The impact of COVID-19 is being felt worldwide across all industries and sectors. Everyone has been impacted and affected by the pandemic to differing degrees. As the pandemic has evolved and continues to. Businesses have had to rapidly adjust to the ever-changing needs, navigating the financial and operational challenges.
Statista collated a report on how each business sector in the UK has been affected by COVID-19. Finding that in the UK Manufacturing sector, 77.2% were able to remain
open for trading with 22.27% needing to temporarily close or pause trading.
Here at EDWPS, we have been fortunate enough to be part of the 77.2% that remained open. It has not been without a lot of adjustment and navigation to ensure our employees' safety at all times whilst also minimising the impact on the business.
March: Our Initial response
March saw the beginning of the first real changes to our workplace practices. We hit the ground running with placing the official government coronavirus signs throughout the building along with antibacterial hand gel.
Split shift patterns were introduced in production to ensure employee safety and provide a fail-safe for the continuation of operations. The office staff alternated working from home, and in the office wherever possible to further limit the chances of contamination.
A large aspect that ensured we were COVID-Secure and operational was our utilisation of space in both the offices and warehouse.
During this time we experienced a drop off in mailing campaigns and print. We could completely understand and sympathise with our customer's needing to rapidly change their planned marketing strategy accordingly and supported them where we could.
Though every industry was affected differently we were fortunate enough to be able to take on increased work from our existing pharmaceutical clients. So a certain degree of uncertainty was eased by an increase in output of their print and mailings.
April & May: Strategic decisions
In April it was decided to furlough some staff members whilst ensuring the business was still able to be operational. The furlough scheme allowed our business, just like many others, to further minimise the economic impact coronavirus had on our business.
By utilising the furlough scheme promptly in April rather than waiting, It allowed Eight Days to safeguard both the longevity of our business as well as our team. With so much uncertainty and unknowns, it was impossible to predict the impact our business was going to be faced with.
Zoom and Teams calling with remote working largely became the new norm and was fully embraced by the office team.
June: Returning & Re-building Customer Connections
With Garden Centre restrictions easing at the beginning of June some of our furloughed staff were brought back to help aid our customers in the Garden Centre sector (another sector we work closely with). Whilst not requiring additional marketing immediately with footfall greatly increased, it was more to plan for Christmas. In aid to help build campaigns ahead of time that would help recuperate major losses during a key time in the Garden retail industry.
Additionally focusing on online retailers who had benefited through the pandemic with greater sales and new customers. Helping them develop new ways to build on their new customer relationships to gain returning loyal customers.
With staff returning to our Nottingham facility PPE was bought in and made available as well as the installation hygiene screens in our production areas.
July, August & Beyond: Safe & Secure
As well as being confidently COVID-secure we passed our ISO audits in 9001, 14001 & 27001. A new experience this year as the whole process was managed via video conference! No doubt new practices brought about this year as a result of coronavirus will feature in next years audit. The remainder of our staff returned to work full time in July with one member re-joining part-time for the short term.
The business also took on a new Marketing & Solution Specialist whilst also investing in a new digital press - a Xerox Versant 3100 to handle our high ink coverage work. This press joins our Xerox Baltoro acquired earlier in the year, which is really coming into its own with our print & mailing volumes returning to forecasted levels.
We realise not every business in our industry faired the initial impact of the pandemic and we don't know what the future holds. We do know that Direct Mail and Print have really proven their worth (though none was needed in our eyes,) as an effective communication channel during the last 4 months.
Going forward it's COVID-Secure business as usual. Our revised work procedures in place with added fallback practices prepared, ensure our customers see no interruption or shortfall in our service.
For help & advice on your next Direct Mail campaign or Print requirements get in touch with the experts.
Call us on 01159 399 797 or email email@example.com