While We Were Away – A Blog From Me
The Covid 19 pandemic has been without doubt, the most trying time for so many people. Despite robust business continuity plans and trying to prepare when it became clear in January that this was going to be a thing in the UK, no one really foresaw just what an impact it would have.
We sent our office team home, and ahead of the lockdown, suspended all but essential or emergency works. The skeleton crew that kept working (and to who we offer our thanks), did so from home, and only when required did they visit customer premises.
Our aim was to support our fantastic customers throughout, and we have continued to do that throughout, something we are very proud of. We’ve paid our team and our suppliers in full, and we are grateful to all those who have returned the favour, keeping the wheels moving when they could so easily have fallen off.
As we take baby steps towards normality, our team are returning to their work. A skeleton crew have returned to the office, with account support continuing to operate from home, where we expect they will stay for the foreseeable future. Engineers return following the bank holiday and will operate following strict hygiene and social distancing procedures. Sanitising stations have been provided in all company vehicles and throughout the offices, and face masks and gloves provided.
During the last 8 weeks, when many of our team were on furlough, we had some time to set about bringing forward some of the things on our own roadmaps, to prepare us for the world once this terrible virus has been beaten.
During lockdown, our team undertook online training sessions from our manufacturers of choice, made simple by the very fact that much of what we install is made right here in the UK. Where it isn’t, then the manufacturers have demonstrated a commitment to our industry with supply chains and dedicated technical support demonstrating a commitment to the UK. If this wasn’t the case, then we wouldn’t be using their kit.
In particular, we’re grateful to the team at Orisec for tailoring training to suit the individual skill sets of our engineers, and to Paxton our long term access control kit of choice. In addition, we’ve done the rounds with Hikvision and offerings by the Fire Industry Association, refreshing and upskilling our team to make sure we’re on top of our game. Our Home Automation team have continued to keep on top too, with frequent webinars to keep them busy. In addition, we’ve renewed Asbestos Awareness and Health and Safety training.
And when our skeleton team did have time on their hands, we undertook installations to our own premises, trying out the latest tech in the field and not just on a demo bench.
In the office, those who kept working did so embracing Office 365, communicating with each other and the skeleton engineering team via Microsoft Teams and offering both Skype and WhatsApp video calling in support of our customers, as well as telephone support. Of course, where it was required, we’ve continued to provide emergency cover too.
And we took the time to bring forward some of our plans to provide more to our customers too, and in the coming weeks, we will be providing an enhanced customer experience via our website with a dedicated customer portal, making management of your security system even easier.
Our aim, as was always, is to bring to you our customers, the best solutions, at great prices by great people. To make it easy to deal with us if you already do, and to make it attractive to try us our if you don’t.
The next few months are likely to throw curve balls at us all, and so our focus will continue to be on providing our services safely, both for our teams and for you, our customers as we emerge tentatively into a very different world.