On 19 March 2020 the prime minister told the country he could turn the tide within the next 12 weeks, and was absolutely confident that we could send coronavirus packing in the UK. Sadly, this was shortly followed on the 23 March 2020 by the announcement of a nationwide lockdown which lasted – on and off – for 12 months. In this blog we look at the legacy the pandemic will leave for UK businesses and for Energy Technology and Control specifically.
Fighting for freight
The commencement of the nationwide lockdown meant a suspension of passenger flights. For companies like ourselves which rely on air freight for transportation of our goods, it caused extensive ripple effects. Demand for freight far outweighed the supply of active aircraft, resulting in freight being delayed and sitting at airports, sometimes for weeks waiting to be transported to customers.
Thankfully as we exited lockdown and the Conservatives Covid-19 roadmap came into effect, demand for – and supply of – flights increased and air freight has since bounced back to pre-Covid levels.
As a business we were granted keyworker status, due to the nature of our business many of our customers were also keyworkers, so business throughout lockdown remained fairly consistent.
In certain instances, we were lucky enough to exit lockdown having established a closer working relationship with our customers, due in the main to the growth in video calling capabilities. We are thankful for the rapid growth in video calling software, it really helped us pull together with our customers to solve problems and complete projects even in difficult circumstances.
Covid specific challenges
The biggest challenge we faced as a business – apart from those already mentioned – stemmed from the delays placed on our R&D. All of our new products require rigorous testing, it forms a vital part of our product development process.
Our testing takes place at the Kiwa global testing, inspection and certification (TIC) facility in the Netherlands. However without in person travel during the Covid-19 lockdown, we weren’t able to complete this vital step and some anticipated product launches were delayed.
Were there any successes?
There is no doubt that the lengthy and unpredictable nature of the pandemic has put a considerable strain on all businesses, but there were also some positives. We grew closer to existing clients, we gained new clients – we have especially noticed growth in the UK market as businesses look to shorten supply chains – and we had more time for R&D, so we look forward to announcing some new and exciting developments later this year.
Covid isn’t something anyone could predict, but it taught us a lot about the business and also the strength and adaptability of our team, if anything the challenges we overcame during the pandemic have given us renewed enthusiasm for the future. If you would like to learn more about how Energy Technology & Control products can help your company succeed, click here.