The majority of Alpha’s workforce have now returned to their positions, with the remaining few still furloughed due to return in the coming weeks. The Alpha factory never completely stopped production throughout the entire lock-down period, due to demand from customers involved in supporting key workers or directly supplying the NHS. A skeleton crew was deployed to ensure supply to these key sectors remained uninterrupted. As many of Alphas regular customers have begun to return to their operations and demand has risen, the workforce has been recalled gradually and now stands at around 80% capacity.
During the lock-down, much work was done to ensure the safe return of all employees when the time was right, as the company grappled with ever evolving guidelines. The result today is a host of social distancing measures, new S.O.P’s and processes which are designed to safeguard all employees and visitors to the Alpha facility. These include mandatory wearing of face masks in and around the factory, the implementation of one-way systems in high traffic areas, social distancing messaging in all areas and numerous hygiene stations in and around the premises.
Constant communication from the company both during the lock-down and on return to work, reassured employees that every possible measure had been taken to ensure their safety. Now, procedures that had seemed alien at first have indeed become the “new normal”
The Way Forward
Unlike many unfortunate UK businesses that were blind-sided by the crisis, Alpha are in the enviable position of being financially robust enough to weather the storm and to even come back stronger. With no debts leveraged against the business, no mortgaged properties and years of shrewd accounting to fall back on, Alpha have been able to be agile and carefully navigate through the most turbulent of times.
Thanks to this, the current outlook for Alpha is much brighter than that of many other businesses. Even with the most pessimistic forecasting, there is a definite steady route back to business as usual. This should be a reassurance to current and potential customers reliant on a consistent, quality sheet metal fabrication service.
A New Plan
At the point that the world ground to a halt, Alpha were on the final straight, approaching the finishing line of an ambitious five-year investment strategy. Work had begun on the final machinery installation – an extension to the existing automated STOPA storage system. Despite the obvious hurdles to overcome, this installation was completed and is now the proud centre piece of Alpha’s shop-floor, which has also had a dramatic re-vamp in recent weeks.
Alpha’s facilities are now unrecognisable from the setup of 2015 when the investment plan was announced. The goal of creating an industry leading state of the art automated sheet metal production facility has been achieved, despite this years’ events.
As the company moves forward from the recent crisis, a new strategic plan is being formulated to consolidate Alpha’s current position and build from its solid foundations, ensuring its ability to weather any future storms as confidently as it has 2020.