Bad news is always difficult to handle, whether you’re delivering it or receiving it. Unfortunately, in times of global COVID-19 disruption, there has been a lot of bad news around. Financial hardships, closedowns, restructures, redundancies have been commonplace.
Many workplaces have suffered members of their team contracting the virus. Difficult situations regarding workplace lockdowns, remote working, restrictions on movement and social isolation.
This is a good news story!
Today we are manufacturing more of our Litterpickers than we ever have. More than a ‘committee of councils’, a ‘shuffle of wombles’ (did you know that a shuffle is the collective noun for a group of wombles? We love our litter hero wombles) And that is why, we are not able to send out your Litterpicker of choice as quick as you or we would like.
We could take the blame game
- production not making enough quick enough (said the sales person)
- poor forecasting – read pandemic or the Great Storm of 1987, it made Michael Fish career
- supply chain – many businesses have not made it this last year which has in turn has increased the demand we are experiencing. There really have been global material shortages – loo roll, flour or on a more serious note, shortage of polymers, packaging, shipping containers to bring in raw material to manufacture injection moulded parts and hand assembly, which we do in-house in Herefordshire. The last 12 months keeping a steady supply of raw material has and continues to be a significant challenge.
With an unprecedented combination of factors we still take our responsibility to support your essential services and community activities very seriously. As businesses worldwide tackle the impacts of the coronavirus, I wanted to share with you what we have been doing:
- Ensuring the workplace is safe for everyone, adhering to all Government guidelines to keep our workforce working. We regard ourselves as extremely fortunate how few of our team have been directly impacted by Covid-19.
- We have not been forced to shut operations. Indeed, in the autumn, and a first in our history, we ran 24 hour shifts, to cope with the significant increase in appetite for the Environmental sustainable tools range. Continuing on, and since January this year, we have increased our workforce by over 31% and output 100%.
- Maintaining mental health and well-being of all our family (over 200 and growing) remains of paramount importance – providing support and contact, even when that could not be in person.
- Implemented remote working for all sales and support teams to ensure we keep in touch with you. A friendly voice at the end of the phone whenever you wanted to talk. Not forgetting the lovely interruptions from our faithful family pets – they liked to join in too.
- Updated website and ecommerce facilities to support those looking to purchase or prefer to browse online 24/7. The blog features have been particularly welcome to keep up to speed with what is safe and allowed to happen as restrictions changed. We also launched online chat service – for a really quick answer.
To meet customer growing demand – more people, more space.
- We are recruiting, supporting local employment and those who have lost their jobs during the Pandemic. UK manufacturing is on the up, we need more eager hands to make more Litterpickers – if you are interested, live local and would like to know more, please do get in touch
- We are increasing space available for more assembly – 100,000 ft and growing, thank goodness for mezzanine flooring
We thank you wholeheartedly for continuing to support us during these times and your understanding of the extended leadtimes you are faced with. We welcome all feedback and will respond to every point raised – no exceptions. You can call on 01531 635678 or email sales@HelpingHand.co.uk
For our export customers, please read our updated statement from Anna Lacey, – HERE
I will be in touch again soon to let you know how our plans are going – for now please keep safe & well
VP Sales & Marketing