing very well in the last few years,” Baoli said. “In the first quarter of 2020, compared to the last quarter, we had 11 per cent growth, and then the pandemic happened.”

With retail outlets initially closed, and then strict measures in place upon reopening, the business found margins dropping dramatically. 

“In April, we lost 75 per cent of sales, and in May we lost 54 per cent, which was a big loss,” Baoli continued. “We knew we couldn’t wait on that product [to become sought-after again] – we knew we had to make a quick decision.”

The challenges

Although their coronavirus pivot reaped good results for Allsee Technologies, the company knew that it had many difficult challenges ahead of it, from the changing face of the high street to the uncertainty of Brexit. 

We’ll be catching up with Baoli every month to find out how Allsee Technologies is getting on. To follow the company’s story, navigate the dropdowns below to find out what their updates are across the key challenges it faces.

For more stories on how business leaders are dealing with these turbulent times, click here.

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