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How we’ve coped through Covid and the surprising opportunities it has given us

December 01, 2020

  • Reaching Record Sales Growth of £1Million
  • Winning biggest ever Purchase Order worth £700,000
  • Investing £20,000 to meet "Stay at Home" guidelines

Coping through the Coronavirus Pandemic

Monday 16th March 2020 was without a doubt the most uncertain and worrying time for a lot of people and businesses after Boris Johnson instructed that we must "Stay at Home".

As a manufacturer of cable assemblies & wiring looms for medical equipment, we were concerned about this instruction as it was vital for us to be in our factory so that we could continue delivering these products into the safety critical industries. After clarifying that our factory must remain open so that we could support the medical industry in such a crisis, we were not required to close the factory, however had to ensure immediate measures were in place for the health of safety of the team.

By this point it was common knowledge that everyone was struggling to get hold of hand sanitiser (and loo roll!), but we managed to get by with our own sanitisers before bulk stock arrived in the factory a week later. To ensure staff felt safe coming to work, we implemented the following measures;

  • Social distance signage throughout whole factory
  • Split up breaks & lunch times to reduce traffic in canteen
  • Transformed canteen into a covid friendly area with one way system and transparent screens on tables
  • Transformed offices into covid friendly areas with transparent screens
  • Increased cleaning hours from 2 hours to 4 hours per day
  • Daily sanitising on all door handles and light switches
  • Propped doors open where possible to reduce touching of high traffic surfaces
  • Enforced rule that face masks must be worn unless sat at work bench/desk, or sat eating in the canteen (keeping 2m apart)

Whilst all the urgent health and safety measures were being implemented, our IT department were hard at work ordering 20 new laptops to prepare us, not only for those staff who would start working from home, but also for those who may have to isolate at some point and require remote working access. This IT investment cost the company £20,000, which being an un-planned purchase wasn't in our budget, however the laptops have been a great success where staff now utilise them within the factory as a way of "hot-desking".

The Surprising Opportunity

It was around a month later, middle of April, that this Coronavirus pandemic was starting to look more serious and we were worried that it was about to significantly affect our customers and therefore our business. Did we need to start putting a plan together on how we survive through this, keeping all our team in a job and still be able to pay bills and wages? It was the most worrying time we have ever faced.

Then very much to our surprise on April 20th we received the biggest opportunity we have ever been given, a cable assembly contract worth £700,000. This was amazing news. It would not only guarantee to keep all our staff in a job, but we would actually have to recruit an additional 20 production operators! We jumped at the chance and did everything we could to offer the most competitive prices and the fastest turnaround as delivery was critical. The enquiry was from a UK customer who was under pressure and required the services of a UK supplier after experiencing delays on cable assembly deliveries from it's Indian factory, which had to close suddenly due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Two weeks after we submitted our quotation, we received the incredible news - we had won the contract and we were absolutely ecstatic! With no time to celebrate (well, all the pubs were shut anyway!) we got started on setting up production lines, training the team, recruiting more staff and getting all technical documentation in order.

A big part of winning this work was to prove we could meet the urgent delivery schedule and we could do with our fast and flexible capability to create new production lines at very short notice, utilising our space shop floor capacity, resource in equipment.

It was an exciting and extremely busy time from May to November fulfilling the contract - our factory had never been filled with so much energy and team were on their A game to make it a success. Every department and individual pulled together like clock work to make sure every part was made to exact specification and highest quality. We experienced a couple of bumps along the way, delays on tooling and shortages on free issue material, but overall the project was a huge success and more importantly the customer was thrilled with our performance throughout.

This contract has contributed to an incredible record growth in sales of £1.2million.

Supporting the NHS & Medical Industry

We have supplied the medical industry for over 20 years with various electrical cable assemblies and wiring looms for apparatus and equipment. Since the outbreak of Coronavirus, we have been proud to support Medical manufacturers with urgent orders after they saw a rapid increase in demand.

Our wire and cable assemblies have been manufactured with care and delivered to equipment in hospitals all over the world.

  • Cables for Covid Testing Apparatus
  • Hospital Bed Cable Assemblies
  • Sterilisation Equipment Cables
  • Ventilation Equipment Cables

Whilst it has been fantastic keeping our factory busy with medical demand and opportunities, we have certainly felt the pain for a handful of our customers who are in suffering industries, especially those in Aviation and Hospitality.

Our team have been absolutely unbelievable throughout this very difficult year, and have pulled together in a way which is absolutely admirable. Every single person has supported all the changes we've made, and really risen to the challenge during this rapid growth.

We hope all our customers and suppliers are getting through this challenging time and if there is anything we can do to help, please get in touch.

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Assembly Solutions Ltd is registered in England under registration number 3131352.

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