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Spotlight on Denmark with Kalle Hvidt Nielsen, DPA Microphones

Spotlight on Denmark with Kalle Hvidt Nielsen, DPA Microphones

Spotlight on Denmark with Kalle Hvidt Nielsen, DPA Microphones

Open Mic – our regular Q&A channel for industry insight

Where are you writing this from? 
My office at home – in front of my computer with an MMA-A digital audio interface and a DPA mic attached. I am participating in many virtual meetings these days, so it is important that the sound is perfect.

How has the lockdown affected you? 
The lockdown has had a very significant impact on our customers – and therefore us. We have been busy adjusting our plans and supporting our valued customers with the challenges they have in this new environment. All of our sales and marketing people are working from home, focusing on helping our partners and customers through this difficult time. One example of this is our educational article about how to clean microphones:
Production, logistics and service are still in full swing. We have longer opening hours in production so that fewer employees are working at any one time. In addition, we are continuously cleaning and disinfecting the factory. We have also cancelled all external visits to the factory so that only factory personnel are allowed inside. Our other employees have been working from home for weeks, using video conferencing to make sure that their tasks are progressing as normal. We are just starting to open up the office again so that some departments can come back into their departments. We are following the Danish government's recommendations on how to do this in a safe way.

How has your company reacted to this?
We have adjusted manufacturing to the needed demand in close cooperation with our sub-suppliers. Everyone that can efficiently work from home has been asked to do so. We continue, however, at full speed with exciting new product developments. Our R&D department was the first department allowed to come back and work in the office.

What are you having to do differently, and could any of this be adopted going forward?
We are a very agile organisation with a strong team of employees. We believe we can quickly adapt to almost any situation. The biggest challenge is the lack of visibility, so we have to maintain multiple planning scenarios depending on how deep the decline will be, how long it will last and the impact it will have on the industry. This situation has taught us a lot about how to work more efficiently from distanced locations – this is a useful skill for a global organisation.

Any silver linings?
We are in a creative industry with tremendous innovation power. I believe this crisis will lead to new exciting ways of presenting and consuming the art.

Any useful advice for the industry in these times?
Take good care of your colleagues and dear ones – it’s a tough time for most people right now, so we need to support each other. Be creative. Find ways to reach out to consumers. Everyone in the world misses going to a concert, a soccer match or the theatre – let's create some fantastic alternative solutions.

Are you noticing signs of anything approaching normality?
Very slowly. Many countries are making progress in fighting the coronavirus. Nevertheless, I'm afraid that it will still be a while until things get back to normal for our industry.

What do you predict the rest of the year will look like for the industry?
I think 2020 will be a very difficult year for our industry and many others. The summer season is lost in most countries – this is a major blow to many of us. However, this will not last forever and people all over the world are looking forward to attending concerts, theatre productions and sporting events when it is safe to do so. This could create a boom in our industry.

Further ahead, what’s the future going to look like?
I believe it is likely that we will see a gradual return to normal over a prolonged time. People will be careful initially but eventually the market will become stronger than ever before. Being unable to enjoy events for the past months has taught everyone the value of being able to go out with friends and enjoy a great concert or show. I think this will eventually create a bigger market than ever.

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